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Can a wife seek divorce after a forced marriage

If a lady has been (forcefully) married to a promiscuous man, and all sincere attempts for reconciling differences fail, should she still be obliged to stay with her husband and avoid seeking a divorce? Or is she right in asking for a divorce?


“Pronouncement of revocable divorce is only allowed twice: then she should be allowed to stay with honor or let go with kindness after the third pronouncement. It is not lawful for husbands to take anything back which they have given them except when both parties fear that they may not be able to follow the Limits Of Allah; then if you fear that they both will not be able to keep the Limits Of Allah, there is no blame if, by mutual agreement the wife compensates the husband to obtain divorce. These are the limits set by Allah; do not transgress them, and those who transgress the Limits of Allah are the wrongdoers. So if a husband divorces his wife, it is not lawful for him to remarry her until after she has married another man and gotten divorced. In that case there is no blame on either of them if they reunite in marriage, provided they think that they can keep the Limits of Allah. Such are the Limits of Allah which He makes clear to the people of understanding.” (2:229-230)

The translations above of the two Quranic verses relevant to the question of divorce make it clear that the relationship between husband and wife has to be maintained or done away with, keeping in mind the objective of maintaining the Limits of Allah, an expression repeated five times in the two verses. If that all important objective is not being met in an arrangement of marriage, it is better to call it off rather than to accumulate sins unnecessarily. Of course, one needs to do enough to come to some kind of reconciliation. But if that is not in sight despite best efforts, as I can see has happened in your friend’s case, then my understanding is that she will not be at fault if she initiates the process of discontinuing this arrangement. In such cases, the Almighty wants us to put our trust in Him:

“For Allah is all sufficient for the person who puts his trust in Him. Surely Allah brings about what He pleases, and Allah has set a measure for all things.” (65:3)