Q: I’m in a complicated situation and have been asking scholars for some guidance through my confusion. I was married three years ago in Pakistan, my husband sent me divorce papers while I was visiting my mother in New York because it turns out he was just looking for the green card. However, by USA law he cannot legally divorce me until he has resided in one state for a year. He has to wait another 6 months to file for divorce. My question is, am I Islamically divorced because he sent papers? I just want to be super sure because my mother wants to look for a rishta but I don’t want her speaking to another man on my behalf if I am still married. Also there is the question of idaat, have I completed my waiting period because we have not lived together since July 2015 or do I need to wait 3 months after the divorce has been finalized legally through NY state law?
A: Yes, you are divorced.
The iddat will start off immediately after the Islamic divorce.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)