Q: 15 years ago I married my first wife, who was my first cousin. In my Nikah agreement there was talaq-e-tafweez that I was not told about. I accepted and signed in front of two Muslim witnesses. Later when I read my Nikah certificate and saw that my wife was given the right to divorce me and I was not told about it during the time of Nikah, I was not happy. If I had known, I would not have agreed for her to have the right to divorce me. So I explained to her, and she signed another document in front of two Muslim witnesses (I believe one witness was same as during the Nikah). The document stated that she gives up her right to divorce me, and she and the two witnesses signed also.
Fives years later, we had some disagreements and she asked for divorce and I love her very much so I refused to divorce her. Therefore, she went to the court and got divorced from the court and mailed me the divorce papers. She said that she asked an imam and he said it was okay for her to divorce me. Now both her, and I are married to different people. I still miss her and wonder if our marriage is still valid. I never divorced her with my words, actions, or in writing. Not even as a joke.
My question is, are we still married since I never divorced her because she gave up her right to divorce me? And is her Nikah with the other guy valid or no? Since I was not told about talaq-e-tafweez during my Nikah, did she have the right to divorce me before she gave it up? If she had the right to divorce me, did she give up that right by signing a new document in front of two Muslim witnesses that said she’s giving up her right to divorce me?
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)
This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.