Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
I have gone through a legal court which has deemed it fit to order a khula’ arrangement. They told my wife to give me 25% of the dowry.
Do I have to take this money?
Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. I pray you’re well.
A khula’ agreement is a divorce given by the husband to the wife in exchange for an agreed payment, which could be money or other items of value. The reliable opinion is that a khula’ transaction counts as one divorce and if the couple wish to marry again they would have to enter into a new marriage contract.
A simple example of khula’ consists of the husband saying to his wife, ‘I divorce you for $500’ and wife answering ‘I accept’. The wife must accept immediately otherwise the khula’ is not valid.
Among the conditions of the item exchanged for the divorce is that it is 1) something of value, 2) it is specified, 3) that it returns to the husband, and 4) that the wife is able to deliver it.
[Tuhfatul Muhtaj, ‘Iyanat al Talibin]
Given that you have gone through a legal court which has deemed it fit to order a khula’ arrangement, and if the khula’ (in its spoken form) has been properly conducted, then the 25% of the dowry due on your wife is considered a debt owed to you. As such, and like all other debts, you may choose to accept the payment or waiver it. Either way, the khula’ will be valid.
If the court insists on the payment being made officially in a legal setting, then your wife should pay the money to you. What you both choose to do with the money after the legal proceedings is up to you and does not affect the validity of the khula’.
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.