The World Federation One Stop Fiqh

Ask an Alim

Is divorce valid as he has abided by the sharia law of which he believes in


I am a shis girl who is observing thakiya. My family is sunni and I was married to my sunni cousin from Pakistan. He has no idea that I am Shia as I have not disclosed this information. We are now divorced by British law and I have requested a khula. He has agreed to this but as he is a sunni written form is sufficient with no witnesses.

My question is is this valid as he has abided by the sharia law of which he believes in. I have asked him to give khula in front of witnesses and verbally but he has refused and says written confirmation is sufficient. The shariah council also have said this is fine but that is obviously because it is in accordance to their faith.


Salamun Alaykum

Thank you for your query.

Question: My husband is Sunni and I want to separate from him. If he divorces me without the presence of any witnesses, is the divorce valid.

Answer: Yes, the divorce is valid if it is in accordance to his school of jurisprudence (Madhab).

Question: Is it necessary that there be two witnesses when the formula of divorce is being recited?

Answer: The presence of two just Mo’men (believer) male witnesses is required; without their presence the divorce would not be in order.

Question: Can one recite a divorce, whilst the two witnesses are not actually present, rather are listening on the phone?

Answer: It is not correct to perform it in such situation (obligatory precaution), rather the two male witnesses must be actually present whilst the divorce is pronounced.

Question: A civil divorce, according to the law of a western country, took place. The husband is adamant not to grant his wife a shari’i divorce, does not provide maintenance for her and not accept mediation. What should the woman do, noting that her patience would certainly wear thin and, eventually, put her in an untenable situation (Haraj)?

Answer: She should seek redress with the Marji’ or his deputy. He would advise the husband to choose one of two courses of action: Either pay his wife maintenance money or grant her Islamic divorce, albeit by proxy. Should he choose neither, and that it was not possible to pay maintenance money, the Marji’ or his deputy should carry out the divorce .

So according to Ayatullah Sistany’s Fatwa(mentioned above) and his office, if the Talaq (divorce) is given correctly according to their own sect(Sunni) then it is in accordance and the Talaq is correct since he was Sunni.

As of now, you are divorced if you feel Taqiyyah is no more required, you can also reveal the truth of being a Shia to make it clearer and easy. If you are not sure the Talaq is given properly then on basis of precaution(Ehtiyat) you can ask him to give you wikalat(attorney/representative) which you can later pass onto someone else to read the Talaq formula infront of the 2 witnesses.

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider