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How should she deal with her husband who drinks alcohol?

Question: 145587

I am young muslim woman who has 3 children and a good husband. I try my best to adhere to Islam as best as I can for fear of Allah in this world and in the hereafter. I just recently stopped many of the haram actions myself (like drinking alcohol) and am trying to stick with a religious life. My husband, despite him being a good husband, drinks alcohol. He drinks almost every other day and sometimes goes out and stays out till one or two in the morning. This makes me very angry and I have a hard time controlling my anger. I used to shout at him, but now I managed to keep my mouth shut. But my mood always gets bad when he drinks. Is it permissible to show a bad mood to him to let him know I dont like it? If I dont say anything to him and always be cheerful and stay in a good mood with him, he is sooo happy and will do anything for me. Sometimes he drinks in front of me also. How should I act in this situation? Should I show my disapprovement or should i just stay quiet and make dua for him and not show any anger? It is really hard. I am having alot of anxiety about this but this Alhamdullilah is the only bad part of my marriage. Other than this, he is doing everything for our family. I really want him to stop drinking. I am reading alot of darood sharif, which I read makes ones problems go away but I get very sad sometimes for fear that my children will adopt this habit and that my husband will not change. I love him very much but this problem is making it hard for me to take care of my children and live my daily life because of the distress. I feel maybe that if I use as much kindness and love, that maybe he will listen and change, Inshallah.

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family.

Alcohol is the mother of all evils and its bad effects on religious commitment and physical and mental health are no secret to anyone who has any insight. Some of those bad effects have been discussed previously in the answer to question no. 38145

The prohibition on alcohol is not limited to the matter of drinking it; rather it includes pressing or squeezing (the grapes etc), carrying it, selling it and being present in a gathering where it is drunk. Hence the shar‘i text which mentions it speaks in terms of avoidance. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), and gambling, and Al‑Ansaab (stone altars for sacrifices to idols etc) and Al‑Azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaytaan’s (Satan’s) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful”

[al-Maa’idah 5:90]. 

Shaykh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shanqeeti said: Avoiding something means keeping away from it, so that you are not present where it is being done.

End quote from Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 3/33 

Hence it is not permissible for you to sit with your husband when he is drinking alcohol and there is no room for being “polite” in that regard. Rather what you have to do is exhort him, advise him and remind him of Allah. If he does not respond to you, then do not sit with him when he is drinking it. 

See also the answer to questions no. 12499, 127981 and 119600

It was narrated that Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand (by taking action); if he cannot, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith.”

Narrated by Muslim (49). 

Denunciation in the heart is what happens when a person feels distressed and sad in the presence of an evil action. This is contrary to showing happiness and joy at what your husband is doing, or showing that one does not care about the evils that are being committed. 

Nevertheless, screaming or yelling at him in such situations will never work. Hence you should strive to control your anger and call him in a kind and gentle manner with beautiful exhortation from time to time, whilst praying for him in his absence that he be guided, seeking out times when supplications are answered, especially the last third of the night. 

Strive to give your children a sound upbringing and keep them from seeing or touching this evil. At the very least you can ask your husband not to drink alcohol in front of them, until Allah guides him and he repents from drinking it. 

We agree with you that your actions when they are filled with love and compassion are more effective and more likely to be accepted. Hence the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) enjoined us to be kind and he said: “There is no kindness in a thing but it adorns it, and it is not taken away from a thing but it makes it defective.” Narrated by Muslim (2594). 

So tell him that you want what is good for him and that you want him to be dignified and respected by people and to be a good example in all things, as he is in his dealings with you… And other such words which we hope will have an affect on him. 

We ask Allah to help you to do all that is good and to guide your husband to the best of attitudes, words and actions. 

And Allah knows best.


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