QuestionsCategory: DivorceHow to file a divorce
Syed Imran Ahmed asked 7 months ago
Assalam-o-alikum Dear Imam, I want to request you to guide me what is the Islamic way of filing a divorce to my wife. I moved to Michigan last year after my wife and kids left me last year June. I have been trying to reconcile and actually moved in with them once during this time but they kicked me out again after 2 months. My daughters love me but they don't want their parents to live together anymore and my wife is also not assuring me of anything. I need some guidance, please help me. It is hard for me to live my life like this, alone, my parents currently staying with me for moral support. We were married in Pakistan and lived in California for 12 years, moved to Houston in 2021. My wife went to Indiana in 2022 and I came to Michigan. Sincerely Imran
1 Answers
Mufti Wahaaj answered 7 months ago

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

الجواب حامداً ومصلياً

As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa-raḥmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

We sympathize with your situation and pray that Allāh allows a swift resolution to your divorce and allows you to move on with your life in a manner filled with peace, tranquility, and connection to Allāh.

Before addressing your question, some preliminary points should be understood:

Civil Law vs. Islāmic Law

Muslims living in secular countries are subject to two sets of laws – the laws of the country of their residence and the laws of Islām, known as the Sharīʿah. Generally, the laws of secular countries are more broad, whereas the laws of Islām are more narrow. In other words, the laws of a secular country may allow a person to do something, but actually doing that thing remains forbidden for Muslims.

For example, it is legal in Canada to buy, sell, and drink alcohol. Despite this “right”, it is still forbidden for a Muslim to engage in any of these activities. Similarly, it is legal to participate in interest-bearing transactions, but this remains forbidden for Muslims. In summary, Muslims are bound to adhere to a specific code of conduct (Islām) that they will be answerable for, not in the court of their country, but in the court of Allāh ﷻ.

Civil Marriages vs. Islāmic Marriages

At other times, civil and Islāmic law remain in two distinct spheres with no overlap. A prime example of this is marriage. It is possible for a couple to have a civil marriage but not be married Islāmically and vice versa. It is also possible for a couple to be married both civilly and Islāmically. However, each type of marriage requires a distinct process, and the dissolution of one does not necessitate the dissolution of the other.[1] A civil judge only has jurisdiction over the civil realm. His rulings do not have Sharʿī weight. His ruling that a marriage has occurred or ended does not have any effect on the marriage in the eyes of Allāh. Similarly, an imām ruling on an Islāmic marriage does not hold weight in civil law. His performing a nikāḥ or giving a fatwā that a divorce has occurred does not affect the civil status of the marriage in any way. For that, one will have to avail the legal system.

Your Question

The only thing required for an Islāmic divorce to take place is that a husband says, “I divorce you” or, in the case that she is not present, “I divorce my wife.” Words equivalent to divorce such as “ṭalāq” have the same ruling.[2] If this occurs, the couple is divorced in the court of Allāh. A certificate is not a requirement for the validity of an Islāmic divorce. However, there is no harm in filing for a civil divorce after an Islāmic divorce has been issued.

Additionally, an Islāmic divorce will also take place if you file a civil divorce and intend an Islāmic divorce at the same of signing the civil divorce decree.[3]

والله تعالى أعلم وعلمه أتم وبه التوفيق And Allāh Taʿālā Knows Best Muftī Mohammed Wahaajuddin bin Salauddin (May Allāh forgive him and his parents) --


قال الله تعالى: ولَن يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ سَبِيلًا. سورة النساء: ١٤١

الحيلة الناجزة مع جديد إضافات، ص١٧، دار الاشاعت، م٢٠١٨

اگر دعویٰ دائر کریں تو بعض دفعہ حاکم غیر مسلم اس کا فیصلہ کرتا ہے جو شرعاً نافذ نہیں ہوتا

كفاية المفتي، موجودہ دور حکومت میں حاکم غیر  مسلم کو نکاح فسخ کرنے کا اختیار ہے یا نہیں؟، ج٦ ص١٦٦، دار الاشاعت

اگر غیر مسلم حاکم نکاح فسخ کردے تو عورت آزاد نہ ہو گی  اور دوسرا نکاح نہ کر سکے گی


الفتاوى الهندية، كتاب الطلاق، الباب الأول، ج١ ص٣٤٨، مطبعة الكبرى

(أما تفسيره) شرعا فهو رفع قيد النكاح حالا أو مآلا بلفظ مخصوص كذا في البحر الرائق (وأما ركنه) فقوله: أنت طالق. ونحوه كذا في الكافي.

رد المحتار، كتاب الطلاق، ج٣ ص٢٤٨، سعيد

في الدر المختار: (صريحه ما لم يستعمل إلا فيه) ولو بالفارسية (كطلقتك وأنت طالق ومطلقة)