Extreme waswas regarding conditional divorce

17 Jul 2018 Ref-No#: 849

Last year my Husband made an oath for conditional divorce because he used the future verb tense.
He said : “if you ever cheat on me or do anything (an act) with the intention of cheating/ act leading to cheating – I will divorce you.”

Later when I inquired what he means by cheating since others have different definition he explained in the moment he was referring to physical act, or having an affair.. not really flirting – unless flirting with the intention it will lead to cheating.

Because I suffer from extreme waswas, it has caused a lot of problems in our relationship and I sometimes wake up in anxiety regarding the exact wording of the condition and his definition of cheating.

I made a big mistake by chatting in chat rooms where there were guys and girls present and feel a lot of guilt that my conversing with them could be considered cheating.. but he said he meant physical and I didnt actually cheat by just talking.. even though it is wrong to seek attention from non mahram through conversations. AlhamduliLlah i repented and never went back to those sites.

Yesterday, my husband thought to put me at ease by simplifying the condition and make me write it down so i stop bothering him by always asking.

What he made me write down is this:
“I will not cheat on my husband, if I do, our contract is over”

This actually made me even more confused because he used new words this time. I dont want to ask him again and cause a huge fight because our marriage is already suffering as he lives in a different country.

He said he only made me write this down to help me understand the previous condition.
He did not have intention to give me a new one.
By him saying “contract is over”, this seems more final and present tense meaning fulfilling the act would activate talaq???? I know he didnt specify marriage contract however it is implied for we share no other contract and it was in the context of the discussion.
The first one was promise to activate talaq. “I will divorce”

1.Does a new condition start even unintentionally because he made me write it down? Or is it only the first condition, since his intention was to make things simple and clarify for me, as i had been complaining to him about my doubts.

2. Is there perhaps a standard understanding of what cheating is? Zina or adultery is specific but cheating is a western word. Some say flirting is cheating some say finding someone else attractive is cheating..list goes on. However he is trying to tell me he meant physical affair or close to it.

Please know I have no intention to cheat on my husband I love him more than anything and really cant imagine a life without him. I am just very sick with doubts and I wonder how many things may come under the general term cheat. I have doubts if he remembers with full certainty what he meant at the time of the condition when he said “cheat”

JazakaAllahu khair for reading this and answering.. I am really suffering internally and as a result marriage is very weak. Cannot ask husband again for it will make him very angry.

Answer

Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Divorce does not take place in the enquired situation. As you have correctly stated, in the first instance, the husband merely promised to activate Talaq, by stating what he will do in future.

In the second instance, since you wrote the word ‘I’ (first person), the statement become yours, and as a wife, you cannot initiate divorce.

The meaning and connotations of Zina can be understood from the following Hadith,

فالعينان زناهما النظر والأذنان زناهما الاستماع واللسان زناه الكلام واليد زناها البطش والرجل زناها الخطا (صحيح مسلم – (4/ 2047)

“The Zina of the eye is the (lustful) look, the Zina of the ears is the listening (to voluptuous songs or talk), the Zina of the tongue is (the licentious) speech, the Zina of the hand is the (lustful) grip, the Zina of the feet is the walking (to the place where he intends to commit Zina).

In short, Islam does not merely prohibit adultery. Rather, Islam prohibits anything that may lead to adultery. Thus, flirting will definitely fall under the ambit of Zina. In ‘Urf (social practices) too, flirting is considered as cheating.

For now, forget about those statements of your husband and try your best to be loyal to him.

 

References

بخلاف قوله كنم لأنه استقبال فلم يكن تحقيقا بالتشكيك في المحيط لو قال بالعربية أطلق لا يكون طلاقا إلا إذا غلب استعماله للحال فيكون طلاق (الفتاوى الهندية (1/ 384)