Claiming Custody Of Children

Question

I have a situation with my former spouse. I had two children with her (I was not a Muslim during this period) and now the relationship has ended. I have followed the laws of our society and have received nothing but heartache in attempts to continue my relationship with my children who remain with her. She has destroyed my relationship with my children purposely and I am not involved in their lives and am the by- product of what is termed \"Severe Parental Alenation\". My question is: Under this term, I could take her to court, prove my case of alienation easily, and quite possibly remove my children (age 14 and 12), by verdict of the court which would remove them from the destruction that she has caused. Custody would go with me. I have read that Allah wishes us not to seek revenge and to find another way and to not let anger be our motivator. But saying so, I need to protect my children also, for this is not a "God fearing" women that they reside with. I feel that I have a duty to my children to introduce and allow them to decide for themselves of what I have discovered through Islam and the way of life as a Muslim. If I do not pursue this in a court of law, my children may be lost to me forever. I do not wish to destroy their mother (she would gladly destroy me if possible) in a court of law with exposure to her tactics but I am torn here on a decision. My family are Christians and they will be very upset with me if I do not pursue legal action to reclaim my relationship with my children. As the Bible states "Turn the other cheek", sometimes I believe this to be a mistake. Is this woman (even though she is the mother of my children) considered my enemy in the scope of Islam and do I have a right under Islam to treat her as such to protect my children. Please know also that counciling has been tried already and she has thwarted this effort to gain a relationship with my children also. This is an extremely tough decision for me. I have asked Allah for guidence but I am not sure I understand the response that I received. The response came from a recent news letter that I actually received from Al- Mawrid the very next morning after I prayed the evening before for guidence, Your help would greatly be appreciated.


Answer

Obviously I do not have the full picture and am not aware of the other side of the story. My answer therefore is only based on the information you gave in your e-mail.

I suggest you should not allow yourself to complicate the picture in your mind by loading it with emotional labels. Forget the expressions like enemy, anger, revenge, etc.

As far as I can see in terms of morals and law this is a very simple situation. As the father you have every right to be able to establish a good and healthy relationship with your children. If your ex-wife does not allow this to happen then this is wrong. If there is a possibility that the two of you could come up with some solutions and agreement after discussing the issue in between then you should do that. If not and if you wish to get your right by going to the court then there is absolutely no problem with this. You are merely using legal facilities that your country of residence have made available for you

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