Divorce Under Muslim Law

This article discusses the process of divorce under Muslim Law. Under the Muslim Law, a marriage is dissolved either by the death of the husband or wife, or by divorce. However, the wife cannot divorce herself from her husband without his consent. Understand the process of Muslim for divorce and the various routes towards dissolution of marriage.

Mon Jul 11 2022 | Family Law | Comments (0)


Under the Muslim Law, a marriage is dissolved either by the death of the husband or wife, or by divorce. After the death of a wife, the husband may remarry immediately. But the widow cannot remarry before a certain specified period called ‘Iddat’ expires.

Generally, both the parties to the marriage contract have an opinion for divorce, but the husband right in this respect is much greater than that of the wife.

The husband can dissolve the marriage tie at his will. A divorce can also take place by mutual agreement.

But the wife cannot divorce herself from her husband without his consent. She can, of course, purchase her divorce from her husband and can have the marriage dissolved by Tafweez (delegation).

Marriage may also be dissolved by judicial decree under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939.

Divorce by husband/wife

A Husband may divorce in the following manner-

  1. Talaq: which is released from the marriage tie immediately or eventually.
  2. Ila: where a husband of sound mind takes a vow that he will abstain from all relationship from his wife.
  3. Zihar: where husband sane and adult compares his wife to his mother or any other female within the prohibited degrees.

A wife may divorce in the following manner-

  1. Talaqetafwiz: talaq by the wife under the husbands delegated power.

Divorce by judicial decree under dissolution of The Muslim Marriage Act,1939

Following are the grounds on which a marriage may be dissolved under the Marriage Act.

  1. Lian: Where the wife is charged with adultery and the charge is false. She can file a regular suit for dissolution of marriage as a mere application to the court is not the proper procedure.
  2. Fask: The cancellation, abolition, revocation, annulment. Before the passing of the dissolution of Marriage Act, Muslim women is allowed only to apply for the dissolution of their marriage under the doctrine of Fask.


A Muslim woman may file for divorce on the following grounds-

  1. That the whereabouts of the husband have not been known for a period of 4 years
  2. That the husband has neglected or has failed to provide for her maintenance for a period of two years.
  3. That the husband has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of seven years or upwards.
  4. That the husband has failed to fulfill his marital obligation for a period of three years.
  5. That the husband has been insane for two years or is suffering from leprosy or a virulent form of venereal disease.
  6. That the husband was impotent at the time of marriage and continues to be so.

The women, being given in marriage by her father or other guardian before she attained the age of 15 years, repudiated the marriage before attaining the age of 18.

Triple divorce

Triple divorce is a recognized, but disapproved form of divorce and is considered by the Islamic jurists as an innovation within the fold of Sharia. It commands neither the sanction of Holy Quran nor the approval of the Holy Prophet.

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