A man is set to be summoned to court in Saudi Arabia after his wife claimed he called her a ‘cow’ and a ‘donkey’.

The woman filed the lawsuit with the penal court, which issued an official document to the local mayor asking him to summon the husband to a hearing.

According to the court, 25 per cent of suits it deals with are concerned with verbal abuse and racial slurs, distracting from more serious criminal charges.

The Saudi Gazette quoted lawyer Saleh Al-Ghamdi as saying that verbal abuse recorded on social media is also a crime.

He added: ‘Such futile crimes should not be taken to the penal court as the court is busy dealing with far more serious issues.

‘It has become a phenomenon that people take their own relatives to court for futile matters when the issue could have easily been resolved outside the court.’

Before the case goes before the penal court, however, it will first be taken to a reconciliation committee in an attempt to avoid the need for legal action.

But if that does not succeed, it will proceed to the penal court.