I am a little bit confused on the topic of divorce.. Could you explain the requirements for a divorce to be valid … Should there be witnesses, and if so, how many?
Also, can a divorce take place over the phone, or does it have to be with both parties present?
wa `alaykum salam,
The following points briefly illustrate the ways in which an Islamic marriage comes to an end. Ending a marriage in Islam can take place by one of three main methods:
Talaq: This form of divorce is the sole right of the husband whereby he pronounces the word divorce, talaq or any other similar word (in any language) to establish a divorce. No one may deprive him of this right given that he has been awarded such a right by God. This right belongs only to the husband and moreover, he does not need the consent or approval of any one, including his wife.
Khul`: It is a divorce issued by the husband in exchange of money. It happens when the wife requests her husband to divorce her, but he refuses unless she returns her dowry. Again, it is the right of the husband and is conditional to his approval.
Faskh; it is a marriage dissolution issued by a judge in response to a request by the wife and normally takes place against the will of the husband. However, the judge has to be appointed either by the leader of the Muslims, or by the Muslim community, or at least recognized as being an Islamic judge by the vast majority of the Muslim community.