I hope this email reaches you in the highest state of Imaan and health. I am writing to you about a very difficult situation that my parents are in, and we need your legal ruling in understanding what to do.
This is just a short overview of the situation… there are many more details….Currently, my father does not pay for food and house expenses (but does pay for the mortgage), and has told my mother multiple times to pay rent to live in the house. Recently, my father has said for her to go live somewhere else for 6 months (at the oldest son’s house) and then she will realize how difficult life is. The sons have all said that they are ready to pay for anything they BOTH need, and pay whatever rent being asked of her, but he refuses, and wants HER to pay it. There is much more history of this kind of things, but for the last couple of years, it has gotten much worse.
My father has given my mother talaq twice (and did nikkah again each time), and maybe this is the third, but this time it is unclear to us. My mother thinks there is a talaq, but my father is saying that he did not give it. We have tried arbitration with a local aalim a couple of times, and it did not help. The agreements made were not followed and he did not listen to anything that was suggested to do to make the situation better.
Because there is a doubt talaq has occurred or not, my parents have been in the same house, but physically separate by different time they are in the house and in separate rooms. She is also concerned that if her iddah has started, she needs to know when to count from. It has been about 3 months or so since they have been living in this manner.
Please let me know what more information you need, and can speak to my mother for more details of the situation (because it is very complicated and many things have happened). We need to know if there is a talaq or not, because they do not want to live in sin and need to know what is the right thing to do Islamically. She also is unsure whether or not she should leave the house or not, as he told her to do.
Please help us figure out the Islamic legal parameters in this situation.
The exact words are also unclear. After the second divorce and nikkah, my father told my mother that she is not allowed to speak to or meet any of her family members, parents included, without his permission and presence; and if she does, she will be divorced again. She agreed to this condition (because we were very small children at the time, and there are 6 of us children). He accuses her and us all the time of meeting with our Mamus, but it is not on purpose, they live in Chicago as well, so we occasionally see them at public places, like the Masjid. My mother never talks to them, but she might see them from far away.
Recently, when we had an arbitration meeting, there was new information that we found that he had married another woman. We brought it up in the meeting and my father said (in Urdu) that “This is not true. And if it is true, then your mother is divorced.” We have ample evidence, from many sources that it is true that he married another woman, but he is still denying it. (We have no problem with this new marriage, we are concerned for the legal, Islamic situation for our parents.) Now, 2 of the people at the meeting are saying that he did not say that, and 2 others are saying that he did say that, yet 1 of them is saying that they are not sure and don’t remember. So, what do we do in this situation?
To make matters more complicated, my father has taken back ALL of the gold and any assets he has given to my mother throughout the years, (even pulled off the karay she was wearing on her hands) and is acting as if he is divorced from her. He has also told us that he is selling the house and buying an apartment somewhere else….. but he says that he did not divorce her.
We would like to resolve this situation as soon as possible.
الجواب وبالله التوفيق
As per the situation described in your question, the wife will have to bring proof to substantiate her claim that the husband has issued the third divorce. If she is unable to produce such evidence or proof, the third divorce will not take effect. However the wife in this situation should not let the husband take power over her (i.e. do not let the marital relations be established).
If the second marriage has in fact taken place and the report regarding it is true, then due to the fulfillment of the condition for the conditional divorce, the divorce will take effect. If however, if there is no proof or substantiation of the claim of this second marriage, then due to the nonexistence of the fulfillment of the condition, the divorce will not take effect.
واللہ اعلم بالصواب