A Love Letter from My Husband to a Man

Question and answer details
T (23_female_American Samoa)
Assalamu `Alaykum. I am very happy that I found this website to ask about my problem. In sha Allah I will find an answer for it. Please forgive me about my bad English. I got married to a person because he was hafiz (he memorized Quran); I thought that he is very religious man. After marriage, I started realizing that he is very different. I found many lies that he said. He was very good with me; I even thought that he loved me so much. Not just lies I found but I found a letter that he wrote to a man. This was love letter (I think you understand what I am saying). I can’t say that he is someone different; Allah knows best. For nearly two years we haven’t been living together but we are still married because he doesn’t say anything about divorce. He left me and our son (he is 3 years old) and went abroad. Nearly one month he doesn’t call me, he doesn’t send me an email. I don’t understand him. I want divorce but how can I do this? I don’t believe him anymore and I don’t want to continue this marriage (also he doesn’t do anything to rescue our marriage). Can I say I divorce you or the man should say that? How long shall I wait for him? For his call or mail? Nearly two years we don’t live together so I want to continue my life, I want to get married again to a religious man because if I am still married I couldn’t even think about that- I think it will be sin. And one more question, if I will get married again can I take with me my son because I can’t separate from him? His father leaves him and I don’t want to leave him too; I am a mother. Please help me; what can I do? Jazak Allah khayran.
Sakeena Abdulraheem

As-salamu `alaikum Dear,

Alhamdulilah you are speaking English well and I understand what you have asked. First, I would like to say that I commend you for your courage to come forward and ask this question regarding your husband. From your questioning, it seems that you want to do what is pleasing to Allah and what is best for your 3-year-old son. There seems to be several concerns that you have regarding your marriage.

However, to clarify what you have asked I have identified several concerns that you have. The first concern is that your husband completely changed after you married him. His behavior is alarming you because you feel he is exhibiting behavior of Nifaq/hypocrisy.

The next concern you have is regarding the possibility of your husband’s infidelity and questions regarding your husband’s sexuality. He has memorized all of the Quran so you assumed that he was a religious man because of this ability that he has been blessed with by Allah to memorize all of the Quran.

However, you discovered a love letter that he had written to a man. Since discovering he has been writing love letters to a man he has now been living abroad for the past two years. You have lost contact with him within the past month and he has stopped calling you and emailing you for the past month.

As his wife you have rights over him and he has rights over you as your husband. What he is doing is not acceptable in Islam. I would encourage you to follow your intuition in moving forward; and I welcome you to consult with our scholars in Ask the Scholar section of our website concerning what are the best steps in moving towards your divorce.

The first issue is that he is writing a love letter to someone other than you, his wife and to your knowledge he does not have a second wife. The next issue is that he is writing a love letter to a man which is revealing the possibility that he is bisexual or Gay.

I find that in many parts of the world sexuality is expressed a lot but communities often turn a blind eye to the possibilities that the root of some of the relationship problems for some Muslim couples could be concerning an individual’s sexuality and identity confusion surrounding the individual’s sexuality.

Any unresolved identity confusion in the midst of a committed relationship can often lead to some form of resentment and withdrawal of the individual who is confused. This resentment and withdrawal is often directed at the spouse or the significant other.

Differences in sexuality and sexual orientation do exist. What is forbidden in Islam is the act of zina/fornication and the homosexual behavior itself. Both acts are considered extremely sinful and are behaviors that should not be exhibited.

There are multiple ways you can address finding out if your husband is not faithful to you or if he has another relationship somewhere else. The first way of finding out the status of your husband behavior would be by asking him directly. Communication is a very important part of a marriage.

What you do not want to do is spend another year married to someone who is not speaking to you and you are not able to get to the root of the problems you are experiencing in your marriage. Keep the channels of communication open with your spouse.

You mentioned that he is not returning calls and has stopped emailing you. I would encourage you to reach out to him to reopen those channels of communication. Regardless of whether you find direct or indirect ways to communicate with your spouse it is important for you to confront this issue and have an honest and open conversation with him about your marriage and about his sexuality. Indirect ways could be through relatives, friends, an Imam or Sheikh who you have confidence in.

Sometimes people feel that a person has completely changed after they marry the person. What is actually occurring is that this person is revealing to you who they truly are from the initial stages when you met them and Allah is also revealing to you who they are by showing you their actions.

What I would encourage you to do and it seems that you have already done this is to examine what he is saying and what he is doing. Yes it is wonderful for a man to memorize the entire Quran. However, what should be emphasized more than his ability to recite is his ability to apply the knowledge that he is memorizing to his everyday life and to his marriage and family life with you.

Allah states in the Quran examples of how there will come a time where people will come to abandon the way of the Quran: “And the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) will say:  ‘O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Quran (neither listened to it, nor acted on its laws and teachings)”. Al Furqan Surah 25 Verse 30.

The circumstance of divorce is a very sad and difficult process to go through, especially when one has been loyal. You may be experiencing a multitude of emotions including hurt, betrayal, anger, frustration, sadness, or despair. Remember that Allah hears and answers all that you ask of him.

Use this time that you have alone to build a spiritual connection with the creator and ask for guidance in charting the path you wish to take. Consider that he has provided for you and made a way for you during the two years your husband has not been living with you. He will make a way for you during and after your experience of this divorce and Allah knows best.

You have your whole life ahead of you and I would encourage you to continue to search for answers, be brave and do not stop until you have achieved your goals.

For further guidance, please try the following links:

About the Counselor:

Sakeena Abdulraheem holds an MA in social studies with a concentration in Islamic studies from the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences. She also holds MA in counseling psychology with a concentration in trauma counseling. She has extensive experience working as a teacher, mentor, and consultant. She currently works full-time with women who have become homeless due to domestic violence. 

DisclaimerThe conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.