Hadith 247: Ibn `Abbas (May Allah bepleased with them), reported in connection with the case of Barirah (May Allah bepleased with her) and her husband: The Prophet (PBUH) said to her, “It is better for you to go back to your husband.” She asked: “O Messenger of Allah, do you order me to do so?” He replied, “I only intercede” She then said: “I have no need for him”.
Commentary: Barirah (May Allah bepleased with her) was a slave-girl of `Aishah (May Allah bepleased with her). Barirah was married to a slave named Mughith (May Allah bepleased with him).
She was freed by `Aishah (May Allah bepleased with her). Now, Islam has permitted a slave-girl that after being freed, she can break her matrimonial bond if she does not like to live with her husband. Mughith was madly in love with her and he would all the time persuade her not to break their bond of marriage.
When the Prophet (PBUH) came to know the condition of Mughith, he interceded for him and asked Barirah to restore her matrimonial connection with her husband. Since this was an advice and recommendation, she did not think it suitable for herself and regretted that she could not accept it.
The Hadith evidently shows that Islam accepts legitimate rights of individuals and honours personal freedom, provided they do not exceed the limits of Shari`ah.
This freedom cannot be forfeited by suppression or force.
Source: Riyadh Us-Saliheen