If you are a man, the Nikkah can be terminated by:
- pronouncing Talaq (divorce) – ‘ I divorce you’, ‘I have divorced you’
- Dhihar – comparing the relationship you have with your wife to a relationship that would be incestuous
- Iyla- by taking an oath not to engage in marital relations and fulfilling the oath for 4 months
- Lia’an- by accusing and starting proceedings against the wife for adultery
If you are woman, you can request a Khula i.e. ask the husband to divorce you. Unless the reason for the khula is the behaviour of the husband, it is normal for the Mahr to be paid back to the husband. For more about Mahr click here.
If the husband refuses to pronounce the Talaq, you can apply to the Sharia Council to issue the Khula.
When is a Nikkah void under Islamic principles?
If any of the core aspects of the Nikkah are breached then the contract is void (as if it never happened). If a subsidiary point is breached, then the Nikkah is open to rectification.
The core points are:
- Whether the parties to the contract could enter into the Nikkah with each other
- Whether offer and acceptance took place
The subsidiary points are:
- Wali or Wakeel
Can you remarry someone after having an Islamic divorce? – The 3 strikes rule
The answer to this depends on how many Talaq’s have taken place. Where there has been 1 pronouncement of talaq (e.g. the husband has said ‘I divorce you’ once) during a time when the wife was not on her period and 3 menstrual cycles have lapsed (the iddah period), the parties will have divorced. However, the parties may remarry with 2 more Talaq’s intact. The parties can go through this process a second time but on the third occasion, the parties will not be able to marry each other again (unless there is a Halala).
If there is reconciliation during the iddah period, this will not be a Talaq/divorce and will not form part of the 3 strikes.
Is my sharia divorce recognised in law in England and Wales?
If your Nikkah is recognised as a legally valid marriage see here, then the law is broadly as follows:
- If your Islamic divorce took place entirely overseas in a country where the Islamic divorce is recognised as a legally valid form of divorce and you complied with the formalities as per the law in that country, you will be legally divorced.
- Otherwise, although you will be divorced under Sharia law, you will still be married under the laws of England and Wales and you will need to apply for a civil divorce.
If you need help with your divorce, we would suggest you contact Madia Aslam or one of our specialist Family team members for more advice.