A questionnaire asks ;
As-salamu ‘Alaikum warahmutullah wabarakatuhu:
To proceed with, i am a Palestinian citizen who resides in suwayd. I am married to my wife who is also a Palestinian that resides in the city of Umman, Jordan, since eight years. The marriage was concluded in Islamic way at Jordan after which i registered the marriage in Suwayd in order to meet up with the local custom.
Before two years back, we had marital dispute which was brought before the Suwaydi court. After a little time, the divorce process was concluded in the said court, putting into consideration that within that time, I and my wife had initiated reconciliation and i never nursed intention to divorce her owing to the notion of mutual reconciliation and to the interest of our family that has produced three little daughters. Based on the response of my wife, it is crystal clear that she too never wanted the breakup of the marriage and that she was interested in mutual reconciliation. After our agreement on the necessity of resolving our differences and preserving the being of our family even though we had for a very long time been relating as couple after the issuance of civil divorce – both of us checked the law provision in Suwayd relevant to our case ,though, we believed that it is secondary issue prone to subsequent amendment. But the most important is to resolve our differences until we will find lasting solution to it.
After a little time, and without notice, my wife informed me that we were already regarded as ex-couples because the issued civil divorce from the court was binding on us. She relied on the verdict issued by a scholar in Suwaid. I explained to her that both marriage and divorce have their special rules and that civil divorce from Suwaidi court is not eligible to issue an islamically recognised divorce. For that to be valid, it is necessary that a Muslim judge comes in. Even according to Suwaidi law, in the absence of a Muslim judge, it is necessary that a nominated scholar from the “Islamic League” will be in his stead.
I also explained to her the falsehood of the verdict given to her; and also made attempt to explain reasons for my argument. Among them is that our marriage, ab.initio, was concluded based on Islamic law, and not as a civil marriage in a Suwaidi court. I added that since she admitted as obvious in our discussion that it is compulsory for marriage to be concluded according to Islamic way and that mere civil marriage in Suwaidi court is not sufficient to make marriage islamically binding; same thing goes for divorce. Admitting that civil divorce can stand in for Islamic divorce and rejecting such substitution in marriage is a clear contradiction.
I also added for her a very monumental point that resulted from two days study of verdict issued by scholars of Suwaid; and the point is that the said verdict was released after discovering various circumstances of the immigrants families staying in European countries wherein the couple stay deceiving the government through divorce issued by the court so that the couple could attain government assistance. Because of this legally condemned betrayal and deceit, the Fatwa was issued after pressure from the government that all circumstances of deciet and pretence that ensued from couple should be curtailed.
It is note – worthy that divorce issued by Suwaidi court in our own respect does not fall in the category of deceit or interest motivated; to Allah be the glory I serve as director of a private company owned by me and I never attained financial assistance from the government through out the span of our marriage.
The case of my marriage is a glaring example for a threat on whole marriage termination as a result of verdict being issued here. Hence as a matter of urgency, i need a clear response from a body that is not controversial on the Shari’ah verdict relating to what obtains between me and my wife. The fate of my family largely depends on your response. I have agreed with my wife that I will bring to her, in a very little time, the Shari’ah verdict. Accept my enormous appreciation and the peace and Mercy of Allah be on you.
RESPONSE : All praise is due to Allah; the Lord of the universe. Mercy and blessing be upon the Prophet of Mercy and Apostle of guidance; Muhammad bn Abdullahi.
Firstly, cases of controversial divorce between couples can not be put into rest except through judicial pronouncement, (most especially) if all reconciliation attempts have proven abortive. Fatwa (verdict) does not have such jurisdiction.
Secondly: as for your own case it has been visited with much equivocation that needs clarification:
How possible for the court to pronounce a divorce without a demand from both of you? This is because you mentioned that both of you were about to reconcile when the judgement was pronounced. This statement is in clear contradiction to your another statement that reads ” it is worthy of note that the divorce issued by Suwaidi court in our case was not out of deception or interest ; to Allah be the glory I serve as a director in a private company owned by me”.
This statement shows that demand for divorce was issued by both or one of you; not out of deception but out of serious interest in the separation.
If (it is admitted) that the divorce was issued based on the demand of both or one of you and there is divorce deed in that respect; did both of you sign on the document as the prevailing practice of some courts?
If ( it is admitted) that you both resorted to civil judgement; then what could have made it lawful for both of you to continue marital relation?
The resort of the lady to one of the scholars of Suwayd to receive verdict ( on this case) will only worsen the matter in the sense that it is preferable to seek verdict from the Scholars of each city on issue peculiar to the city; putting into consideration that divorce cases could only be resolved through judicial pronouncement or reconciliation.
Thirdly: The Committee for Verdict and Guidance in the Union of African Scholars gives priority to cases peculiar to African continent; though, not with standing, there is nothing preventing it from giving advice and guidance to Muslim brothers in all places if they applied for it. Hence, we want to advice with followings:
If (it is admitted) that the divorce (pronounced) by the court was based on tendered application and marital relation still occurred between you in the time (presumed) to be waiting period (idah) and the said divorce falls within the revertible divorce; then such relation (between you) should be considered , Islamic ally, as mutual withdrawal or denunciation of the divorce.
If the case is not as presumed(in the first point) and the scholar who ruled that the marriage has been terminated did so based on individual juristic effort; then we advice both of you to consult a locally organized Islamic body that renders collective juristic effort and you should make yourself bound with any rules issued by it.
This write-up from our body should not be considered as verdict or rule; rather it should be regarded as advice or guidance capable of giving eye – opener to both of you on the right decision you consider most suitable to your case based on the principles of Shari’ah and its rules.