In this counseling answer:
• I encourage you to research more on the matters of having contact with the ex-wife as well as divorce. Contact our Ask the Scholar section.
• I personally do not believe a woman needs “to wait” for her husband to divorce her if she has rightful grounds to leave him.
• Do you believe you have personal and religious grounds for divorce? Do you feel that if you move on from this marriage you are comfortable meeting God (swt) and being asked about your decision?
• You also have the right to seek counsel and attempt to resolve your issues with a professional that understands your culture and religion.
As-Salaam ’Alaikum sister,
I’m sorry to hear about your difficult condition. The bottom line is if a person lacks good character and you do not trust him, this is enough of a reason for any marriage to fail. The Qur’an, in the chapter on women (Nisa), discusses the process of divorce and marriage.
I encourage you to research more on this matter. One of the points that the Qur’an mentions is that we must be clear and honest about our commitments. We are either married or not married. We should never feel like we are in a state of limbo. But I am not an Islamic scholar, so please contact our Ask the Scholar section for more answer.
It sounds to me like your husband is playing games and being deceitful with you. The fact that he has been married five times, according to you, suggests that he has a pattern of having unhealthy and damaging relationships.
You should not be fooled by so-called religious justifications to act in ugly ways. When people play games with God’s (swt) sacred law, they cause destruction and harm. When people are living by sacred law authentically, the experience will be sweet and peaceful, as God (swt) describes in His noble book.
I personally do not believe a woman needs “to wait” for her husband to divorce her if she has rightful grounds to leave him. It is not in harmony with clear Islamic principles of justice, morality, and virtue to keep a woman in an oppressed state. There is something called ‘khula in Islam. Please, look for more information about it and its procedure.
Therefore, in my opinion, this idea of only the husband can divorce is unfounded, except in cases where the woman is being unjust or has no legal or religious grounds to do seek the request. But, again, I am not an Islamic scholar; therefore, I encourage you to contact our Ask the Scholar section regarding your options.
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In conclusion, the question is, do you believe you have personal and religious grounds for divorce? Do you feel that if you move on from this marriage you are comfortable meeting God (swt) and being asked about your decision? Do you feel you can defend it? If so, then you need to decide what is best for you based on your experience with him.
You also have the right to seek counsel and attempt to resolve your issues with a professional that understands your culture and religion. If you are married legally, you can file for divorce as Islamic law on marriage does not absolve the country’s law that you live in. When you are legally divorced, you are also divorced religiously. If you are married only by Islamic law and not legally, you will need to consult with your religious leaders, preferably a convert Imam or one who is familiar with your local cultural customs. However, if you do not find the proper support from an Imam, you will have to consider moving on and voicing your divorce to him and praying to God (swt) to accept it and guide you away from harm.
May Allah (swt) help you,
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.