Category: Marriage
Fatwa#: 14845
Asked Country: United States

Answered Date: Jan 24,2007

Title: I'm wondering since his intentions were not for the right reasons to begin with was the marriage valid

Question

I'm an american revert to Islam and I'm writting to you of course from the U.S.   I have a difficult question regarding divorce.   In June 2002 I married a Pakistani man.  We were married islamically in a local masjid.   I didn't realize though until about a year after we married that my husbands intentions for marriage were only for a green card.   Everything was about making sure that things were perfect so he would get his greencard as soon as possible.   He even hired a lawyer to do his paperwork, etc.   He worked alot so he wasn'tat home most of the time and sent most of his money home to his family.   Most of the time I had to practically beg for some money to help pay the bills.  He would then give me a small amount but I paid for most of the bills, food, etc.  The about every 8 months he would go back to Paksitan and would stay for 3 or 4 months.  He never asked if it was ok with me to go, he just went.  So needless to say I never felt like I was really his wife.  The last time he went back to Pakistan the INS called and I told them that I believed he only wanted me for a green card and they stopped the paperwork for his greencard.  I'm wondering since his intentions were not for the right reasons to begin with was the marriage valid?  He's been back in Pakistan(or I think he's in Pakistan) for 2 and a half years now.  We've had no contact since then except I've tried calling him and emailing him for him to give me a divorce but he will not talk to me.  He also has changed his phone number and I have no address for him back there.  How can I get an Islamic divorce?  I don't have the money right now for a legal divorce, which will cost thousands of dollars since he's not here in the U.S.,  but I would really like to get married again to a good, pious muslim man.  Please can you give me some advice?  JazakAllah Khair. 

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

I am very sorry to read about your plight. You are not alone in this situation. It is very unfortunate that many crooked men deceive honest and sincere women into marriage for worldly gains.

It is my advice to all Muslim American women who enter into an Islamic marriage (Nikah) and also fear dishonesty from the man she wishes to marry to enter into a Tafweez-e-Talaaq contract. That is a contract of Nikah with conditions be drawn up and issue the wife or a neutral person or body the right to issue divorce if the husband violates the terms and conditions of the Nikah. If you had taken away such right from him before the Nikah, you could effect a divorce unilaterally by virtue of the power given to you through the contract. I advise my American sisters, especially reverts to Islam to implement this to safeguard being deceived.

Sister, your marriage was valid. The solution to your problem is refer to the local Ulama or Islamic organization and request for the Islamic marriage to be annulled. Your situation will be governed by the rules of Zawjatul Ghaib (absconding husband). The organization or three respected members of the community will take an application of annulment (Faskh) from you and should they fail to find your husband, they will set a date where you will come in with at least two witnesses who know all about your marriage and your husband. You will present your case to the judicial committee who will question you and your witnesses. One they are satisfied, they have a right to annul the Islamic marriage in the absence of your husband. This solution is proposed to relieve oppressed Muslim women who are abused by their husbands.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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