Monday, November 20, 2017 - 2 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

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I conducted my marriage contract without consummating it. Now the bride requests a divorce. What are her rights in Islamic law?

I conducted my marriage contract without consummating it. Now the bride requests a divorce. What are her rights in Islamic law?

Answer

Divorce before consummation of marriage is final.

A wife's unilateral request for divorce

A woman is entitled to those rights that she and her spouse agree upon if she requests divorce. In such a case, she attends the divorce sitting and absolves her husband of all or some of her rights that are prescribed by Islamic law.

Divorce through khul'

A wife whose husband does not wish to divorce her and who is granted a divorce through khul' [divorce initiated by the wife in return for remuneration to the husband] is to return to him both the advanced portion of her mahr [dowry] which includes the shabka [the gift that the groom traditionally gives his fiancée, usually jewelry] and the items included in the registry of furniture and absolve him of the deferred portion of the dowry.

Divorce in absentia

A wife who does not attend the divorce sitting and is divorced in absentia, is entitled to half of the agreed upon mahr (its advanced and deferred portions). This includes half of the shabka which the husband has presented her since it is considered part of the mahr as well as the household furnishings which he has promised to purchase or which he has indeed purchased since it constitutes the rest of her mahr and is therefore her right. Additionally, she is entitled to the furnishings which she or her guardian have purchased, all of which belong exclusively to her. God the Almighty says: “And if you divorce them before consummation, but after the fixation of a dower for them, then half of the dower (is due to them), unless they remit it or (the man's half) is remitted by him in whose hands is the marriage tie” [2: 237].
God the Almighty knows best.
 

Related links
» What is the ruling of Islamic law if a person is uncertain whether he has divorced his wife or not?
» When does the divorce effectively take place?
» What is the legal precinct for the alimony of a divorced woman?
» The ruling for an unregistered divorce in the presence of witnesses
» Keeping contact with my former spouse is necessary. How should I deal with him?