First of all, we’d like to clarify that if spouses have difficulties and problems, they should be patient and forbearing. They have to try to work out their differences and seek help from their relatives, friends or professional counsellors.

Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent Azharite scholar, states: “The husband in this situation is sinful because of any sort of violence he did towards his wife even if this violence includes only harsh or offensive words. The wife is also sinful by leaving the marital house.

Having stated the above, the proper behaviour was that they should do their best to work out their differences and to reach mutual agreement seeking the help of friends, relatives or the Imam of a nearby Islamic Center. If they could not, they should go for arbitration by wise, experienced and professional people who know the husband and wife. It is preferable if the arbitrators are from the husband and wife families. In this regard, Almighty Allah says, “And if ye fear a breech between them twain (the man and
wife), appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire amendment Allah will make them of one mind. Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Aware.
” (An-Nisaa’: 35)

These were more helpful in putting an end to the domestic violence and separation between the couple and restoring stability to marital house.

If we suppose that if the arbitrators and all other means failed to reach mutual agreement and reconcile the husband and wife, then she (the wife) has the right to resort to legal procedures complaining about the whole issue. If the husband did not stop violence towards the wife, she has the right to ask for divorce from the court [in case he refused to divorce the wife] and the judge has the right to issue a divorce verdict if the case of violence or the harm has been proved against the wife.

As for the issue of having intercourse with her, this is not considered haram or rape while considering the above-mentioned tips.”