Due to the financial responsibilities which he has to bear, the right to divorce in Islam is primarily given to the husband. A Muslim who wishes to divorce his wife is therefore advised – in the first instance – to ask for an arbitration meeting, arranged by elders of the couple so that a reconciliation may be reached. If such efforts fail and the man sincerely thinks he cannot live a harmonious life with his wife, he may divorce her either verbally or in writing. In both cases, it is recommended for there to be two witnesses present on the occasion of the pronouncement of such a divorce.

A man should (a) divorce only once and (b) only during the time when his wife is not on her menses and (c) there has been no sexual contact with her since the time of her last menses.

After a divorce is pronounced by a husband, his wife must wait for a given period (‘iddat’). During this period, the wife is allowed to stay in the same house, but they can not have sexual relation amongst them.The man is allowed to take her back either verbally saying “I TAKE YOU BACK“, or physically, by having intimate relation with her. if, after this waiting period, the husband fails to take his wife back, then the wife is completely divorced, and must leave the matrimonial home immediately.

It is also recommended to have two witnesses present in the case, where the husband decides to take back (‘ruju’) his wife, before the end of the iddat.

Where a man has pronounced three divorces, on three different occasions, he can neither take back his former wife, nor remarry her.

The Council issues a divorce certificate on the basis of “talaq nama”, signed by the applicant in the presence of two witnesses. The man is required to pay the dower amount in full to the woman.


1. All new and prospective clients, must download the Talaq Form, fill it in and post or E-Mail to the Islamic Shari’a Council, detailing the main reasons for their (the applicant) seeking a divorce.

2. Upon obtaining a fully completed application form with the relevant details from the applicant – amongst which is included a contact address for the wife, and a copy of the client’s passport, nikkah nama / civil marriage certificate, decree nisi / absolute – the Council will register the application. An application will not be registered if any details or documents requested on the application form are not included on or with a submitted application form.

3. The Council will then send a talaq nama to the husband. He must sign this in front of two witnesses and return it to the Council.

4. The Council keeps the wife of the proceedings by letter. The letter notifies the wife that she has a period of thirty days in which to respond. If the Council receives no response from the wife within this period, the Council will then ask the husband to (a) verify the address of his wife, and (b) ensure that the full amount of dower – agreed at time of marriage – has been paid in full: the Council will only consider the full amount of dower to have been paid by the husband, where this amount is indentical to the full dower amount, as originally specified at the time of marriage.

5. After all of the above stages have been reached, the Council will issue two original copies of Islamic divorce; one will be sent, with the dower amount, by post to the woman, and one copy will be forwarded to the applicant.

  • The Council conducts Islamic divorces only
  • It does not conduct cases as part of the UK legal or judicial systems
  • For advice regarding a civil divorce, please consult a qualified, legal representative.


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