A Saudi man accepted the advice of a prominent religious scholar on Saturday and divorced his wife during a live radio program tackling marital issues.
The man phoned the program to complain to Sheikh Ghazi al-Shammari that his wife disobeyed him by travelling without his approval from the Saudi port city of Jeddah to the capital Riyadh for a business conference.
The unnamed man said his wife “offended his manhood.”
He told Shammari that before his marriage he had accepted his wife’s demands to work on condition that work would not interfere with their marital life.
Shammari advised the man to divorce his wife as a punitive measure for “committing such a mistake against her home and husband.”
The husband immediately heeded the advice and divorced her during the live program although Shammari advised him to remarry her if she repents.
Shammari told Al Arabiya that the man’s story was enough for him to issue the advice and stressed that he was convinced his advice was legitimate and not damaging to marital relations.
“The husband called me in my program this afternoon and told me that he was financially capable and did not want his wife to work and that he is having problems with her about this issue for more than 10 years and that he has been patient for long. But the issue has developed to the extent that she would travel without his approval,” Shammari said.
“He was surprised that she sent him a text message from the airport telling him that she was traveling alone... and this is why I advised him to divorce her because she was not obeying her husband, a matter that is very important in Islam.”
“I did not make a mistake with my advice to the man, because what the wife did, travelling without his consent from Jeddah to Riyadh, is a serious matter and a cause for doubt,” He said.
“Such a wife is suspicious because she insisted to travel alone to Riyadh and without ample reason,” the scholar said. I did not rush with the advice because I saw that the issue was dangerous and we should not remain silent more about it.”
(Khaled Shaea contributed to this article from Riyadh.)
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