What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: are the weddings/ divorces which take place via the courting systems of countries like the UK and America valid? Would it be necessary to have a separate wedding/divorce with the normal Islamic customs? What would be the ruling of a divorce which took place via these courting systems?

Questioner: A sister from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

In the court of any Islamic country or in the court system of England, the legislation of a wedding or divorce will take place if it is in accordance to the shari’ah. In other words, if in the presence of two Muslim witnesses; a baligh man and a baligh woman perform the ijaab (offer) and qabool (acceptance) the Nikah will be valid, with the condition that nothing else that contravenes the shari’ah has taken place.

Similarly, if a baligh man gives divorce to his wife then the divorce will have taken place, whether it was given in Pakistan or in the courts of England; divorce will have taken place. However, for the divorce to actually happen it is necessary that the man divorce his wife; if the man did not give divorce to his wife then the divorce ruling of the courts is invalid regardless whether that be a court of Pakistan or England. This is because Allah Almighty has only given the husband the authority to issue a divorce. As He the Almighty says- بِیَدِہٖ عُقْدَۃُ النِّکَاحِؕ   – the marriage tie is in the hand of the husband.

It is also stated in a blessed hadith;

إِنَّمَا الطَّلَاقُ لِمَنْ أَخَذَ بِالسَّاقِ

“The right of the divorce is for the one who takes hold of the calf of the woman (i.e who has physical relations with her).” Concluding, the ascendancy of giving divorce is only given to the husband.

[Sunan Ibn e Maja, Book on Talaaq, Hadith 2081 P152]

It was asked to Sayyidi Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (may Allah have mercy upon him); if Zaid’s wife Hindah brought people as witnesses in a court case to get divorced issued, can she now get married again? Imam Ahmed Raza Khan replied; if Zaid did not issue the divorce and Hindah brought false witnesses to get the divorce certificate or if Zaid gave Talaq e Raj’i before the completion of the iddah period and took her back, then for Hindah to get married again is totally impermissible (haram) and any interactions she has will fall under committing (zina).

[Fatawa Ridawiyyah, Part 12, Page 476]

From this we come to know that if the husband does not issue the divorce, then divorce issued by the courts are irrelevant and invalid.

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haroon Raza

Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0498] Are the marriages and divorces that have taken place in the UK Courts Islamically valid?

Also see:

[Q-ID0779] A Husband and Wife have been living separately for 2 years, has this caused them to be classed as divorced?

[Q-ID0421] I remarried after hearing my Husband died, he is actually alive, whose wife am I?

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