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Can My Wife Divorce Me Without My Agreement?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My marriage took place about 5-6 years ago.

My in-laws have filled for Khula’ (in Pakistan’s family court), without my agreement.

1. Is the Khula’ given in non such courts without agreement of the Husband accepted in Shariah ?

2. Will the marriage (Nikah) of the girl to someone else who attained such form of Khula’ be valid ?

3. I am willing to fulfill the marriage & not issue Talaq but they still want to opt for Khula’ . What should I do according to Shariah in such scenario?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

Clearing Misconceptions

Many people seem to think that a khulʿ is akin to the right to divorce which the husband possesses, only that it is something the wife applies to through a Sharīʿa court. This is not the case.

A Khulʿ is a request made by the wife by to the husband for him to divorce her in exchange for something; usually a sum of money. It is dependant on him choosing to do so – but not binding.

Should he accept, he is permitted to take anything up to the amount he gave to her for her mahr. Taking more, although legally valid, is blameworthy. If his misdemeanours are what made her resort to this course of action, then religiously, it is sinful for him to take anything from her, yet, if he did so he would own it (al-Maydani, al-Lubab).

If the husband does not agree to it, and if there are sufficient grounds, the court can annul the marriage without his agreement.


So, to answer your question, for a khulʿ, the court would need your agreement. The reasons that they have offered would not be sufficient for the marriage to be annulled according to the Hanafi school. If your first wife was to try and marry someone else the marriage would not be valid.

To resolve your situation you should pray salat al-istikhara, consult with a reliable local scholar, family and close friends. But ultimately, this is your decision to make, and you will have to answer for it, not them.

It is worth noting, however, that a marriage is meant to unite families as well as individuals; and when matters start off with such turbulence, calming them is difficult. We can understand from the Qurʾān that it takes both sides to want a resolution for it to happen: If they both want [matters to be] rectified, Allah will bring about agreement amongst them (4:35).

And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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