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If a Woman Files for Divorce Will It Be Treated As Talaq or Khula’?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Yusuf Khan


Assalamu Alaikum.

We know that a woman does not have the right to give a divorce. However, if a woman files for divorce, will it be treated as talaq or khula’?

If the husband eventually signs the document with intention of shar’i divorce, will it fall or is he supposed to give it verbally as well?

How are these cases normally treated? Is the husband told to give a verbal divorce or does the signing take the place of talaq?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


When a woman applies for a divorce it will not be treated as a khula or talaq. The only time when anything will happen is when the husband eventually signs the documents in which case this is treated as him giving the divorce.

Imam al-Kasani (Allah have mercy on him) states, “Issuing a divorce verbally is not a condition. Hence, divorce will come into effect with clear and unambiguous writing, or with the understood gesture of a dumb person, for the clear written word is in place of verbal utterance.” (Bada’i al-Sana’i, volume 3/ page 100)

The divorce would fall into place if the wife applies for the divorce and the husband receives the papers and fully acknowledges what is written in the documents and signs it. That will be enough, however, he can also give a verbal one for the contentment of the heart.

Only Allah knows best

 Written by Maulana Yusuf Khan 

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed 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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