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Fatwas / Marriage and Breastfeeding / I feel I am neither married nor divorced

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I am a lady from Algeria and I would like to ask about a case that concerns me. I had a fight with my husband three years ago, and as a result I moved out my husband’s house to live with at my father’s place. During these last three years, my husband never asked about me or tried to do anything to solve the problem. The real cause of the fight was that before marriage he promised that we would live together in the same city where he works, but what happened is that he made me live with his parents at their place in a different city. I had to take this for 8 years, during which my mother in law mistreated me and my husband was away from home most of the time and only visited us once every 21 days. I have 3 children from this marriage, and that was the only reason that made me to return home every time I left it. However, since I could not take it anymore, I decided to solve this problem once and for all. Therefore, I decided to leave and stay at my father’s place and demanded my husband to take me and my children to live with him in the city where he works, otherwise I would not return. Sadly, they refused to let me take the kids, and now I only see them once a year. This has been the case for the last three years. Now, I am confused because neither do I live with my husband, nor am I divorced. I fear the plots of the devil because I work and leave the house. Have I angered Allah with what I did? O Shaykh, I need your advice, may Allah reward you abundantly. ترجمة جواب الفتوى: جعلني معلقة فماذا أفعل؟


 All praise is due to Allah alone, and may the Salah and Salam of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions. To answer your question, we say while seeking all the success from Allah: It is obligation on the believer to fear Allah, the Most High, and keep their promises and honor their contracts. Allah, the Exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning): {O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts} [Quran 5:1] and {And fulfill [every] commitment} [Quran 17:34] This obligation is more emphasized in marriage contracts because ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir narrated that the Prophet (may the Salah and Salam of Allah be upon him): “The conditions which are most deserving of being fulfilled are those by means of which intimacy becomes permissible for you.” Reported by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others That said, if he promised you to let you live with him, then he must keep his promise to you, otherwise you are entitled to demand that the marriage contact be nullified because he violated one of its conditions. In fact, marital relations necessitates that the wife stays near her husband because this is the kind treatment that should exist between a husband and wife. Allah, the Most High, said, (interpretation of the meaning) {And live with them in kindness.} [Quran 4:19], unless there are exceptional circumstances requires the husband to be away. However, since you have already left to stay at your father’s house, then I advise you to fear Allah and I advise your husband to endeavor to resolve this issue so you can reunite. It is impermissible for him to leave you hanging like this without taking a decision of either being with you or to divorce you because Allah, the Most High, said (interpretation of the meaning): {Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment.} [Quran 2:229], and what you have stated shows that he did neither. Further to the point, it is impermissible for him to keep you away from your children because that is one of the greatest injustices! Does not he fear that Allah will keep him away from his loved ones on the Day of Judgment? In any case, if the attempts to reconcile and reunite with your husband fail, then I suggest raising your case to the Islamic court in order to either find you a solution or divorce you from him, so you can marry again and protect your chastity. May Allah rectify your affairs and reunite you again.

Your brother,

Khalid al-Muslih




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