Bismillah,
The last couple of weeks have been going really well Alhamdulillah. My job is winding down to a close for the summer and my husband and I have some pretty awesome plans for the summer holidays! So far we've decided on spending a week in Vancouver, a weekend in Ottawa and the rest of the time in good ol' T. dot... a place that was my home for many years. On my way to Canada, I should be stopping at my parents place in Oman and spending 2 weeks with them- for some R & R and just to get a break from it all. I guess I'm the type of person who loves a change! Alhamdulillah my husband and I have that in common :).

My business plans have been temporarily suspended due to lack of capital, so until I save up enough cash to invest in it completely, I will not be doing much in that regard. I could technically ask my husband for the cash but if anything goes wrong, I don't think I would forgive myself.
In the meantime, I'm expanding my collection of unique and stylish khaleeji abayas and will eventually showcase them, Inshallah.

So getting back to the title at hand, what is the best advice to give to someone suffering in an abusive relationship? Without revealing too much, I would just like to say that this person is someone very close to my heart (not myself alhamdulillah!). I have known this person for a very long time, and witnessed her marriage and subsequent problems. I didn't know about the problems until recently and it seems as if the abuse is escalating (isn't that what always happens?)
How do you tell someone to end their marriage? How involved can a person be, in a situation that's clearly personal and sensitive in nature. A lot of people in this situation would consider the best advice as being: patience, make dua to Allah (swt) for guidance, be forgiving, think about your offspring and don't end the relationship. They have a lot of proof to back up such statements, including text from the Quran and Sunnah, which is fine, however, where does one draw the line between patience, tolerance and forgiveness, and ending a relationship which is detrimental to some one's mental, physical and emotional well being. Is it enough to stay in such a relationship due to lack of financial capabilities and for their child's sake?

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness. (Surah Baqarah, Ayah 229)

What if they don't hold together on equitable terms, yet the husband is unwilling to release his wife?
Maybe I'm overstepping the line. but then again, maybe I can be the sound of reason, and not emotion? There are times when I lay awake at night, and wonder how she's doing, just because I fear for her health and safety. Am I wrong to voice my opinion (to leave) or should I stick to platitudes and tell her to be patient and forgiving etc?

I'm totally confused at the moment...
2 Responses
  1. Lisa Says:

    Assalaam Alaikum Habibty,

    Being that I still exist in my own abusive relationship, it's hard to advise you 100%.

    That being said, I think that the tough love approach works at times. You tell her that she's got to just do it, and she will be more likely to act.

    But, you also have to listen and simply be a comforting ear for her. This will take time sweetie, it takes on average 7 times for a woman to leave an abusive relationship in the U.S.

    Inshallah, you will advise her and she will leave.

    Oh sweetie, I'm so excited about your plans and hope you have an incredible summer off. Love you and best of luck with your friend.


  2. Maryam Says:

    Assalamu alaikum,

    This is such a serious issue, and so hard to know how to deal with it! If you know your friend to be truthful and you can see the evidence with your own eyes, you have to try to help her inshaAllah. The best way is with du'a of course - yours and hers. If the situation is not getting better, and indeed seems to be escalating, then more drastic action needs to be taken.

    It's no good staying with him for the children, because them witnessing the abuse, or the after-effects of the abuse (Mama crying and scared all the time, baba being angry and scary etc etc), this can be seriously damaging for children. It can even lead to them potentially abusing their wives in the future. There's also the potential danger that they could also start to be abused by their father as they get older...

    It is completely halal for a woman to seek help when she is unhappy in her marriage. InshaAllah, maybe they can get some help with their marriage and sort it out rather than divorce. But divorce in this situation is totally allowed. It's haram for a man to abuse his wife, or to opress and torture her.

    First, did she have a 'wali' (guardian) when she got married? This person is supposed to be there for her to protect her and help her when her marriage is in trouble. Otherwise, speak to an imam or prominent sister who is trustworthy and discreet to ask advice, whether there is any marrage counselling available or something. Seek advice from someone very knowledgable (who won't blab to the husband) who can let her know what all her options are.

    She must, must do something to change this as it will negatively affect her children eventually.

    Hope this helps inshaAllah, and may Allah find a solution and ease her suffering.