Wa ’Alaikum Salaam my dear sister in Islam,
I feel completely drained after reading your question. I can only imagine how you feel!
This is Islam (not what your husband is doing):
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. “(Quran 30:21)
Your problem is as big as the Muslim world. You are right: your husband is in the wrong to treat you like a slave and use your money – and the Muslim world (unlike Islam) which has a culture that supports it. The Muslim world is corrupted in a gross misunderstanding of how to do marriage in Islam – and in the role of women and wives in general that woman are equal partners in marriage and equal in life. The exception in marriage is that men have one degree of privilege, i.e., if the couple can’t agree (after consulting with each other), the man can do things his way (as long as it is halal and within his right as defined in the Quran and Hadeeth, and it is with his money, not hers.) He has no rights to her money and if she lets him use it, she has the right to say what he uses it for!
The following verse is proof that a wife’s obedience to her husband is not because he is male or even because he is her husband, but because he protects and supports her – both of which your husband is not doing!
“Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard…” (Quran 4:34)
The same verse also goes on to tell us the one and only reason a man can strike (very lightly) his wife is insubordination, which means disobedience. (However, let’s not forget that the Prophet (Peace be on him) never hit anyone, not a child, not a woman, not even a man, except in battle.) And since obedience is only due after he supported and protected you, you could not be insubordinate in your situation because your husband is not supporting and protecting you! Your husband has no right to your obedience, no right to beat you, no right to your money, and no right to spend your money as he pleases—especially when you don’t agree to it!
It is phenomenal to me that your husband does not love and want what you two had together before in the first 4 years of your marriage – love and peace. Your husband’s choice proves that, in his mind, union with his old family is more important to him than union with his new family, his wife and child (almost). The way he shows to his family his loyalty to them over you is to follow their way of doing things over yours. This choice of his is very serious because he is choosing a way that is not Islam. Parents are supposed to launch their children, not retain them and make them betray their wives and children to conform to the mother and father and brothers and their brothers’ wife, etc! So, he is treading on very dangerous ground; he is choosing his family’s way over Allah’s way. This could cost him everything, in this life and the Next. In this life, it could cost him his marriage—both literally and emotionally. It seems you have already left him emotionally, or at least you are grasping for air and it won’t be long until you drown or swim away. To turn away from our Islam on this earth threatens our Next Life. Choosing another way other than Islam is a very serious problem, to say the least, and I don’t care how much people claim that their culture is Islam; if it does not follow the teachings of Islam, it is not Islam.
Furthermore, the primary objective of Shaitan is the dissolution of marriages. It seems that is what’s happening as your husband, knowing what a good marriage is, has chosen to have a bad one because he wants unity with his family more than he wants unity with you and Islam (and Allah knows best about anyone’s intentions or judgment).
Another way of understanding his behavior is to understand that people cling to that which makes them feel safe, even though it may not be safe in reality (in terms of forethought about your future in this world or the next). In this case, his idea of safety is unity with his family. That may give him the semblance of safety on this earth, for a minute, but the real safety is in doing what Allah says is right, and in being with Allah through obedience to Him/His Religion, and tawakkalAllah (depending on Allah for everything) and being with Allah (and in His reward) in the Next Life, in sha’ Allah.
Therefore, I recommend that you inform your husband of the short sightedness of his cultural behaviors (using the above Quranic quotes) which he is choosing over Allah’s religion. I recommend that you suggest to him that his choice threatens his real safety. The rest is up to Allah. To make sure you do your job right, please, talk to your husband in a conscientious way, a loving way, a way that is not threatening or abusive, using Quran and Hadeeth. He may just be making an innocent mistake because that is his culture, but once he hears the truth, he may get back on track (or want to). He just may need to get some perspective on things.
However, if a husband will not conform to Allah’s religion in preference over his culture or family’s way of doing things, a wife has every right to leave such a husband. You have to decide if this is your case and if you need to leave your husband for the sake of Allah, yourself, and your unborn child.
And remember pain is the symptom of a test, which is what Allah created us for (to test us). So, try to read your pain not as pain, i.e., what it feels like (horrible), but as the route (like labor pain produces a baby) to enlightenment and union with Allah, because we call on Allah when we feel pain (while we should always thank Allah).
May Allah make it easy for you.
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