Divorcing his wife by written statement and no witnesses
Fatwa No: 89894

  • Fatwa Date:3-5-2005 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 25, 1426
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Is it acceptable in Islam, when husband divorcing his wife by just writing a statement of divorce without witness? Would not be necessary to have two witnesses when husband divorcing wife?


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.


Writing the word divorce is a metaphor for divorce (i.e., not a real one), so divorce does not take effect (by writing it) unless it is accompanied by intention according to the view of the most preponderant opinion of the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them. But, if someone writes the word divorce while uttering it, then it takes effect.

As regards having witnesses in divorce, this is not a condition for its validity, as divorce is in the hands of the husband and whenever he initiates it, it takes effect. However, having witnesses is something desirable as Allaah Says (what means): {And bring to witness two just men from among you…} [Quran: 65:2]

Finally, it should be noted that one should not hasten to pronounce the word divorce, rather he should try other alternatives for reconciliation and realize that divorce is the last resort to put an end to the disputes between the two spouses. Divorce always has unpleasant consequences as it leads to the breaking up of the family, losing children and so forth.

Allaah Knows best.

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