A Muslim who wishes to divorce his wife is 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 divorce (a) only once, (b) only during the time when his wife is not on her menses, and (c) when there has been no sexual contact with her since the time of her last menses.
After a divorce is pronounced by the husband, his wife must wait for a given period of 3 months or 3 menstrual cycles (‘iddat’). During this period, the wife is allowed to stay in the same house and the husband is responsible for her welfare and maintenance. He may choose during the Iddat to reconcile with her, in a process known as Ruju’. This can be a verbal statement or resuming normal marital life. If, after this waiting period, the husband fails to take his wife back, then the couple are completely divorced.
It is also recommended to have two witnesses present when 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.
PROCEDURE FOR TALAQ
1. All new and prospective clients, must download the Talaq Form, complete it, and post or email it to the Islamic Shari’a Council, detailing the main reasons for the application.
2. Upon obtaining a fully completed application form with the relevant details from the applicant 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.
3. The Council will contact the wife by email, post and phone to inform her of the divorce application. She will be asked if she has any financial claims of Mahr and whether she would like mediation. Her response will be conveyed to the husband and the office will act accordingly. Please note that the Quran mandates mediation in such circumstances so we will offer joint meetings with both parties.
4. If the wife does not respond to any of our attempts at contact, we will ask the husband to provide proof of her residence . Whatsapp and Facebook can also be used.
5. If mediation is not required by both parties or is unsuccesful, and the Mahr has been paid, the office will issue a Talaq document to the husband. The wife will be informed of the date on which this is signed so she can observe Iddat. The document must be signed before 2 witnesses.
6. Once the Iddah has been completed, the office will issue original copies of the Islamic Divorce Certificate to both parties.
Please be aware that this process counts as one Talaq and the couple will be divorced by it. Sharia does not require 3 Talaqs to take place.
- 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.