The Family Court in Jeddah issued a divorce (khula) ruling in favor of a Saudi woman in her 20s, after her husband, in his fifties, was found guilty of verbally and physically abusing her and also forcing her to smoke hashish.
An informed judicial source revealed 80 percent of khula cases at family courts are due to the husband’s drug abuse.
According to the source, the Family Court in Jeddah received a complaint from a citizen against her husband, and a request for khula due to her husband’s physical violence, consumption of hashish, and pressure on her to use the drug.
Every time she refused, he beat her and mouthed obscenities and threatened to take her children, the source said, noting she would return to him every time out of fear for her children.
The plaintiff provided a copy of a medical report from King Fahad Hospital indicating her health condition after she was physically abused by her husband, the source said.
The judge confronted the husband which he denied, but when he was shown the medical report, he admitted to hitting her, claiming this was due to her constant outings in the late hours of the night. The judge ordered investigations to find out if he had any criminal past, which revealed he had been jailed twice for consuming alcohol and hashish.
Lawyer and legal adviser Ahmed Al-Qahtani said: “The Shariah puts in place specific conditions that must apply to the husband in order for khula to be accepted, because the marriage contract cannot be undone unless certain conditions are met such as being stingy, dealing with the wife in an unsatisfactory and abusive manner, refusing to pray or fast, or using drugs.”
“If the husband refuses to divorce, the wife has the right to request khula through the court, but the judge first refers the couple to the family mediation office. In case one or both parties do not comply, the committee provides a report informing the court that mediation was not successful, and the judge approves khula, granting children’s custody to the wife, and forces the husband to pay support money.”
In this specific case, the wife also has the right to bring charges against her husband for physically abusing her.