Seeking divorce because of unhappiness and a change of heart

Sep 4, 2010 | Marriage and Divorce


Regarding divorce: Is unhappiness, change of heart (feelings towards ur spouse), and incompatibility with one another a valid Islamic reason for divorce? We have tried many times to stay together but neither one of us are happy. I have talked to many Alimas, Maulanas, shiekhs, etc…and at first, they told us to try and see what happens. That was 5 months ago and both of us are unhappy with one another. Can we have a divorce?

Answered by: Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf

Assalamu alaykum

In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful

There are a few things that you can consider at this point.

One is the consequences of separating. What would happen to the children (if any) in the event of a divorce? Sometimes a couple just have to stay together for the sake of their children.

What would you do after a divorce? Would you marry again or not? Would you be happier after divorce or would there be many other problems like having to work and support yourself and so on?

This is in the situation that you are not able to reconcile the differences between you and gain happiness. If there is a possibility of remaining together as husband and wife and fulfilling each others rights then that for sure would be the best option, since divorce is the most disliked of the permissible actions in Islam.

If you do not see any other way to resolve the issue then divorce would be permissible in this case. Let us look at the following hadith related by Imam Bukhari on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radhiyallahu anahu:

The wife of Thabit ibn Qays came to the Messenger of Allah (upon him be peace) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not have any complaints about Thabit ibn Qays in regards to any issue of character or religion. However, I dislike unbelief (kufr) in Islam. The Messenger (upon him be peace) asked her is she was prepared to return his orchard to him (that he had given to her as marriage payment). She agreed, so the Messenger (upon him be peace) told him to accept the orchard and grant her one divorce.

She articulated her feelings of not wishing to stay with him any longer and wanting separation in the following terms “However, I dislike unbelief (kufr) in Islam,” meaning that since there is no love between us, I do not want it to lead to disobeying him or anything else that that may come there off.

She did not have any other complaint against him which she made clear, but the bond was just not present, so the Messenger (upon him be peace) told her she could seek a divorce. This is because Islam does not force people to remain together if there are valid reasons for separation.

Hence, if you feel that your situation is also such that despite having exhausted all methods of reconciliation you are just unable to be together, then divorce would be an option.

And Allah knows best

Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf