Message No : 8Sr.No : 280/725
Question By : maktbaithanvi

Respected Ulama,

Question was sent to us and we are forwarding to you:

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I had an argument with my wife and she in the presence of my brother's wife asked for divorce and made her witness? What should I do? Does Divorce Count? How do I deal with this matter? Can you give some advise on I should deal with Hikmah?
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Reply By : Mohd. Shihabuddin Qasmi
Designation : Mufti, ODI, MMERC, Mumbai 

In the name of Allah, All Gracious, All Merciful
Assalamu Alaikum
Dear Brother in Islam,

The answer to your question is as follows:

Sometimes differences take place between a husband and his wife in marital life, but the couple should sink their differences in order to keep the conjugal relationship alive. Both the parties should keep patience, have control over their anger and brush aside the petty and small matter.

A husband should try to find out the reason for differences and resolve them in a good style. He should amend his wife with wisdom. It is hardly impossible to amend a woman and bring changes to her attitude in a short space of time. But it takes a long period of time and needs patience and wisdom. Otherwise, the marital life may not remain alive any longer. The Prophet of Islam (SAWS) is reported as having said, " Treat women nicely, for a women is created from a rib, and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion, so, if you try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain crooked. So treat women nicely." (Bukhari, Kitabu Ahadeesil Ambiyah, Hadith No. 548)

However there are some methods provided by the Glorious Qur'an. Allah says,

"Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property for the support of women. So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great." (Surah 4:34, Pickthal translation)

The following methods have been stated in the above-mentioned verse.

a) Verbal advice. If this is not sufficient then the next step is;

b) Separation of bed. Husband sleeps at a separate bed and suspends her from sex relation so that she feels the unhappiness of the husband and corrects herself. If these noble punishments are not helpful then the third step is;

c) Slight physical amending which does not leave mark on her body nor cause to break her bone. And her face never should be targeted for this correction. The permission of first and second step is reported form messengers and righteous people verbally and practically as well but the third option is permitted in the case of intense necessity, on one hand. On the other hand, it is stated in the Ahadith that noble people will never take this physical correction. Therefore, no example of this step is found in the lives of messengers.

Allah says at the end of the verse that if she corrects herself to some extent, after taking these steps and returns to obedience then husband should also compromise and not seek means of annoyance on tiny matters and believe that Allah is high above us. How petty and contemptible will our littlie squabble appear is his presence!

In case of failing the above steps in burying family conflicts, two arbiters, one from the family of husband and other from the family of wife will be appointed to make peace between husband and wife. If both the arbiters are sincere to make peace and desire amendment, Allah will help them to do so and make husband and wife of one mined. Allah says,

"And if you fear a breech between them twain (the man and wife), appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire amendment Allah will make them of one mind. Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Aware. (Surah 4: 35)

The verse indicates that the purpose of sending these two arbiters is only to make peace between both parities; husband and wife. Yes, if both husband and wife unanimously choose them their representatives and agree to accept whatsoever decision they take, the arbiters are permitted to take also decision. And their decision either in form of divorce or Khula¡¯ will be accepted and taken for granted.

The last and final step will be taken in the form of court. If the arbiters also fail to make peace and both husband and wife do not choose arbiters as representatives, the case will be filed in court. The court will take decision after completing free and fair investigation.

A complete system for sinking family dispute has been stated in above two verses. This system can put, gradually an end to most of the conflicts take place between husband and wife and make them feel the family life as the life of paradise. Family differences should be sunk in family itself by taking step by step methods mentioned above. If not possible then one arbiter from each family will be appointed to make peace between husband and wife so that the conflict can be ended within the members of the family. And if not possible then the door of court will be knocked.

As regard to your query about Talaaq, the question shows that your wife asked you for divorce, but you didn't reply her. Therefore, this won't be counted as divorce. This is because, pronouncing the word of divorce or any other words used for breaking the conjugal relationship is a part and parcel for an effective and valid divorce. (Raddul Muhtaar Ala Durril Mukhtaar, Kitaabut-Talaaq)

And Allah knows the best,

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