Husband may remarry ex-wife during ‘Iddah after Khul’
Fatwa No: 338965

  • Fatwa Date:13-3-2017 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 15, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I got a Khul’ (divorce requested by the wife in return for a compensation) from my wife due to her misconduct and her unwillingness to continue to live with me. After announcing and signing the document, I changed my mind and declared that I am ready to marry her, to which she agreed. I am told that according to the Sharia, she has to wait out her ‘Iddah (waiting period) of 3 months and that we can only unite after that by means of a new marriage. However, I did this without a proper mind, and it was a faulty decision. Now I have finalised that I should stand by my Khul’, and I am not ready to marry her again. What does the Sharia say regarding this situation, and will my verbal proposal to marry her again be held accountable?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The question is not clear enough, but we say: a Khul’ is a kind of separation between the two spouses. It is a divorce in return for a compensation that the wife (or another person) pays to the husband. If this took place, then a Khul’ had taken place and the wife is removed from the authority of the husband and he has no control over her.

If they want to go back to each other, then he is like any other man who wants to propose to her; there must be a new contract with the presence of the guardian and two witnesses, etc. According to the most preponderant opinion of the scholars, it is a revocable divorce. Please refer to fatwas 88502 and 82541.

Hence, if this is not the third divorce, then it is permissible for you to take back (remarry) your ex-wife, and regardless of whether she is still in her ‘Iddah or after the expiry of her ‘Iddah. In both cases, there must be a new contract.

Based on this, you should know that what you were told, that you are obliged to wait until the end of her ‘Iddah, is not correct. This is because a woman in her ‘Iddah is forbidden for other men until her ‘Iddah expires, but she is not forbidden for her husband.

When elaborating on the ruling of explicitly proposing to a woman in her ‘Iddah or implying proposal, Ar-Rawdh Al-Murbi’ reads, “She is lawful for the man who divorced her less than three times, because it is permissible for him to copulate with her during her ‘Iddah as a sign of taking her back, since he is entitled to take her back in her ‘Iddah.

We should point out on this occasion that if a Muslim needs to seek a ruling in his religion, he should ask the scholars who have knowledge and who are qualified to issue fatwas; Allah says (what means): {And We sent not before you except men to whom We revealed [Our message]. So ask the people of the message if you do not know.} [Quran 16:43]

Al-Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

A layman who does not derive the rulings from their principles (texts) in regard to any part of his religion that he does not know because of him not being qualified to do so is obliged to go to the most knowledgeable person of his time and his country and ask him about his case; and then he should act upon his fatwa, as Allah says (what means): {So ask the people of the message if you do not know.} He must endeavor to find the most knowledgeable person of his time in such a way that most of the people agree on him.

Also, it is an obligation to be careful regarding issuing fatwas without knowledge, as Allah says (what means): {And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned.} [Quran 17:36]

Finally, we did not understand what you exactly mean by your statement, “However, I did this without a proper mind, and it was a faulty decision. Now I have finalised that I should stand by my Khul’, and I am not ready to marry her again;” as well as your statement, “and will my verbal proposal to marry her again be held accountable?”.

Allah knows best.

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