The way of coexistence with a disobedient wife | The official website of Sheikh Muhammad Ali FERKUS
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Monday 12 Dhu Al-Qa`dah 1445 H - May 20, 2024 G

Fatwa n° 487
Category: Fatwas about Family – Marriage Contract – Marital Rights – Individual Rights

Concerning the way to coexist
with a disobedient wife


I live in France and I have a wife who does not perform prayer and listens to music. Even more, she has a negative influence on our children with her disobedience (wrong deeds). Accordingly, I menaced her with the divorce but that was in vain as she did not change her attitudes. So, what is the ideal manner to deal with her? May Allah reward you.



All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection:

The woman who has these attributes and what is linked to them of shortcomings and defects, if she persists on them, she cannot be the right wife for a husband who wants to comply with the rulings of Shari‘a (Sacred Islamic Law) towards himself and his family. And if all the religious ways –have run out- of exhorting and deserting her in bed as well as beating her without harming her according to what Allah عزّ وجلّ commanded in His saying:

﴿ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَٱهۡجُرُوهُنَّ فِي ٱلۡمَضَاجِعِ وَٱضۡرِبُوهُنَّۖ فَإِنۡ أَطَعۡنَكُمۡ فَلَا تَبۡغُواْ عَلَيۡهِنَّ سَبِيلًاۗ ﴾ [النساء: 34].

The meaning of the verse:

Admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, and (last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance)  ﴿[An-Nişâ’: 34].

In this case, it would be necessary to disavow her acts and neither approve of her nor of her deeds in order not to be a partner in disobedience, according to his saying صلَّى الله عليه وآله وسلَّم: “If a wrong deed is committed on the earth, then the one who witnessed and hated it (in another version: condemned it) is like who has not witnessed it. Conversely, the one who did not witness that wrong deed but just approved of it, is like who has witnessed it(1).

In spite of this, he cannot continue living in the existence of sin and abominable deeds with which the life of the Muslim will not be straightened. Therefore, it is incumbent upon him: either to ask for revoking the contract (of marriage), according to his saying صلَّى الله عليه وآله وسلَّم: “Three invoke Allah but He responds not to them (i.e. to their invocations): a man got married with a woman whose character is bad and yet he did not divorce her…” (2), or to ask for a divorce whereby he secures his religion and to ask her to deliver the children into his care. If she refuses under the pretext of the custody and was supported by the judgment issued by the judge; he, then, should disapprove of her upbringing (of the children), so that he would not be a partner in the bad education and guardianship of the children. Allah عزّ وجلّ said to Nûh (Noah) after he asked Him about his son who was in the disobedience:

﴿قَالَ يَٰنُوحُ إِنَّهُۥ لَيۡسَ مِنۡ أَهۡلِكَۖ إِنَّهُۥ عَمَلٌ غَيۡرُ صَٰلِحٖۖ فَلَا تَسۡ‍َٔلۡنِ مَا لَيۡسَ لَكَ بِهِۦ عِلۡمٌۖ إِنِّيٓ أَعِظُكَ أَن تَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡجَٰهِلِينَ﴾ [هود: 46].

The meaning of the verse:

He said: “O Nûh (Noah)! Surely, he is not of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have not knowledge! I admonish you, lest you should be one of the ignorant  ﴿[Hûd: 46].

We invoke Allah سبحانه وتعالى to guide your wife to the straight path and that she comes to her senses and assumes her responsibility towards you and towards your children. We also invoke Him to strengthen your faith so that you do good deeds and fear Allah عزّ وجلّ with permanent thank and praise to Him, according to His saying سبحانه وتعالى:

﴿وَإِذۡ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمۡ لَئِن شَكَرۡتُمۡ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمۡۖ وَلَئِن كَفَرۡتُمۡ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٞ[إبراهيم: 7].

The meaning of the verse:

And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings),but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe. ﴿[Ibrâhîm: 7].

This is what appeared to us through your question according to the aforementioned details.


The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.


Algiers on: Jumâda Ath-Thâniya the 6th, 1427 H

Corresponding to July the 3rd, 2006 G.


(1) Narrated by Abû Dâwûd (4345) from the hadith of Al-‘Urs Ibn ‘Amîra Al-Kindî رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged good (Haşan) by Al-Albânî in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi‘ ” (689).

(2) Narrated by Al-Hâkim (53181) and by Al-Bayhaqî (20517) from the hadith of Abu Mûşâ Al-Ash‘arî رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albânî in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi‘ ” (3075).