Khul‘ is not valid without compensation
Fatwa No: 276691

Question

Assalamu alaykum. I got married to a brother about a year ago and we had a couple of issues and I got frustrated one day and thought that he wanted to divorce me so I said to him "I will make it easy for you and ask for khula". He didn't say anything but went out and texted me "I give you khula". At the time this happened, my mahr was still due so I thought that that was it and I was divorced. A few weeks ago he contacted me saying that I'm still his wife because the khula was not done properly. I told him that we should see an imam to set it straight because he wants to get back together but he refuses because he doesn't like to air his problems to everyone. I don't know who to speak to regarding this because I'm in a foreign country and don't know many muslims and I need a sholar's opinion. I did speak about it with his wife who was my co-wife because we have a good relationship and she has some islamic knowledge and she also told me that it was not valid. Please help me for the sake of Allah SWT because I don't know if I'm a married woman or not. May Allah reward you, ameen.

Answer

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, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The saying of the husband to his wife “I give you Khul‘” is not an explicit pronouncement of Khul‘ but it is among the indirect wordings; so it does not take place except with intention. However, the scholars stated that if an indirect wording is accompanied by an indicative circumstance, such as the wife's request for Khul‘, then the Khul‘ takes place even if there was no intention. It appears that this is what happened here (in your case).

Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “If a wife asks for Khul‘ and she gives the compensation and he responds to her with an explicit or indirect Khul‘, the Khul‘ is valid without intention because the circumstance indicates that the Khul‘ was requested and the compensation was given; this indicates that it takes place, so it does not require intention. If there is no indicative circumstance and the husband said an explicit wording of Khul‘, the Khul‘ takes place without intention, regardless of whether we say it is an annulment of the marriage or it is divorce. However, it does not take place in case of an indirect wording except with the intention of either of them, just as is the case with the indirect wordings of divorce versus its explicit wordings.” [End of quote]

However, if you did not explicitly give him the compensation, i.e. if you did not renounce your dowry in return for the Khul‘, then the Khul‘ did not take place.

Anyway, when Khul‘ takes place, it counts as one irrevocable divorce according to many scholars, so if this is not the third divorce, your husband can take you back with a new marriage contract. For more benefit on the kinds of divorce, please refer to Fatwa 82541.

We have issued this Fatwa according to what was evident to us from your question, but if it is possible to orally ask a scholar in your country, then this is more appropriate so that he can find out from you (or both of you) what really happened. Your husband may ask the scholar using a third person pronoun, as if he is asking about another person, not himself.

Allaah Knows best.

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