Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 4 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439
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I am in love with a woman who married another man. Can I persuade her to divorce him?

I am in love with a woman who married another man. Can I persuade her to divorce him?

Answer

What you feel is not unusual in the sense that you had great hopes that you will share your life and future with this woman and that the two of you will do everything possible to ensure your mutual happiness. The fact that you were not able to realize your dreams still lingers with you and causes you much pain. However, a Muslim must train himself to accept all of life's eventualities and trust God to give him what is better than what he may choose for himself.

In the life of each one of us, certain wishes and hopes are frustrated and we find ourselves unable to take control of what seems to us to be of utmost importance. We, however, try to accept the new situation and make the best of it. As time passes we discover that we are much happier with the way things have turned out. If we are given the opportunity to choose, we would certainly choose to continue what we have rather than our original preferences.

This is the attitude you should adopt in your case. You should resign yourself to the fact that you have missed out on marrying the woman you love and you should supplicate God to give you a better woman for a wife. When you have done this, you should try to forget the matter completely and trust that God will choose for you what is best. This is the proper attitude of a Muslim.

I realize that it is not easy to let go of something that one has cherished as one's dearest hope, but an essential aspect of being a true believer is to accept what God has chosen for us. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) expresses this in his inimitable style when he said: "Accept what God has apportioned for you and you will be richest of people." It will certainly be very wrong of you to try to encourage this woman to seek a divorce so that you could marry her. Try to think of the matter in a reverse order. What if you had married someone on the basis of goodwill and then discovered that someone is trying to get her to seek a divorce? Is it not true this will cause a great deal of trouble in your home and family life?

The least that you expect from your wife in such a situation is to turn a deaf ear to whatever that man says and to avoid him altogether. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "None of you is a true believer unless he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." If you would not want any person to encourage your wife to divorce you, then you must not encourage another woman to seek to divorce her husband. You may protest that she is not happy with him, but this is irrelevant. It may be that all that they need to bring happiness into their home is to give themselves a little longer to understand each other better. Besides, how do you know that she will be happier with you or that you will be happy with her? These matters can only be discovered in time.

Let me tell you that it is forbidden for you to take any action to persuade the woman you love to seek a divorce from her husband. If Islam does not permit a man to make a marriage proposal to a woman who is only engaged to another man, then it certainly does not allow a man to try to get a married woman to seek a divorce to marry someone else.
 

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