Fatwa Question or Essay Title:
The <i>Islamic Sharia Council</i> of the U.K. responds to the question: "When is civil divorce recognized Islamically?"
The right of divorce is primarily with the husband in the Sharia. A decree of divorce issued by a civil Court will be valid if: 1. The husband is the petitioner, or: 2. The Husband consents to the divorce in writing. If neither of the above is the case, then the wife may apply for an Islamic divorce through the Council. An application for divorce by the wife is known as khula, a condition of which is that the wife returns to the husband any maher (dower) or jewelry she received from him, if he so demands.
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