My wife seeks separate accommodation

Reference: Fataawa Noor ‘alad-Darb – Question No.6487, Pages 310-311, Volume 12

Question: I am experiencing a problem with my wife. Two years after my father passed away, I got married, and [after his death], it was I who had assumed the responsibility for my mother and infant brothers – and after Allaah (‘Azza wa Jall) I have been the only provider for them. So I extended a proposal of marriage to [the walee of] my wife, with the condition that [after marriage] I will not be moving to separate accommodation with her because of my responsibilities – as I have mentioned. And the family of my wife agreed to my condition, and so we got married. It was after six months of marriage that my wife began to incite problems so she could have separate accommodation – despite her knowing full well that I am unable [to move out] because of my responsibilities, and my limited salary of only SR1,000 every month. [As a result] she [put me in a difficult position to] make a choice between her and my mother – and [so] she went back to her parents’ home without any consideration for my feelings. [In the meantime] Allaah blessed us with a baby boy, and they denied me [the right] to visit him; I am trying my best to get her to return home, but to no avail. And now O noble Shaykh, I do not know what to do; should I choose my mother who has brought me up, or should I choose my wife – the mother of my child? [Please] guide me, and may you be rewarded.

Response: So long as a condition was made prior to the contract [of marriage taking place] – that you will not be providing separate accommodation, then you must raise this matter with the judge, and the judge will be best placed to make a judgement between the two of you. I ask Allaah to guide everyone [to that which earns His pleasure alone]. And it is befitting that you [try and] find out [exactly] what problems have occurred between your mother and your wife, and try to resolve them to the best of your ability. It may be that the problems are minor and straightforward, yet Shaytaan sows the seeds of discord between the people, so before this [matter] reaches the court, I advise that you look into the problems and try and see if you can resolve them – this would be the best [course of action]. And if you are unable [to resolve the problems], then there is nothing [more for you to do] except to seek the judgement of a judge. And we ask Allaah to grant everyone success [in that which pleases Him alone].

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.