Are Emotional Abuse and Neglect Valid Grounds for Divorce?
Home > Ask the Scholar > Family > Are Emotional Abuse and Neglect Valid Grounds for Divorce?

Are Emotional Abuse and Neglect Valid Grounds for Divorce?

Questioner

Mona

Reply Date

Oct 15, 2018

Question

As-Salamu `Alaykum. I am a married American Muslimah. Are emotional abuse and neglect suitable grounds for divorce (for women) in Islam and how can one prepare one's self to prove emotional abuse and neglect since these things bruise you on the inside, not on the outside?

Mufti

Answer


Emotional Abuse and Neglect as Grounds for Divorce

Wa`alaykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

In The Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

1- If a woman complains to an Islamic judge that her husband has been abusive and has caused her mental or emotional abuse, then the judge has to investigate the matter through family counselors or psychologists to verify her complaints.

2- If it is proved that her husband is really abusive, then the judge has the authority to separate them and dissolve their marriage.


In his response to the question, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), states:

All forms of physical, emotional and mental abuse can be a ground for divorce in Islam. Spouses are urged to live together and treat each other with respect and kindness; they are urged to love each other and provide peace and tranquility to each other.

Speaking about the spousal relations, Allah Almighty says: “And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmates from yourselves that you might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are portents for folk who reflect.” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

Allah also commands the spouses saying, “…Either live on equitable terms or separate with kindness….” (Al-Baqarah 2:229)

Husbands are advised, “…And do not hold them (the wives) to injure them or take undue advantage…” (Al-Baqarah 2:231)

All these verses make it very clear that according to the Rules of Allah, it is the duty of the spouses not to abuse each other physically or emotionally.

Since husband is the head of the household, he is directly commanded not to injure his wife in any manner.

If a woman complains to an Islamic judge that her husband has been abusive and has caused her mental or emotional harms then the judge has to investigate the matter through family counselors or psychologists to verify her complaints. If it is proved that her husband is really abusive, then the judge has the authority to separate them and dissolve their marriage.

Since American system does not allow religious courts, we cannot have Islamic judges in this country. Muslims, however, can establish Islamic arbitration committees to decide their disputes according to the Islamic law.

Arbitration system is acceptable in this country and many religious and other institutions use arbitration.

Many of our matrimonial problems can be solved if we establish Islamic arbitration committees.

At the time of marriage spouses should sign a pre-nuptial agreement stating that in case of disputes they will only go Islamic arbitration and will accept its decision. Most of the states in the United States also allow pre-nuptial agreements.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.




About Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi is the Chairman of the Fiqh Council of North America

find out more!