Divorce

Divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. Divorce usually entails the canceling or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the bonds of matrimony between a married couple under the rule of law of the particular country or state. Divorce laws vary considerably around the world, but in most countries divorce requires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process, which may involve issues of distribution of property, child custody, alimony (spousal support), child visitation / access, parenting time, child support, and division of debt.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 week ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. Below is the response from the office of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi (hA)

May you always be successful:

Wa Alaykum Assalaam

If the Talaq formula is recited with all its conditions, Talaq is valid and she can get married after Iddah period. 

Issue No.2135- A man who divorces his wife must be sane, and as an obligatory precaution, he must also be mature, and he should divorce her out of his will. Hence, if someone compels him to divorce his wife, the divorce will be void. It is also necessary that he seriously intends to divorce. If, therefore, he pronounces the formula of divorce sarcastically, the divorce will not be valid.

Issue No.2136- Based on obligatory precaution, the formula for divorce should be pronounced in correct Arabic, and it is obligatory that two just men hear it. If the husband himself wishes to pronounce the formula for divorce, and his wife’s name is for example, Fatima, he should say:
زَوْجَتِي فاطِمَةُ طالِقٌ
“Zawjatī Fatima Ṭāliq”
(My wife Fatima is divorced)
And if he appoints another person as his representative to pronounce the formula of divorce, the representative should say:
زَوْجَةُ مُوَکِّلِي فاطِمَةُ طالِقٌ
“Zawjatu Muwakkilī Fatima Ṭāliq”
(Fatima, the wife of my client is divorced).

Issue No.2137- It is necessary that at the time of divorce, the woman is pure from ḥayḍ (menstrual blood) and nifās (lochia or birth bleeding), and that the husband should not have had sexual intercourse with her during that period of purity, and if he had sexual intercourse with his wife while she was in ḥayḍ or nifās preceded by purity, the divorce is not sufficient as an obligatory precaution, rather she should enter ḥayḍ once again and become pure, and then she can be divorced. (The details of these two conditions will be given in the succeeding issues).

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 week ago

Bismihi ta'ala

No, it is not the shar'i responsibility of a male relative to take care of a single female relative after she gets divorced. 

If the relatives wish to do this out of good will, and for the sake of God, then that is a good thing and they will be rewarded for it. Of course, in the case of a woman getting divorced and her not having any immediate family, it is important that her kin support and take care of her and not leave her alone. 

With prayers for your success. 

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 1 month ago

Technically you are married (even if psychologically or socially you are single), so if you want to marry someone else, you should first get a divorce, and then observe iddah if necessary.

Istikhara is not appropriate for a thing which is inherently forbidden (and to marry someone else while you are married is forbidden).

This is why it is not a good idea to let a nikah without an actual marriage hang for a long time, whether it is as an engagement or after marriage. Of course it happens and I am not saying it is your fault personally, as usually it is the fault of society, but I am just saying it is not a healthy situation.

Anyway I hope you can resolve your marital situation soon (or, rather, dissolve it, if that is your intent).
 

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 month ago

Bismihi ta'ala 

It is very sad that at times of divorce the Quranic method of dealing with it is not observed. The holy Quran says  in Surah al-Baqarah, verse 229, 'tasrih bi ihsan', which means to part ways with "grace". 

Unfortunately, we can sometime see that for whatever reason the husband, his family, or at times the wife and her family wish to forget any good and pursue not only to oppress their spouse, but to become vengeful and spiteful towards them. One way of doing this is through money, or for the husband to misuse his authority by withholding from divorce until he gets what he wants. 

In this case it is gifts. 

It is not just an issue of it being permissible for the husband to demand gifts, or refuse to give back what he owes. If he has such a state of mind, then unfortunately he is not interest in doing good or being graceful, and he would not care if he is doing dhulm

If you are in an Islamic country, with an Islamic judiciary system, then you can pursue this by the Islamic courts. 

If you are not in an Islamic country, you need to weigh out the situation and try as much as you can not to allow the husband to keep you in limbo and not grant the shar'i divorce. 

If family negotiations are to no avail, you should think of the option of mediating a qualified religious scholar who might be able to convince him of how to deal with this in a righteous and noble way. 

If the husband refuses to cooperate, demanding the return of the gifts and refusing the pay back owing money, then if it is within your ability to hand them over, in return for your shar'i divorce, then that would be an easy way to bring this to an end. 

If what he is demanding is beyond your capacity, or the husband changes his mid, or anything else, then the next step is for you to contact a religious authority. 

With prayers for your success. 

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. This in itself is not a valid reason for divorce, however, in this situation it may be wise to seek relationship counsilling if it is bothering you a lot.

May you always be successful 

 

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

Islam does not allow injustice from any one on any one. Husband has no right to abuse his wife or deprive her from any of her rights as a wife. If the husband does not fear God and insists on doing wrong to his wife, she will then has the right to refer her case to the Islamic authority (Haakim al-Shariah who is the Marji' of Taqleed or his deputy) who orders the husband either to provide his wife with all her rights or to free her by divorce. If the husband refuses both options, Haakim al-Shariah then divorces her with out consent of her abusive husband and releases her from such harming husband.

Wife does not need to return her Mahr in such case.

There is a type of Talaq called Khul'a in which the wife does not like her husband and wants to be divorced from him and gives him an amount just to divorce her. That amount can be the Mahr or less or more. If the husband agrees to take that amount to divorce her, that Talaq is called Khul'a and it is a final Talaq with no return.

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

Iddah of Talaq (Waiting period after Talaq) is Must on her no matter how long she is separated from her husband as far as the marriage was consummated. Iddah starts immediately from the time of Talaq and it goes on for three periods of menstruation. 

If marriage was never consummated, and Talaq was declared, then there will be no Iddah.

Wassalam.

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Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 2 months ago

The classical/traditional ruling is that a woman has a limited right to divorce.

In practice, I have never seen a marriage which stayed together because a woman legally "can't divorce". If a marriage breaks down to that degree, there is usually a separation (either the wife leaves the home, or the husband leaves the home, or both agree to separate).

The shariah aspect informs what happens next - sadly, what sometimes happens is that the man refuses to grant the wife a divorce out of revenge, he moves on and marries another wife, and the woman is trapped being married to him in name only. Then, she puts forward a lot of effort to get a shariah divorce from the non-marriage, and oftentimes this is accomplished after some time (sometimes years) and with a lot of disillusionment.

The point being, at any rate, that if a marriage is unbearable, people won't stay together because of this particular law.

Regarding emotional intelligence, individuals vary. There are men with good emotional intelligence and men with low emotional intelligence. The same with women.

However, given the social pressures on women, women tend to have very acute survival skills in these matters. Most women in Muslim societies or communities in which divorce is stigmatized are acutely aware of the stigma of divorce and how it will disadvantage them or their children socially and financially and do not rush into it by any means. This stigma is cultural and not an original part of Islam; when you read hadith from the time of the Prophet (S),  you see that  it was not unusual for women to be widowed or divorced and to expect to remarry; the stigma against it in some societies is more of a modern thing. (Maybe things are changing these days, at least a few decades ago there was in some places a lot of stigma.) This is not to say that men won't suffer stigma - this also varies from society to society - but in general women tend to suffer more from divorce socially and financially, especially if they were a financial dependent.

(Exceptions may apply! I am just speaking in general here not for every specific case. Women, like men, also vary in their level of interest in being committed to a marriage.)

Anyway, regarding divorce law, there are some individuals in this day and age who are giving it another look. This is not dissimilar to how certain laws in the past were given another look, such as laws regarding the purity/impurity of Ahl al-Kitab.

In the meantime, one can work around this by granting the woman the right to divorce at the time the marriage contract is performed. (Sadly, again, this is often not enough to guarantee that a woman will be able to get the assistance needed for divorce, except in places where Shia Islamic marriage contracts are legally enforced, such as Iran, but at least it is something.) Maybe in the coming decades there will be some more dialogue on this issue.

Of course we hope that everyone has successful marriages and doesn't need to divorce! This is just a precaution. 

Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 months ago

All the rules in real Islam of the Prophet and his Holy Progeny ( Ahlul Bayt) (SAWA) are based on the absolute wisdom for the benefit of human beings. Allah, His messenger and Ahlul Bayt, know the full reasons for every rule. We might know little bit but we firmly believe in the Absolute Wisdom, Knowledge and Mercy of Allah. That is why we do not argue and never question why after our faith in Allah's Mercy, Knowledge and Wisdom.

No doubt, divorce being the most unwelcome act, should not be given to woman who is more emotional than man. Islam aims to decrease chances of divorce being breaking the families. Conditions for valid divorce in Islam are many and not very easy to achieve immediately. The aim is to discourage emotional divorces.
'Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 months ago

Intimate acts which do not include sexual intercourse do not mean that the marriage has been consummated. Marriage is consummated when sexual intercourse takes place. If there was no sexual intercourse, there will be no Iddah after divorce. Obviously you will then be entitled of half of the agreed Mahr, while if marriage was consummated, you will be entitled to the full Mahr.

Wassalam.

Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 2 months ago

Bismihi ta'ala

If the marriage has not been consummated, there will be no 'iddah for divorce and the wife will be entitled to half the mahr. 

Consummating means sexual intercourse, and so there would be 'iddah if  (1) there is intercourse, or (2) the husband's seminal fluid (somehow) entered the wife's vagina.

And Allah knows best. 

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 2 months ago

Bismihi ta'ala

Because the marriage was consummated, you would need to observe 'iddah of divorce. As for informing elders, that would be at your discretion. 

And Allah knows best.