Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
My sister wants to divorce her husband. What is the process of asking for khula, and what are the words which need to be said between the husband and wife for this to take effect?
If the husband does not agree to khula, on what grounds can my sister visit a mufti and ask for the dissolution of the marriage? What evidence would she need to provide of her bad treatment at the hands of her husband?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Requesting a Divorce
A khul’ is a request for divorce in exchange for money but is specific to wording in Arabic. She is essentially asking for a divorce and offering something like the mahr she received in exchange.
She can ask for an irrevocable divorce without offering anything. If he does so, the matter is done. Otherwise, if he accepts divorce in exchange for something, she can say, “Give me one irrevocable divorce in exchange for £xxx.” He would then say, “I divorce you for this amount of money.”
The amount cannot be more than the mahr he gave her when they married; if he’s at fault, he’s sinful to take it. [Maydani, al-Lubab]
Getting a Marriage Annulled
If her husband does not agree, and he is within his right not to do so, she can approach a Shari’a Council. Depending on the situation, they will ask for the grounds and usually ask for witnesses or some other form of proof.
She can approach them if he has not been providing for her financially, or has not been fulfilling her rights about intimacy, or if he has been abusive towards her. They will have their criteria.
Look For a Resolution
I realize I don’t know the specifics of the situation. However, it would be worth looking for a solution other than divorce – especially if they have children. Have they tried getting someone involved to help resolve the issues?
Abuse is a form of zulm, and it should not be tolerated. Sometimes there are irreconcilable differences, so the Shari’a has opened the door of divorce. However, sometimes, people can work to rectify matters when they realize what is at stake.
Maybe some time apart will help. Allah says, “If they both want a reconciliation, then Allah will facilitate it.” [Quran, 4:35] Sometimes, encouraging both parties to take a step back and try to resolve matters once the stress of a situation wears off helps the matter. However, it is better for them to part if there is abuse or they are screaming at each other.
Whatever the outcome is, may Allah facilitate matters for all of you.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.