Divorce at wife's request is not always Khul'
Fatwa No: 355717

Question

In an argument, I rushed to ask my husband for a divorce. He ignored it. In the evening, I again asked for it. He kept quiet. I again asked. He said to my mom who was there that I was asking for a divorce and that if I asked again, he would give it to me. I again asked for. He asked me whether I was sure that I wanted it. I said that I did not want to live with him and that I wanted to divorce from him, and that he should give it to me. He said, "I divorced you." We did not know about the Khul‘ (divorce requested by the wife in return for a financial compensation given by her to the husband) at all. I called a scholar and said that my husband had said, "I divorce you," but I did not tell him that first I asked for a divorce and he then said it. The scholar said that it was a divorce. My husband then took me back. A year later, I said that I want to leave. He got very sad, but he said that if I wanted to leave, he would give me $10,000 because he still wanted to help me. Then in an argument at his work, I asked him for a divorce. He did not reply. I knew that he would give me money, but I did not ask for a divorce for money. I just wanted a separation. I again asked for a divorce. He asked me whether I was sure whether I wanted it. I said, "Yes." I again said that I did not want to live with him and that I wanted a divorce and that he should give me a divorce. He cried a bit and then tried to hug me. I was mad and said something. He then said, "I divorced you." A scholar said that these are two Khul‘ and that the Khul‘ is a divorce but that we should do a new marriage. A scholar said that if a man gives a divorce on his own accord, it is a divorce, and that if he pronounces the divorce in response to his wife request for a divorce, even she did not settle a dowry at the time, it is a Khul‘. If she did not know the ruling on the dowry and just asks for a divorce, it is a Khul‘ because not knowing a ruling does not prevent it from happening, so it is a Khul‘ since the divorce was on her demand. Another scholar said that these are Khul‘ and that if I did not know the ruling on dowry it could be settled later. On your website, I read about Khul‘, so I got confused. I asked three more scholars. They all said that these are Khul‘. Shaykh, had we known the process of Khul‘, we would have done it that way, but he would have done a Khul‘ without a dowry or compensation and still offered me money. He says that he did not want to pronounce any divorce at all, but since I asked so many times, he just said it at my demand. At the second divorce, he offered me $10,000, as he had said. Do we need a new marriage? Is Khul‘ a disputed matter?

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.

If the situation is as you mentioned in the question, then what had happened between you and your husband in the two mentioned incidents are instances of divorce, and not Khul’.

The fact that divorce took place after you requested it from your husband does not make it a Khul’. If your husband took you back during your ‘Iddah (waiting period), then you become his wife again, and there is no need for a new contract then.

Allah knows best.

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