Fatwa: # 17380
Category: Marriage
Country: South Africa
Date: 12th December 2008


I have read on your site that i is possible for a woman to take the power of talaaq at the time of nikah



I have read on your site that i is possible for a woman to take the power of talaaq at the time of nikah i.e. at a later time she can pronounce talaaq to end her nikah. What will need to be done in the South African context for a woman to be given this right. Please explain in detail if anything needs to be ammended on the standard nikah document used by Imams in South Africa or is it just necessary to pronounce this verbally.


There is one of two ways for a woman to secure the right to institute a divorce.

1.       She or her guardian initiates the Nikāh proposal and adds the condition that she maintains the right to divorce herself whenever she wishes. If the husband agrees to the proposal and the condition, she will have the right of divorce. A sample proposal could be, “I, so and so (name of wife), propose to marry you, (name of the future husband), on condition that I maintain the right to divorce myself whenever I so please.”

2.      The future husband states “Whenever I marry so and so (name of the future wife), then she will have the right to divorce herself whenever she wishes.” 


It will suffice for this proposal and condition or statement of the future husband to be witnessed; it will not be necessary to have it written. However, to avoid possible dispute and disagreement, we would recommend that it also be written and signed in front of the witnesses as well. 


Note: The wife will not obtain the right of divorce if the husband initiates the proposal and adds the condition that the future wife has the right to divorce herself whenever she wishes, by stating for example, “I propose to marry so and so on the condition that she has the right to divorce herself whenever she wishes”.


وإن ابتدأت المرأة فقالت زوجت نفسي منك على أني طالق أو على أن يكون الأمر بيدي أطلق نفسي كلما شئت فقال الزوج قبلت جاز النكاح ويقع الطلاق ويكون الأمر بيدها لأن البداءة إذا كانت من الزوج كان الطلاق والتفويض قبل النكاح فلا يصح أما إذا كانت البداءة من قبل المرأة يصير التفويض بعد النكاح لأن الزوج لما قال بعد كلام المرأة قبلت والجواب يتضمن إعادة ما في السؤال صار كأنه قال قبلت على أنك طالق أو على أن يكون الأمر بيدك فيصير مفوضاً بعد النكاح وكذا المولى إذا زوج أمته من عبده إن بدأ العبد فقال زوجني أمتك هذه على ألف على أن أمرها بيدك طلقها كلما شئت فزوجها منه يجوز النكاح ولا يكون الأمر بيد المولي ولو ابتدأ المولى فقالا زوجتك أمتي على أن أمرها بيدي أطلقها كلما أريد فقال العبد قبلت جاز النكاح ويكون الأمر بيد المولى…..  وكذا لو قال العبد لمولاه إذا تزوجتها فأمرها بيدك أبداً ثم تزوجها يكون الأمر بيد المولى ولا يمكنه إخراجه أبداً (الفتاوى الخانية ج 1 ص 155 , حقانية)


However, we wish to advise that it would be more appropriate to hand over the right of divorce to a pious ‘Ālim or ‘Ulamā organization who would not issue the divorce recklessly. Furthermore, the wife should not abuse the right of divorce by dominating the husband and constantly threatening to invoke her right. The husband, despite his eagerness to marry should carefully consider the issue and consult with his seniors before embarking on any decision.


And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Ml. Yusuf bin Yaqub,
Student Darul Iftaa

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