Fatwa No : 180293
He gave three written divorces before consummating marriage
Fatwa Date : Rajab 7, 1433 / 27-5-2012
I am an Indian, I work in dubai, Last year when i went to vacation to india i married with a girl who was working in Saudi Arabia. She send the Power of attorney from saudi arabia, base on this i done the marriage. We both are neigbours, at the time of marriage she was working in saudi arabia. After marriage i come back to dubai, My parents was against this marriage, But due to some misunderstanding i have given in written 3 divorce to her and post that letter to india. We never met after our marriage and the divorce is given before the marriage consumation. Now i feel very guilty for what i did. Now she is india with her parents. I want to take her back, but most of the people telling that once given 3 divorce i cannot taker her back.. I read on one islamic site that if divorce given before marriage consumation, No need to do halala, I can re marry her with new mahr. Please guide me as per islam. I belong to Hanafi maslak, at the time of marriage the girl was not there and till today we never met and feel very sorry for what i did. Can i do a new nikah with new mahr. Please reply me at the earliest time. Thanking you.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad , is His slave and Messenger.
First of all, your question is unclear and it must be detailed so that we can issue a concise and proper answer. In any case, we say in general that if the marriage took place with that woman's consent and the consent of her guardian and the presence of two witnesses, then the marriage is valid and her presence is not a condition for the validity of the marriage contract.
As regards divorcing thrice, then divorce takes place three times according to the view of the majority of the scholars among whom are the scholars of the four Schools of jurisprudence. However, Ibn Taymiyyah had chosen the view that divorce takes place only once.
Therefore, according to the view of the majority of the scholars your wife is not lawful for you until she marries another man [who marries her a serious marriage and consummates the marriage with her and then he divorces her or dies]. Nonetheless, according to the view chosen by Ibn Taymiyyah it is permissible for both of you to remarry again with a new marriage contract and a new dowry.
As regards this divorce having taken place before the consummation of the marriage, then this does not prevent the three divorces from taking place in case of writing the three divorces in one word, like if you had written: “You are divorced three times.” However, if this was in separate wordings, like if you had written to her: “You are divorced, divorced, divorced.”, and the like, then the scholars differed in opinion about this, and the view of the Hanafi School of jurisprudence is that divorce takes place once only, and the other two other divorces do not take place because once the first divorce took place (before marriage consummation), this woman was no longer your wife, as she was irrevocably divorced with the first divorce, and so there is no relevance here, as she is no longer your wife. For more benefit on the kinds of divorce, please refer to Fataawa 82541 and 92233.
Finally, we advise you to ask the scholars orally in the country where you are and explain the case to them as this is more appropriate so that they may give you a clear and precise answer.
Allaah Knows best.