Divorce in Unconsummated Marriage

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by ShariahBoard.org

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullah

My husband has such a disease due to which he is not able to consummate our marriage. After some differences arose he sent me a divorce paper prepared by a lawyer and signed by my husband from Pakistan which states that he has divorced me three times, further explaining by showing the following statement written in 3 different lines:

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I divorce you.

In case of a marriage which was not consummated, will this document constitute one divorce or three? Can we get back together without performing halalah?

الجواب وباللہ التوفیق

As per the situation described in your question, from the document you received from your husband, you have described a sentence i.e. “he has divorced me three times, and wrote I divorce you in 3 different lines, to further clarify the divorce.” This proves that your husband has clarified the fact that he has issued three divorces to you altogether; if that is in fact the case then all three divorces have taken effect. Even if khalwat (i.e. absolute privacy) was not achieved or the marriage had not been consummated, leading a married life without performing Shar‘ai Halala is considered impermissible. Unless you perform a Nikah with someone else, the marriage gets consummated and that husbad passes away or issues a divorce to you (without premeditation or prearrangement), then after completion of the period of ‘iddah, performing Nikah with the previous husband is permissible. Even if absolute privacy was acheived but the marriage had not been consummated, and then this document was received, even then the three divorces will still take effect. A better option would have been to send the copy of that document along with your question in order to request an answer.

قال اللّٰہ تبارک وتعالیٰ: {فَاِنْ طَلَّقَہَا فَلاَ تَحِلُّ لَہٗ مِنْ بَعْدُ حَتّٰی تَنْکِحَ زَوْجًا غَیْرَہٗ} [البقرۃ، جزء آیت:۲۳۰]

عن عائشۃؓ أن رجلاً طلق امرأتہ ثلاثاً، فتزوجت فطلق، فسئل النبي صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم، أ تحل للأول؟ قال: لا حتی یذوق عسیلتہا کما ذاق الأول۔

(صحیح البخاري، کتاب الطلاق، باب من أجاز طلاق الثلاث، النسخۃ الہندیۃ ۲/۷۹۱، رقم: ۵۰۶۲۔

إذَا طَلَّقَ الرَّجُلُ امْرَأَتَهُ ثَلَاثًا قبل الدُّخُولِ بها وَقَعْنَ عليها فَإِنْ فَرَّقَ الطَّلَاقَ بَانَتْ بِالْأُولَى ولم تَقَعْ الثَّانِيَةُ وَالثَّالِثَةُ وَذَلِكَ مِثْلُ أَنْ يَقُولَ أَنْتِ طَالِقٌ طَالِقٌ طَالِقٌ(فتاویٰ الہندیہ:۱/۳۷۳)

والحاصل أنہ إذا خلا بہا خلوۃ صحیحۃ ثم طلقہا طلقۃ واحدۃ فلا شبہۃ في وقوعہا، فإذا طلقہا في العدۃ طلقۃ أخری…فقلنا بوقوع الثانیۃ احتیاطا لوجودہا في العدۃ …۔

(شامي، کتاب النکاح / باب المہر، مطلب في أحکام الخلوۃ ۴؍۲۵۶۔

فقط واللہ اعلم بالصواب

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