A woman is granted a divorce in U.S court. Since the judge was not a Muslim man, is she divorced in the eyes of Allah?

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A Muslim woman wants a divorce form her husband but he refuses to give her an Islamic divorce. The woman subsequently goes to a U.S state court and gets a divorce. Although the US court had granted her a divorce, her husband insists she is not divorced in the eyes of Allah since the court was a non Muslim court and the judge was not a Muslim man as well as they were not US citizens. Is the husband correct?


The divorce issued by the US court is not a Shar’ee Talaaq. The woman is still married to her husband. We advise that marital dispute be resolved according to the Shari?ah as follows:

As far as possible, a divorce should be avoided. However, after exhausting all avenues of reconciliation, as a last resort, Allah says, ‘Keep with principle or release with principle’. If the husband and wife cannot fulfill their respective duties to one another, then instead of committing a sin of violating one another’s rights, they should separate. The husband should release his wife with principle by giving her divorce. In such a situation, if a wife seeks for a divorce, she will not be sinful. If the husband refuses to divorce her, she may make Khula, i.e. offer to repay her dowry to him in lieu of him granting her the divorce. If the husband is still spiteful and withholds the divorce, the woman may contact the Úlamaa (scholars) of her locality who are well versed with judiciary principles of Islam requesting them to annul the marriage.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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