If he does not give me a separate house, I want a divorce. is that fine?: Wife demands separate house

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Assalam Allaikum, Many people have asked the same question, wife's right to have a separate home. My question is how do I make my husband understand that it is my right and he should give it to me without saying his and his mothers relationship would be affected. I left everything for him my family, my lifestyle, all luxuries and when it comes to a man he can do nothing for his wife? His mother is a widow, but he has a younger brother who works and earns more than my husband does not have a wife, I used to work and I used to contribute in the house, but then I left my job because he used to give most of the money to his mother, we have just been married for 4 months, I have moved to lahore from karachi. I do not have patience and I cannot take this depression anymore. I am an MBA , while he is still doing his MBA. If he does not give me a separate house, I want a divorce. is that fine?

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Wife demands separate house

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 34:

34      Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more than the other, and because they support them from their means.  Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard (their modesty and chastity, the honor and property of their husband, etc.)

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 286     Narrated by Umm Salamah

The Prophet (saws) said: ‘If a woman dies while her husband was pleased with her, she will enter Paradise.’

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3272   Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

When Allah's Messenger (saws) was asked which woman was best he replied, "The one who pleases (her husband) when he looks at her, obeys him when he gives a command, and does not go against his wishes regarding her person or property by doing anything of which he disapproves."

If a believing woman worships Allah Subhanah as He Alone deserves to be worshipped, preserves her chastity, and strives to the best of her ability to please her husband, the Messenger of Allah (saws) declared that she will be given the honor to enter the Eternal Gardens of Paradise by the gates of her choice! 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3254   Narrated by Anas ibn Malik

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of Paradise she wishes."

In light of the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah, the wife has absolutely no duty and responsibility laid upon her by Islam towards her husband’s family or ‘in-laws’, including the husband’s parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, etc.  The responsibility and duty that Islam has laid upon the believing wife is only towards making sure that her husband is pleased and satisfied with her in every aspect of her life! 

Having said that she has absolutely no responsibility towards her husband’s family, does not in any way mean or imply that she is allowed to be rude, or disrespectful, or dishonor them in any way.  She must at all times strive to develop cordial relations with her in-laws. 

But if the believing woman does, of her own free will, serves the parents or family of her husband, she would be doing a deed of ‘ehsaan’, a deed which would be over and above her prescribed duties and responsibilities; and Allah Subhanah has time and again declared in the Glorious Quran that He absolutely loves those believers who do ‘ehsaan’ or deeds which are over and above their role of duty and responsibility.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verse 134 (part):

134    …. for Allah loves the ‘muhsineen’ (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verse 148:

148    And Allah gave them a reward in this world and the excellent reward of the Hereafter.  For Allah loves the ‘muhsineen’ (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 195 (part):

195    … and do ‘ehsaan’; for Allah loves the ‘muhsineen’ (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 93 (part):

93      …..  For Allah loves the ‘muhsineen’ (those who do deeds over and above their call of duty).

The wife in Islam is absolutely under no obligation to take care or serve her husband’s parents or family; the duty and ultimate responsibility that the parents are served and well cared for is entirely upon the direct off-spring of the parents.  

But if the wife, of her own will and choice, wishes to go over and above her prescribed duties and in her benevolence serves the parents and/or family members of her husband, she would be doing the extremely meritorious deed of ‘ehsaan’; and Allah Subhanah absolutely loves those who do ‘ehsaan’ or deeds over and above their prescribed duties.

If a husband is blessed with a wife who does ‘ehsaan’ and serves his parents, he should be extremely grateful and thankful to her for her superb gesture of benevolence and kindness.

Thus the serving of one’s in-laws would definitely be amongst the ‘Nafl’ (extra) or over and above one’s prescribed duties and responsibilities.

If the wife, for whatever reason does not wish to live amongst or with her in-laws, she is well within her rights in Islam to ask her husband to provide a separate and distinct accommodation for her, and there would be absolutely no blame or sin upon the wife if she chose to exercise her lawful right of seeking a separate accommodation for herself and her children. If the husband has the means, he should fear Allah and fulfill this lawful demand of his wife and provide for a separate accommodation for her.

The right the wife does not have is to demand or expect that her husband leaves his parents and comes and lives with her in the separate accommodation.  Whether to live with his parents and serve them, or move to the separate accommodation of the wife and live with her is the decision and choice the husband has to make for himself.

If the husband has the means to provide his wife with a seperate accommodation, and he refuses to do so and demands that his wife live with and serve her inlaws, the wife is well within her rights to seek seperation through a divorce, if that is indeed what she wishes to do.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is only ones. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your brothers and well wishers in Islam,

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