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Arbitration for marriage

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Moulana Javed ibn Nazir Kachhalia


Salaam alaikum,

A women had been separated from her husband and we had all been led to believe that there would not be any reconciliation, they had been separated around 2 months at the time. This man had treated the lady quite badly and when I learned of her situation I sought to help her, however with the neeyat of doing something good I fear I done something bad, I didn’t seek to separate this man from his wife and children me and her family both thought that this was it. So I proposed marriage to

her. I had already assumed they would get a divorce, which didn’t happen until after I had proposed the lady applied for a khula. I fear I influenced this sisters decision to divorce greatly, and that she wouldn’t have done so had I not proposed. Though I know my only intention was to help her I know i committed a sin. I was still inclined to marry this sister but would I be sinful in doing so? I have done sincere tauba and apart from that I restored the rights of this brother by moving out the way for him should he want to return to her, but that didn’t happen for them. By moving out the way for him did I make amends for my previous sin? And I could I now marry this sister free from the fear that I have angered Allah in any way? As I give them both a chance to make up and it didn’t happen. And there decision to not remarry each other was not influenced by me this brother does not hold me responsible or have any anger towards me. Please clarify this matter for me thank you


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Respected Brother;

Every couple in a marriage will go through some kind of dispute. If the dispute is such between spouses that they cant resolve or reconcile then according to the guidance of the Qura’an they should use an arbitrator. This method is mentioned in the Qura’an, therefore let’s examine it.

“Arbitration” (At-tahkim) means to judge or decide a matter. Al-hakam (mentioned in the verse) is the one who has the right to make a ruling and decision for the two in dispute. The meaning of appointing arbitrators in this case is:

“The two disputing spouses appoint two men from their respective families to bring about accord between them and to settle their dispute.”

The Ruling Concerning Such Arbitration

The scholars have agreed that two arbitrators should be appointed if disagreement occurs between the two spouses and it is not clear which of the two (if either) is the guilty one or if both of them are wherein the husband refuses to keep his wife in a proper manner or to set her free in a good way and/or the wife refuses to fulfill her rights that Allah has imposed upon her toward her husband.

The jurists also agree that one of the arbitrators should be from the husband’s family and the other from the wife’s family if possible. If that is not possible, other people may be appointed depending on what is in the best interest of those concerned. They also agree that when in agreement are to execute what they see as the best opinion in bringing accord between the spouses. However, if they disagree, then their opinions are not to be executed.

The Evidence

The Quran, the Sunnah, consensus and sound reason, proves this step. Allah SWT says:

“And if you fear a separation between the two of them, appoint an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family. If they desire reconciliation, Allah will bring them into agreement. Verily Allah is Knowing, Knowledgeable.” (Suarh An-Nisa 4:35)

After examining the above we can come to some conclusion in regards to your case:

  • You was acting as an arbitrator and you wanted reconciliation and this was your prime objective, therefore Insha’Allah you won’t be held accountable

  • Even though there should had been two people, but you tried your best

  • The proposal that you sent when she was still in marriage; this is not practical and not permissible. But seeing that you have sincerely repented to Allah and made Tawbah Insha’Allah Allah will forgive you

  • If the sister/ woman has attained her divorce, and iddat has also concluded, you are within you rights to send the marriage proposal towards her

Some of the above explanation has been extracted from ‘Ma’ariful Qura’an Vol 2’, under the section of Surah An-Nisa, verse 35.

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Moulana Javed ibn Nazir Kachhalia

Checked and approved by Mufti Tosir Miah 

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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