Rights upon a woman who sought divo...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Rights upon a woman who sought divorce in return for reimbursement of her dowry


What are the rights upon a woman who seeks to separate from her husband by paying back a portion of her dowry?



What is Khul'a

In the Shari'ah, khul'a means the cancellation of the marriage contract in return for a remuneration [given to the husband] and effected by the pronouncement of the statement for khul'a. All scholars — past and present — maintain that this kind of separation is legally permissible and base this permissibility on the following verse from the Qur`an:

It is not lawful for you to take back anything that you have given [your wives], except where both fear that they cannot maintain [the marriage] within the bounds set by Allah: if you [arbiters] suspect that the couple may not be able to do this, then there is no blame on either of them if the woman opts to give something for her release [2:229]

In addition, the permissibility for khul'a is based on the hadith narrated by Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) who said that Thabit Ibn Qays' wife approached the prophet and said: " 'O Messenger of Allah! I do not find blame with Thabit Ibn Qays in anything concerning his character or faith, but I dislike to disobey the teachings of Islam'. The prophet said: 'Do you agree to give him back the garden he gave you as mahr [En. dowry]?' She said: 'Yes'. The prophet then told Thabit: 'O Thabit! Accept the garden, and divorce her' " [Bukhari].

Islam respects Customs and Culture

It has been established that the customs which do not contradict the venerable Shari'a are among the integrals of the Islamic legislations due the statement of Ibn Mas'ud (may Allah be pleased with them both) who said: "What Muslims deem to be good is good in the eyes of Allah, and what Muslims deem to be offensive, is offensive in the eyes of Allah" [Ahmed]. The jewelry customarily presented to the bride and which is known as shabka is usually considered part of the dowry.

The Ruling

The wife who wishes to be separated from her husband in return for a remuneration, must return to him the dowry he gave her (this includes the shabka, the marriage payment received in advance, and the wife's belongings which he had given her) and to waive her future right to financial support during the 'idda [En. waiting period] and amenity payment.
Allah, the Almighty, knows best.
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