Do I Have A Right To Ask For Khula?


I am from Arabia living in USA. I was engaged at a very young age to a relative who I had never seen or met before. When I was 17 my parents took me back home to get married. I was not happy at all with the boy. I did not want to marry him. But out of fear of upsetting my family, I agreed to marry him hoping it will work out after marriage. I knew the purpose of the marriage was for him to get a visa to live in USA. After we got married, I came to know he watches porn and has filthy images stored on his mobile and computer. I started disliking him even more. I became pregnant soon after and left to go back to USA without telling him of my negative feelings towards him. I stayed in USA for few years dreading to go back to him.

Eventually he got his visa and came to stay with me. After few days with him again, I just couldn’t stand the sight of him, I refused to have intimate relations with him. I discussed the issue with my parents; they were siding with him and defending him! So I had no one to ask help from. I felt all alone.

It has been months now since we have separated. I don’t want to waste my life with him. I have a professional career and can take care of myself and my daughter. He refuses to divorce me- at least until he gets citizenship to stay in the USA. My family regrets using me for his visa purposes but also do not want me to get divorced. What can you advise me in this situation? I just want to be released from this marriage as it is really disturbing my life, and at the same time i fear hurting his feelings since he has high hopes of getting his citizenship in USA. Do I have a right to ask for khula?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

It is unfortunate that you were led into this marriage against your will. You simply accepted your husband due to family considerations and also favored him in other ways. That is your kind heartedness for which you will be rewarded.

Sister, while we acknowledge you are not in an ideal situation,  now that you are in the marriage you will have to see what is the ideal thing to do right now. You either remain in the marriage in consideration of your daughter. She will have a father to show the full fatherly love and attention. Your daughter will not get this if there is a break up. She may get some attention and love from the father. In this situation you will require to suppress yourself and put the interest of your daughter ahead of your feelings. The reward for this is tremendous. However, if you are unable to make this sacrifice because you cannot bear being with your husband and you are certain that no amount of counseling and adjustments will change the condition of your heart, then this seems to be an involuntary condition  of the heart for which you are excused. In this condition, you should involve senior family members and request a khula in which you return the mahr to your husband in exchange of him divorcing you. If your husband agrees, then only the khula will be valid and will constitute one talaq ba’in.

If  he is spiteful and he does not agree to the khula or to divorce you, then you should consult your local Ulama to intervene and request to annul the marriage. If they too are unable to assist you, then you can tell your family members that you will report him to the authorities and get him deported if he does not issue you a divorce.This threat should be used merely to apply pressure on your husband to release you from the marriage. If he cooperates, then tell them you will let him stay in USA and will not hinder his citizenship progress. You have to be strong and firm in your demand. You should not submit to further oppression.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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