When we first got married. my husband was a kind and gentle man but after several months, he became a different person. Not wanting me to be out, screamed at me. He didn't want to go find a job and was expecting me to support him. He refused to talk about it and said he's sick but never goes to the doctor. He stopped going to Jumah and stopped leaving the house, couping himself in the house and his room. When I got pregnant, things started to get worse. he went crazy like. I had come complication with my preganacy and had my baby extremely early. While resting in bed, he wanted me to abort my child saying that he doesn't want to have a monster baby and to get it abort. When I didn't want to, he got very upset with me. My child is now 3 years old and healthy to an extent, thank God. He doesn't support me or my child, doesn't like my mother who is living with me in my house, not his. When my child was extremely very sick, he doesn't want me to take my child to the emergency room. He slept all day and stayed up all night, did light stuff around the house (fixing and cutting grass). He did more screaming and threaten to kill me me. I tried to keep the family together but it was hurting me too much. Dreadful coming back home from work each day. I've had enough and finally kicked him out and he demanded that I pay him, I had to sell my car and give him the money for him to get out (the money he took was not something I was willing to offer him, he forced me). He's been out of my house for over 1.5 years now. Shen i asked for a divorce, he said he wanted all his mahr (which he used my money to buy for me - he admitted before) back, keep in mind he has not supported me or my child in any way and was living in my house hold.

I have the following questions:

  1. Should I return the mahr to him although he hasn't supported me or my child?

  2. Islamically, am I considered divorced because of his lack of support for the extended period even though he never say "talaq"


3 Answers 3


I'm very sad to hear what you've been through. May Allah (SWT) reward you for all that you've done to keep the marriage going, and replace the hardship with ease.

  1. Should I return the mahr to him although he hasn't supported me or my child?

The general rule is, you don't return the mahr unless you take him to the court, or your local Imam, and perform خلع (Khula'), which is a divorce instigated by the wife in a return for a payment.

My evidence for that answer is this verse in Surat Al-Baqarah (verse 229)

وَلا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَنْ تَأْخُذُوا مِمَّا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شَيْئاً إِلا أَنْ يَخَافَا أَلا يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلا يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَلا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا فِيمَا افْتَدَتْ بِهِ

And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of your Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) which you have given them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allaah (e.g. to deal with each other on a fair basis). Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allaah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or a part of it) for her Al-Khul‘ (divorce)

(I was a witness myself of a Khula' that happened recently in my family through our local Imam in our community).

  1. Islamically, am I considered divorced because of his lack of support for the extended period even though he never say "talaq"

I don't think so sister, unfortunately in your case, he has to utter the word talaq.

My advice to you sister, go to your local Imam, or any Muslim family services organization in your country, and instigate the divorce. Also, don't forget to mention to them all the details of what you've spent on him from day one, so they will take that into consideration and decide whether you still have to pay him the mahr or not.

Indeed Allah knows best..

  • According to the verses you have quoted, it is completely up to the woman's discretion if and how much of the Mahr she wants to return to the man. She can choose to give all or some or none of it back, in case she has asking for a Khul'a. Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 20:19

Excuse me to say: what a disgusting men you have married!

Well i will try to answer your question beginning from where i'm sure about. Your Mahr is yours in case of divorce/talaq (but in case of khula, which seems an option here you may forgo it)!
This means he even has no right to ask about it.

And give the women [upon marriage] their [bridal] gifts graciously. But if they give up willingly to you anything of it, then take it in satisfaction and ease.

[Surat an-Nisa' (4:4)]

and as an Addition to what he asked you before, you can read also:

O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.

[Surat an Nisa' (4:19)]

As we know only in the situation that you didn't have intercourse and divorced you he could have half his mahr back

And if you divorce them before you have touched them and you have already specified for them an obligation, then [give] half of what you specified - unless they forego the right or the one in whose hand is the marriage contract foregoes it. And to forego it is nearer to righteousness. And do not forget graciousness between you. Indeed Allah , of whatever you do, is Seeing.

[Surat al-Baqara (2:237)]

Now from a shari'a point of view he definitely has no right to take neither his mahr back nor nothing from you. But unfortunately this doesn't mean you are divorced!

Of course as the Verse indicates you still can forgo (once again) to get ride of him by a kind of divorce called Khul' خلع: This is the right of a woman to seek a divorce from her husband in Islam for compensation (usually monetary) paid back to the husband from the wife! But in that case be sure to have at least 2 witnesses!

In islam the husband should support his family according his possibilities:

Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted - let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.

[Surat at-Talaq (65:7)]

An other point is: Did you reject his support at first if so this could be considered as a reason he shouldn't support you!

In the Arabic Fatwa which i linked it's said that the scholars have two different kind of view if a husband didn't do his duty and support his wife and kids then they should be separated (Maliki, Shafi', Hanbali etc.) while abu Hanifa and others said this is nor reason for separation.

But in any case you could ask for divorce as it's your right at a family court or something equivalent!

And Allah knows best!

  • 1
    Salaam... I did not reject his support nor hint to him that I don't need help. Money was one of our biggest problem. Our child was born prematurely at 24 weeks gestational so I have lots medical bills. He refused to help stating that our child came early because it was my fault and I should be responsible for all bills and care for our child.
    – julia
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 1:05
  • Subhan Allah! how could you be responsible for the early birth of your child? How can a father just disclaim his responsibility for his kid (and wife) and how he can reject helping and supporting his family. I'm sorry to hear that and hope you could end this situation soon! May Allah help you!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 8:02

I am not an authority, but I know that the mehr is yours to keep. It is not something that has to be returned upon divorce, so I would say, no, you do not need to return it to him, Islamically speaking.

If you are divorced by law, then I think you are also divorced Islamically because he would have had to have said something like, "Yes, I agree to divorce this woman." for the court to have concluded the proceedings in a divorce and there would have been 2 male adult witnesses to that decision. That's sufficient Islamically as far as I know. It doesn't have to be the specific Arabic phrase "Talaq".

Also, for future reference, you have the right to ask him for a divorce and Islamically, he must give it within 4 months and 10 days. He can try to persuade you otherwise within this period but after that, he must divorce you.

May Allah make your life easier for you and your child. Please bear this with patience and this hardship will be a source of reward for you.

If someone knows something to correct my understanding of this matter, please leave a comment.

  • Your answer is wrong. Do you have anything supporting it?
    – user4456
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 18:17
  • 1
    Thank you for commenting. Do you mean that my answer is not supported by any authoritative references or that it is actually wrong? I freely admit to the former and that's why the first sentence began with this admission. If it is the latter, I will appreciate it if you leave a correct answer, so that it adds to both mine as well as the original poster's knowledge. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 8:06
  • Your answer about mahr/mehr is only right if we speak about divorce. And divorce can only come from the husband!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 10:39
  • Divorce can indeed only be given by the husband, but the wife has the right to ask for a divorce, and the husband must give the divorce within a prescribed time period (4 months and 10 days). This is directly from the Quran. In other words, there is no scenario in which a husband can refuse to give a divorce despite the wife asking for it, AFAIK. If you know of such a scenario, I would like to know that in order to fill in the gaps in my understanding. Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 20:10

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