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Sania Khan's Story & the Stigma of Divorce

Radiyah Beyah

A tragic event took place on July 18, 2022, when Sania Khan (rahimahullah) was murdered by her ex-husband.This was a callout for the Muslim Community to wake up and shed light on Sania’s story, so that her voice could no longer be silenced. Salams app created an instacollage overlaying important messages relative to Sania Khan’s case. The most popular message that, that Divorce in Islam is Permissible, the stigma is cultural. We want to take the time to elaborate the multiple messages within this collage.

Who was Sania?

     I am Sania Khan, we are Sania Khan. As a Muslim Ummah when one of us experiences something we all should feel it. Sania Khan had to endure a toxic relationship that resulted in her demise. She asked for aid from friends and family members but she didn’t receive it. No one listened and no one offered her aid. As a Muslim woman, I feel greatly sadened and affected by her story. 

       So what was her story? Who was Sania Khan? Sonia Khan was a positive force of nature within the Muslim community; a true advocate against the stigma of divorce. When Sania sought help to end her toxic marriage with Ahmed Raheel, she had little support from her family and community. Sania did not survive her toxic relationship and after attempting to escape from her ex-husband, he killed her.  

Her ex-husband, 36-year-old Raheel Ahmad, traveled to Chicago from his home in Georgia to “salvage the marriage,” the outlet reported. There, he killed Khan and then turned the gun on himself, Chicago police said.

 Inna-lil-laah-wa-inna-ilayhi-rajoon. May Allah bless Sania Khan with the highest of Jannah! Ameen

       Sania tried asking for help and she expressed how tormented she felt through this post. Her statement above exemplifies the treatment she experienced. How she felt ridiculed and mistreated by her peers. This is also how women all over the world feel regardless of their cultural background. Women who seek a divorce are seen as the perpetrators. There must be something wrong with them. All of their flaws are put on display and they can’t keep their husband happy because they are extremely flawed. They can’t be grateful that they have a husband regardless of how he treats them. Toxic ideals such as these cause when to fall into despair and Islam does not teach us to think like this. The Quran never instructs us to blame women who seek a divorce, because they felt unsafe with their husband. The Quran never encourages men to abuse their wives. 


 As mentioned in Surah Baqarah verse 228. 

Divorced women must wait three monthly cycles ˹before they can re-marry˺. It is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs,1 if they ˹truly˺ believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands reserve the right to take them back within that period if they desire reconciliation. Women have rights similar to those of men equitably, although men have a degree ˹of responsibility˺ above them. And Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. Verse 228

 The above verse directly addresses the separation between a man and a woman, and tells us how we should go about it. There is a Surah named after divorce, surah Talaq, that provides more instruction on the matter. There is not a verse in the Quran that tells us to persecute those who are unable to continue their marital relationship; this is purely cultural ignorance and innovation.

The Stigmatization and condemnation of women killed Sania Khan. We cannot let the stigma of divorce claim another victim. Rather than stigmatize divorced women, support them. Protect them. Love them. No woman should be ignored when seeking help. No woman should ever tolerate abuse in any form.Our thoughts and prayers are with her. May Allah grant her the highest level of Jannah!

Since the persecution of divorcees is widely practiced amongst all cultures, and people have accepted it as a social norm. This social norm is put into practice generation after generation. Women often fear that their parents will abandon them and that they will be placed in obscurity. We need to change this stigmatization and give women who face divorce the kind treatment so that they can heal and move forward.

Islam Does Not Promote Violence

The Prophet Muhammad, May Peace and Blessings be Upon Him, is the example of what a Muslim should be. As muslims, we follow his example which was that of nonviolence towards women.  

Aisha (RadiyaAllahuAnha) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) never struck anything with his hand, neither a woman nor a servant…”(Sahih Muslim 2328)

Divorce in Islam


         Allah stipulates the manner a Muslim should divorce.In the Quran it states, “Separate with Kindness.” (Surah Baqarah, 2:229)

Islam is about peace and finding your other half. Islam promotes finding your true love. If the Prophet (SAW) sanctioned divorce, it is wrong for the Muslim community to treat divorcees with prejudice and contempt. In most cases women are the subjects of ridicule and are often shunned by their families and their peers. In most cases when they first experience the aggression of their spouses they turn to their families for help, but  they are encouraged to endure and persevere despite the extenuating circumstances. Their mother’s tell them to endure it, because that is what they have done. Their fathers tell them that their husbands have rights over them, and completely disregard the fact that women have rights over their husband as well. 

Do Not Stigmatize Divorced Women

Society has perceived divorce in the sense that if a husband had decided to divorce his wife, she would be labeled as a difficult woman. This should not be the case, women categorizing other women and father’s who don’t safeguard their daughters are prevalent. Some Muslims parents even forcefully marry off their daughter’s off as soon as they reach puberty.  This is not the Sunnah of our Prophet and it needs to stop. Thousands of Muslim women suffer everyday, and it is because our society refuses to see women for the Jewels they are. There is a whole Surah named after women Surah (An-Nisa) and yet they are treated so carelessly. We must make a change and turn to the Quran and Sunnah, so that we can put an end to the generational pain and suffering. We can prevent incidents like that of Sania Khan, by simply following the way of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).


  Sania was one of the many victims of societal persecution. Society did not treat her as the Jewel she was. Women are jewels that should be cherished and safeguarded by society. Jewels are not defenseless of course. Jewels have sharp edges that can cut like a knife. However they have great value, and we need to value our women. We need to teach our sons to value their wives. We will work towards making sure that Sania is the last victim of societal neglect. As a community we need to make sure we create a safe space for women who are victims of domestic abuse. 


Domestic abuse is a disease that has spread for far too long. Every disease has a cure, the cure is in the Quran, in Surah’s like Surah Hujuraat, in which Allah tells us that we are brothers and sisters in Islam. We must cherish and be kind to one another. We cannot leave our sisters to become victims of brutality and hostility. We have to show kindness, understanding and love. We will create a safe environment in which a sister can ask for help, without the fear of being judged, ridiculed, and gossiped about. Follow the Sunnah, love your sister in Islam, become the community Sania Khan needed. 

Please be sure to contact the appropriate resources, if you ever feel unsafe in your marriage. 

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