You Are Irrevocably Divorced after Third Divorce
Fatwa No: 415825

Question

I would like to seek a Fatwa and confirmation that I am now fully divorced from my Husband.
The situation has been as follows:
- I was married to my husband on 15-Jan-2005
- First Verbal Divorce was given to me by my Husband in 2010
- Second Verbal Divorce was given to me by my Husband in 2012
- Third Official Divorce was granted by the Australian Courts Legally on my Husbands request and finalised on 9-Dec-2019
I am requesting a Fatwa and confirmation that I am now Islamically divorced.
Or
Should i seek a Khula to settle the matter of divorce for once and for all because as per Australian Laws I am legally divorced.
Please advise and guide me on the right way forward.

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 your husband did not take you back after the second divorce until your ‘Iddah (post-divorce waiting period) expired, then you have become divorced from him (a reversible divorce) as per the Sharee‘ah, and you do not need to request Khul’ (divorce requested by the wife in return for a compensation).

If he had revoked the second divorce, took you back in marriage during the ‘Iddah, and then issued a third divorce verbally, in writing with the intention of initiating a divorce or delegated someone else, even if a non-Muslim, to issue it on his behalf, then a third divorce has taken effect. This is because the delegation of a non-Muslim to issue a divorce on behalf of a (Muslim) husband, is valid. As-Suyooti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book Al-Ashbaah wa An-Nathaa’ir: “It is permissible to delegate a non-Muslim to issue the divorce of a Muslim woman (on behalf of the husband).” [End of quote]

In this case, you would be divorced from him an irrevocable divorce.

However, if your husband revoked the second divorce and took you back in marriage during the ‘Iddah, and he did not verbalize or write a third divorce nor delegate another person to issue it on his behalf, then you are still married to him as per the Sharee‘ah. In this case, we advise you to present your case to the Islamic center in your country directly. The statement issued by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA) reads: “Seventh topic: When to regard a civil divorce issued by courts in non-Muslim countries as valid:

The resolution stated that if a husband divorces his wife according to the Sharee‘ah, there is nothing wrong with authenticating it before courts run based on man-made laws. In the event of disputes between the spouses over the divorce, the Islamic centers take the place of the Sharee‘ah judiciary in its absence, after fulfilling the necessary legal procedures. Resorting to courts run based on man-made laws to terminate the marriage legally does not, on its own, dictate the termination of the marriage under the Sharee‘ah. If a woman obtains a civil divorce, she should take it to the Islamic centers to complete the needed procedures according to the Sharee‘ah through scholars who are qualified to address such cases. Resorting to civil courts under the pretext of necessity is not acceptable in this case, especially that the Islamic centers are available and are easy to refer to in various regions.” [End of quote]

Allah Knows best.

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