Category: Marriage (Nikah)
Fatwa#: 14973
Asked Country: South Africa

Answered Date: Mar 13,2007

Title: I realised that the civil mariage is hindering our family life as my wife will openly declare that half of everything...


I am married both civilly and religiously. As time goes by, I realised that the civil mariage is hindering our family life as my wife will openly declare that half of everything I buy is hers. Hence it is becoming difficult for me to say buy a house knowing very well that she might ask for divorce only to get half of the house. I have decided to request her to change our mariage contract which she refused. Now the only way for me is to ask for divorce regarding the civil mariage while keeping our Nika intact.

However I have been told that in doing so, my nika also will be nullified because I will probably have to sign a paper saying that I am divorcing my wife and that regarding divorce the intention is not counted. Is it really so. How then can i get rid of that unislamic contract ?


In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

There are two views among the Ulama regarding the issue of terminating a civil marriage. Some Ulama are of the opinion that when a husband files for a civil divorce, the application will affect the status of his Nikah and constitute a Talaaq. However, other Ulama state that the Nikah is not affected and no Talaaq will take place.

As a matter of precaution, you may inform two people (as witnesses) that you intend filing for a civil divorce and your intention is not to issue Talaaq to your wife. Thereafter, even if you file for a civil divorce, your Nikah will not be terminated. (Shaami)

And Allah knows best


Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa

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