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Wife blackmailed into khula

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

What does Islam say about Khula. If a husband and wife intend to reconcile and the parents of the wife emotionally blackmail her into going ahead with dissolution through court then would such termination be held as haram or would they both be husband and wife?

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.

Khula is an agreement between the husband and wife to dissolve the contract of marriage in lieu of compensation paid by the wife.

Allah states in the Quran: “…It is not lawful for husbands to take anything back which they have given them except when both parties fear that they may not be able to follow the limits set by Allah; then if you fear that they both will not be able to keep the limits of Allah, there is no blame if, by mutual agreement the wife compensates the husband to obtain divorce. These are the limits set by Allah; do not transgress them, and those who transgress the limits of Allah are the wrongdoers.” (Surah Al Baqara: 229)

From the above ayah it is clear that Khula can only be carried out with the consent and agreement of both the husband and wife. The wife does not have the jurisdiction to enforce Khula without the consent of her husband.

However if the couple cannot come to an agreement the wife may take her case to an Islamic court or a Shariah Council who will evaluate the arguments and evidences presented and then come to a verdict which will be binding on all parties as in the case of the wife of Thabit (radiallahu anhu) at the time of the prophet (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) (Abu Dawood: 914).

If the wife went to a non Islamic court, be it on the persistence of her parents, and initiated divorce proceedings and the court sent the divorce documents to the husband, and he willingly, fully understanding the contents signed it, then the divorce will stand from an Islamic perspective also. (Raddul Muhtar, Vol 2, P464) However, if he did not sign any written document, but the court divorced him on behalf of his wife against his will, then according to Shariah this will not be classed as a valid divorce.

Only Allah knows best.

Sayeedur Rahman

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.