Divorce | Khula | Divorce in Islam

Khula in Islam | Divorce/Khula Procedure in Islam & Pakistan

What is Khula in Islam? A Guide to Khula and Its Procedure

Khula lawyers in Pakistan

Khula in Islam is a process that allows a woman to seek divorce and dissolve her marriage. The procedure begins with the wife expressing her desire for Khula to her husband, indicating her intention to end the marital bond. Both parties must consent to the divorce for the Khula to proceed. Following this, the couple may mediate or seek guidance from religious authorities or legal institutions to facilitate the divorce process. Financial matters, such as the dowry (mahr) return and arrangements for maintenance and child custody, are also addressed during the Khula procedure. It is crucial to ensure that the process is carried out fairly and justly, safeguarding the rights and well-being of both parties involved.

Khula is a Right of Woman to Get Divorce

In Islam, khula is the right of a woman to get a divorce from her husband, which means separation from him. Children’s education and maintenance are the husband’s responsibility after a divorce. For sons, this is the age of Hizanat, and for daughters, it is puberty.

Hizanat, is a Right of Minors 

Minors who reach Hizanat have a right to live with either their father or mother, but the court will not consider their opinion conclusive and decisive.

In Islam, women seek a Khula, while men have the right to Talaq. Couples can also reconcile during the Iddah period.

Khula in Islam and Divorce in Islam

Khula in Islam: Empowering Women through Divorce

Khula, an important concept in Islamic law, provides women with the right to seek a divorce from their husbands. This empowering practice allows women to dissolve their marriage and regain their autonomy. In this article, we will explore the concept of Khula in Islam, its significance, and the process involved.

  1. Understanding Khula:

    • Definition of Khula in Islam: A divorce initiated by the wife, seeking dissolution of the marriage.
    • The significance of Khula in Islamic law: Recognizing women’s rights and granting them the ability to end an unhappy marriage.
  2. Historical Context:

    • Khula in the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): Examples from the Prophet’s life that highlight the importance of Khula in Islam.
    • The evolution of Khula: How the concept has adapted to modern times, aligning with the principles of gender equality.
  3. Conditions for Khula:

    • Consent of both parties: The husband’s agreement is necessary for the divorce to proceed.
    • Valid reasons for seeking Khula: Exploring the grounds that justify a woman’s request for divorce.
  4. Legal Process of Khula:

    • Initiating Khula: The steps involved in initiating the Khula process, including approaching a religious authority or a court.
    • Mediation and reconciliation efforts: The role of mediation in resolving disputes and reconciling the couple, if possible.
  5. Financial Implications of Khula:

    • Mahr and its return: Discussing the return of the dowry (mahr) to the husband during Khula.
    • Maintenance and child custody: Addressing the financial responsibilities and child custody arrangements after Khula.
  6. Social Stigma and Support:

    • Overcoming societal barriers: Addressing the stigma surrounding divorce and promoting understanding and support for divorced women.
    • Community resources: Highlighting the importance of support networks and resources available to women going through Khula.
  7. Psychological and Emotional Well-being:

    • Counseling and guidance: The significance of emotional support and counseling during the Khula process.
    • Empowering women: Discussing how Khula can contribute to a woman’s overall well-being and personal growth.
  8. Legal Rights and Protection:

    • Legal rights of women in Khula: Exploring the legal protections provided to women during and after the Khula process.
    • Ensuring justice: Highlighting the importance of fair and just proceedings in Khula cases.
  9. Contemporary Perspectives:

    • Khula and women’s empowerment: Examining how Khula aligns with the principles of gender equality and women’s empowerment in modern society.
    • Legal reforms and advancements: Highlighting efforts to further strengthen women’s rights in divorce cases.
    • In short, Khula in Islam serves as a mechanism to empower women, granting them the right to seek divorce and regain their independence. By recognizing the importance of consent and fair proceedings, Khula aligns with Islam’s justice and equality principles. It is crucial to foster a supportive environment that embraces divorced women and provides them with the necessary resources to rebuild their lives.
Khula in Islam-Divorce in Islam

Khula in Islam: A Divorce Initiated by the Wife Seeking Dissolution of the Marriage

Khula, a term rooted in Islamic law, refers to a divorce initiated by the wife, allowing her to seek the dissolution of her marriage. This unique concept empowers women by granting them the right to end an unhappy or incompatible union. In this essay, we will delve into the definition of Khula in Islam, its significance, and its implications for women’s rights in marriage and divorce.

Definition of Khula in Islam: 

Khula, derived from Arabic, translates to “release” or “untying the knot.” In Islamic law, it specifically refers to a divorce initiated by the wife, where she seeks the termination of the marital bond. Unlike Talaq, a divorce initiated by the husband, Khula allows women to take an active role in dissolving their marriages, providing them agency and autonomy.

Significance of Khula in Islam: 

The concept of Khula holds immense significance within Islamic law. It recognizes that women have the right to seek divorce if they find themselves in an unhappy or unsustainable marriage. By granting women the ability to initiate divorce, Khula acknowledges their autonomy and agency, promoting gender equality and justice within the institution of marriage.

Implications for Women’s Rights in Shape of Khula: 

Khula plays a pivotal role in safeguarding women’s rights in marriage and divorce. Allowing women to seek dissolution of the marriage helps prevent situations where women may be trapped in abusive or loveless relationships. This provision ensures that women have an avenue to escape from oppressive or unsustainable marital conditions, thereby promoting their overall well-being and freedom.

The Process of Khula in Islam: 

The process of Khula involves several steps, ensuring that the divorce is carried out fairly and justly. Firstly, the wife expresses her desire for Khula to her husband, indicating her intention to end the marriage. Both parties must consent to the divorce before the Khula can proceed. Following this, the couple may mediate or seek guidance from religious authorities or legal institutions to facilitate the divorce process.

Financial Considerations For Khula in Islam: 

During Khula, financial matters are also addressed. The wife may be required to return the dowry (mahr) she received from her husband upon marriage. The return of the mahr serves to settle any financial obligations and maintain equity between the parties involved. Additionally, maintenance and child custody arrangements are determined, ensuring the well-being of the wife and any children from the marriage.

Social and Cultural Perspectives of Khula in Islam: 

Khula faces social and cultural challenges in various societies. Stigma and misconceptions surrounding divorce often led to societal pressure on women to remain in unhappy marriages. However, it is essential to promote understanding and support for women who choose Khula, emphasizing their right to seek happiness and freedom within the bounds of Islamic law.

Khula in Islam Proves Gender Equality: 

Khula in Islam, a divorce initiated by the wife seeking dissolution of the marriage, is a significant provision that upholds women’s rights and promotes gender equality. By recognizing women’s agency and autonomy, Khula provides an avenue for women to escape from oppressive or unsustainable marriages. It is crucial to foster an environment that supports and empowers women who choose Khula, ensuring their well-being and promoting a just and equitable society.

Steps to Consider Before Divorce in Islam: Navigating the Path of Khula

Divorce and Khula Holds a Significant Place in Islamic Law

Divorce, specifically Khula, holds a significant place in Islamic law. However, it is essential to approach this decision thoughtfully and consider several steps before proceeding. In this essay, we will explore the steps to consider before divorcing in Islam, emphasizing the significance of Khula and the importance of making informed choices within the framework of Islamic principles.

I. Understanding Khula in Islamic Law

  • Defining Khula: This section explores the concept of Khula in Islam as a divorce initiated by the wife seeking dissolution of the marriage.
  • Recognizing the significance of Khula: Highlighting the empowerment it provides to women and its alignment with Islamic principles of justice and gender equality.

II. Reflection and Self-Assessment

  • Assessing the state of the marriage: Encouraging introspection to evaluate the reasons for seeking divorce and determining if reconciliation is possible.
  • Seeking guidance: Emphasizing the importance of seeking advice from trusted religious authorities or counselors to gain perspective and explore potential solutions.

III. Communication and Mediation

  • Open and honest communication: Encouraging dialogue with the spouse to express concerns, frustrations, and desires for change within the marriage.
  • Mediation and counseling: Discuss the benefits of involving neutral third parties, such as mediators or marriage counselors, to facilitate healthy communication and explore possibilities for resolution.

IV. Seeking Spiritual Guidance

  • Consulting religious authorities: Advising individuals to seek guidance from knowledgeable scholars who can provide insights based on Islamic teachings and principles.
  • Spiritual introspection: Encouraging individuals to reflect, pray, and seek solace in faith during this challenging decision-making process.

V. Exploring Reconciliation Efforts

  • Forgiveness and reconciliation: This section highlights the importance of forgiveness, patience, and efforts to rebuild trust and strengthen the marital bond.
  • Seeking professional help: Suggesting professional assistance, such as couples therapy, to address underlying issues and foster growth within the marriage.

VI. Considering the Consequences

  • Legal and financial implications: Discuss the potential consequences of divorce, including the division of assets, financial responsibilities, and child custody arrangements.
  • Social and emotional impact: Addressing the potential social stigma, emotional challenges, and effects on children that may arise from divorce.

VII. Making an Informed Decision

  • Weighing the pros and cons: Encouraging individuals to carefully consider the potential outcomes and consequences of divorce and the impact on personal well-being and the well-being of loved ones.
  • Trusting one’s instincts: Recognizing the importance of trusting one’s intuition and making a decision that aligns with personal values, faith, and happiness.

Conclusion: Before proceeding with divorce, navigating the steps outlined within the Islamic framework is crucial. Individuals can approach divorce with clarity and wisdom by reflecting, seeking guidance, exploring reconciliation efforts, considering the consequences, and making an informed decision. Khula, as a means of divorce in Islam, should be pursued with careful consideration, ensuring that the well-being of all parties involved is prioritized within the bounds of Islamic principles.

What is Talaq? How is it different from Khula?

In Islam, divorce is known as talaq. Islamic sharia defines a talaq as the end of a marriage. Talaq is a right that is granted by the husband and the wife can only exercise the right of Talaq if it is specifically stated in the Nikah Nama (Written Marriage Contract). Husbands who grant Talaq must also grant Haq Meher to their wives, whereas wives who exercise their right of Talaq must relinquish their right to Haq Meher.

Divorce Rules in Shia and Sunni Muslims:

Shia and Sunni Muslims have different rules regarding the performance of Talaq. It is Sunni practice to end a marriage without witnesses, and it is permissible for a husband to do so by saying the triple talaq, but Shia scholars view it as ajahiliyya in terms of custom, forbidden by Muhammad, and reinstated by Umar ibn al-Khattab, and thus not permitted.. According to Sunni scholars, however, it is halal (“lawful”).

Husband’s Right of Divorce or Talaq and the Legal procedure

Divorce or talaq is a unilateral right possessed by the husband and he cannot be alienated from this right. However, he can be restricted through the marriage contract, also known as the Nikah Nama. A Muslim husband can pronounce talaq either orally or through a Deed of Divorce under Muslim Personal Law and section 7 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance.

In order for a divorce certificate to be issued, the husband must send a written notice by registered mail to the Union Council or the relevant government department. Accordingly, the husband must include the address of his ex-wife in the notice, so that the government office can send her notices by registered mail and will form an arbitration council for the purpose of reconciliation and settlement within 30 days of receiving the notice. 

Women were intended to be protected from immediate and unrecorded divorces with this legislation. There were cases where a woman who had been remarried and had not been properly divorced could be punished for bigamy and sentenced up to 7 years (or up to 10 years if the previous marriage was concealed) and only on the complaint of her first husband since there was no proof of divorce. The law was enacted in order to ensure that a woman who remarries does not face a frivolous criminal case or punishment. For this reason, it is essential for a woman to be properly divorced and have documentary proof of her divorce. 

Talaq notices may be served on a wife by her father, mother, adult brother or sister – but not by another relative with permission of the concerned government office. Even if the husband cannot serve notice through her immediate family due to her unknown location, he may serve notice through a newspaper approved by the concerned government office.

The union council should communicate with the family, but it has been reported that some families refuse to receive the notices, fearing that it is a notice of talaq and as a result, talaq will not be effective. A refusal to receive notice of talaq is merely an attempt to act like an ostrich, since service of notice can be done by publication in the newspapers.

Divorce Certificate Issuance:

The concerned government office issues a certificate of Talaq being effective to the husband and wife once the iddat period of 90 days from the date the talaq notice is received by the office. It is important to note that the talaq is not effective until the iddat period expires and that failure to abide by the law could result in imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine up to Rs. 5000.

Legally, a verbal talaq is not recognized, and if a husband doesn’t send a written notice to the government office, he is considered to have not divorced. Furthermore, according to Islamic scholars, once a divorce has been formally pronounced by the husband or khula has been obtained from a court of law, the divorce is effective and binding.

Talaq-i-Tafweez and Mubarat (Mutual Divorce)

As both of these forms of divorce do not require court intervention, the marriage can be dissolved promptly, cheaply, and with few procedural issues. The husband and wife may sign a divorce agreement and send a written divorce notice to the concerned government office under Section 8 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, but the government office must follow the procedure of issuance of divorce notices before issuing the dissolution of the marriage certificate.

Wife’s Right of Divorce or Talaq

In order for a wife to dissolve her marriage unilaterally, the husband must have unconditionally delegated the right of divorce to her in the marriage contract or Nikahnama. The wife can dissolve her marriage if this right is not delegated by the husband by applying for Khula in the Family Courts of Law, which is also known as judicial dissolution of marriage.

Hence, if the husband does not delegate the right of divorce in his Nikahnama, then the wife must apply for Khula. Khula, which literally means ‘to untie the knot,’ is the process where a court dissolves a marriage initiated by the wife. According to the West Pakistan Family Courts Ordinance, in order to apply for Khula, the woman would need to write a statement on oath in her suit asserting that she is not able to live with her husband “within the limits prescribed by Allah”, and such a statement would be sufficient to establish her claim for Khula.

Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939

If the wife is willing to give up her financial rights, she can receive judicial khula without the consent of the husband.

Grounds for Khula or Judicial Divorce

Grounds on which a woman may seek khula include:

  •  Four years of husband’s abandonment,
  •  Failure to maintain for more than two years
  •  A husband who contracts a polygamous marriage in violation of established law,
  •  Seven years of imprisonment for the husband,
  •  Three years of husband’s non-performance of marriage obligations,
  •  Impotence of the husband since the marriage
  •  The husband’s insanity or serious illness for two years
  • Exercise by a wife of her right to puberty if she was married before the age of 16 by any guardian and abandons the marriage before the age of 18 (unless the marriage was consummated),
  • Cruelty by a husband (such as physical abuse, unequal treatment between co-wives),
  • According to Muslim law, any other ground can be used to dissolve the marriage.
Khula in Islam and Divorce with Mutual Consent

Steps to consider before Divorce in Islam

Islam and Quran emphasize the importance of living in peace and harmony between partners, but it is a natural process that some disagreements can arise between partners during the course of marriage, especially in the early years. Islam always encourages the resolution of disagreements by acting kindly and fairly, however, if those disagreements cannot be resolved, then the following procedure is prescribed in Islam before terminating a marriage.

  1. It is essential that the two parties attempt to resolve their differences by themselves. Counselors recognize that the involvement of third parties, such as parents, siblings, friends, or cousins, is a common factor in non-resolution of disputes. The ability of adults to resolve their differences amicably by communicating and expressing their grievances has been documented by family consultants all over the world. This is a give-and-take process. So, couples are advised to try to work out their differences with the intervention of others in any form and to always remember that a happy life always means giving and taking.

Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: “Those who incite a woman to turn against a husband or a slave to turn against his master are not among us”.

  1. The couple would be appointed two impartial arbitrators, one from the husband’s family, if they were unable to resolve their differences.

It must be decided to appoint a representative from the wife’s family to try to make a settlement peace and to settle their differences.

  1. A divorce may be sought if this attempt also fails.
  2. Unless the parties have divorced each other for the third time, there is a reconciliation period of ninety-nine days or three months (in case of a divorce through a government office).
  3. During this period of waiting, the parties can reunite and reconsider their views. The divorce will become effective, and the marriage will end if the above time limit expires without a reconciliation taking place.
  4. The wife’s waiting period is the time till delivery plus iddat if she is pregnant. Therefore, a divorce is only effective during pregnancy if the husband declares it.

Revocation of Divorce by a Husband

We observe that most couples, especially husbands, exercise their right of divorce with careful consideration and then approach counselors and lawyers for revocation of divorce. The problem is that most lawyers or draftsmen prepare divorce deeds without providing the option for the husband to revoke the divorce by declaring a triple divorce. The husband can revoke a divorce up to three pronouncements without intervening in the marriage!

In order to ensure that a single Divorce Deed will be treated as a single divorce, the form and manner of the Deed should always reflect this.

Unless there is an intervening marriage in the divorce deed, a triple divorce cannot be revoked. This means the divorce deed must be used cautiously.

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Q: What are the rules of Khula?

In Islam, a woman can divorce her husband by using the Khula (divorce right). After divorce, the husband is responsible for the children’s education and maintenance. The mother raises her children until the age of Hizanat, or post-pubescent for daughters and seven years for sons.

Q: What is the difference between Talaq and Khula?

In exchange for her release from the marriage tie, the wife gives or promises to give the husband a consideration. In contrast, Talaq grants the right of divorce to the sole husband, allowing him to end the marriage as soon as possible or eventually.

Q: When can a woman take khula?

A woman who is post-menopausal (no longer menstruating) has to wait one menstrual cycle to apply for a Khula (divorce). This is to ensure that she is not pregnant.

Q: Can a woman marry after Khula?

All scholars agree that any attempt by the man to reinstate the marriage is pointless since she has gained her independence. He cannot restore the marriage if he gives her her dowry back or whatever she pays him to free herself. It is possible that they can get married again with a new marriage contract. But she must agree to this. It is up to her whether she wants to get married again.

Q: On what grounds can a man divorce his wife?

It is up to the husband to file a divorce petition with or without the consent of the wife. There are the same grounds for filing as there are for a wife. They include cruelty, deserting, conversion, adultery, disease, mental disorder, renunciation, and assumed death.

Q: What is the Iddat period after Khula?

There is a 90-day iddat period, which starts on the concerned date. Once the husband and wife receive the Talaq notice, the government office issues a certificate of Talaq to them.

Q: How do you get a Khula?

Khula refers to parties convening to separate by consent, usually with conditions such as the wife agreeing to repay her Mehr (dowry) to the husband upon him agreeing to grant Talaq to the wife.

Q: What is Fasakh?

Following Hukum Syara’, Fasakh refers to the annulment of a marriage contract for any valid reason.

Q: What is Mubara’at?

Khula and Mubara’at divorces are different in that khula is initiated by the wife, while Mubara’at is undertaken by both spouses.

Q: Can a wife divorce in Islam?

No, but a wife may obtain a judicial divorce when she has cause. Legal schools differ widely in their acceptance of grounds for divorce.

Q: Can talaq be reversed?

There is a revocable form of Talaq called Talaq-e-Raji. The pronouncement is revocable because the couple can reconcile after it has been announced, as long as they do so before the expiration of what is known as the Iddah or waiting/cooling-off period.

Q: Is one-sided divorce possible?

Yes. The husband can divorce his wife without the wife’s consent, and similarly, the wife can seek judicial divorce (Khula) to end the marriage contract. If both spouses want to separate, then mutual divorce can occur. 

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Khula in Islam: Empowering Women through Divorce