The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Divorce

1 Question: A woman, who is not obedient to her husband and does not carry out her matrimonial obligations, had, without his consent, left her matrimonial home and stayed with her parents for seven months. She, then went to a non-Islamic court, filed a divorce application, and demand maintenance and custody of the infant children. Has such a woman, who has violated her marital duties, any right in anything from her husband?
Answer: The said woman is not entitled to shari'i maintenance. As for her dowry and her right in nursing her offspring for the hawlayn (the two years), it should not be forfeited by virtue of nushouz (recalcitrance of the woman toward her husband).
2 Question: A civil divorce, according to the law of a western country, took place. The husband is adamant not to grant his wife a shari'i divorce, does not provide maintenance for her and not accept mediation. What should the woman do, noting that her patience would certainly wear thin and, eventually, put her in an untenable situation (Haraj)?
Answer: She should seek redress with the Marji' or his deputy. He would advise the husband to choose one of two courses of action: Either pay his wife maintenance money or grant her Islamic divorce, albeit by proxy. Should he choose neither, and that it was not possible to pay maintenance money, the Marji' or his deputy should carry out the divorce .
3 Question: Is it necessary that there be two witnesses when the formula of divorce is being recited?
Answer: The presence of two just Mo'men (believer) male witnesses is required; without their presence the divorce would not be in order.
4 Question: If a mother advises her son to divorce his wife with whom she has differences, is it obligatory upon him to obey her in this matter? What if she says, “You are an ‘ãq (disowned) child, if you do not divorce her”?
Answer: It is not obligatory on him to obey her in this matter, and her statement [about him becoming disobedient] has no effect whatsoever. Of course, as mentioned earlier, it is necessary for him to hold back from any insulting statement or action towards her. He must reconcile with his wife and make sure to do whatever he can to save the marriage.
5 Question: A woman who took divorce from her husband (wedding ceremony was not held and she took Talaq-e-Khula`) in this situation should she perform `Iddah?
Answer: Iddah is not necessary, if no sexual intercourse has taken place.
6 Question: If a Judge (Qazi) did all things for a divorce but didn’t give any certificate or any proof, can she get married again or she may have to wait for any certification or a period ?
Answer: Issuing a certificate is not a prerequisite or condition for the validity of divorce. {Meaning, a certificate issued cannot be enough proof for the validity of divorce}. There should be two just male witnesses and it should be carried out by the husband himself or his representative (wakil).
7 Question: My husband is Sunni and I want to separate from him. If he divorces me without the presence of any witnesses, is the divorce valid.
Answer: Yes, the divorce is valid if it is in accordance to his school of jurisprudence (Madhab).
8 Question: Can one recite a divorce, whilst the two witnesses are not actually present, rather are listening on the phone?
Answer: It is not correct to perform it in such situation (obligatory precaution), rather the two male witnesses must be actually present whilst the divorce is pronounced.
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