Peace be upon you. My husband divorced me weeks ago and then he took me back. Now I want to ask for khul` but he has told me that he will not make the same mistakes (namely, not spending on me or providing a house, as I used to pay for everything). However, I do not want to keep living with him. I want to know if it was his right not to give me khul`.
The husband has to spend on his wife. If she asks for khul` after this, he has the right to accept or reject. This is the position of the majority of scholars. The husband does not have to accept the wife’s request for khul`, but it is recommended that he should accept it and not keep her while she is reluctant to stay. But if she insists, the judge should interfere to examine the reason for such schism, whether it is the husband or the wife, and send two arbitrators. Almighty Allah says, “Then, send an arbitrator from his people and another arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will bring about harmony between the two of them.” [4:35] Sending the two arbitrators is very important in the Shari`ah. If it becomes apparent that the husband is responsible for the problem, they can enforce the divorce. If the problem is on the wife’s side, they should ask her to observe the etiquettes of the matrimonial relationship. If no reconciliation takes place, the judge should ask the husband to accept her request for khul`.
Thus the position of the majority of jurists is that the husband does not have to accept khul`. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered Thabit ibn Qays to part from his wife who asked for khul`, and he said to her, “Will you give back his garden to him?” She said, “Yes.” [Sahih al-Bukhary (5273)] This was a recommendation, but not an obligation.