What are the Types of Divorce Under Muslim Law?

by  Adv. Priyanka Sampathy  




4 mins


Divorce under Muslim law


  • The legal dissolution of the marriage between a married couple is known as divorce. The divorce process depends on the community the married couple belongs to.
  • Similarly in Islam, if the couple finds it hard to live with each other or is unhappy, they find a way out of the marriage through divorce. 
  • In Islam, the divorce rules and regulations are very different from that of Hindus. The Muslim communities may grant a divorce to the husband or wife, whoever seeks to be relieved of their marital status.
  • There are various aspects and legal implications in a divorce under the Muslim law process, so it is to be acknowledged clearly. In the article, different kinds of divorce will be elaborated on.

Divorce/ Talaq

The Urdu term for divorce is “talaq .”In Muslim communities, a husband has predefined privileges to act and pronounce it at their intention when he is unsatisfied with marital life. They can end it with words or actions that are implied under Talaq or divorce under Muslim Law. 

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Types of Divorce under Muslim Law

Divorce under Muslim law is further divided into four categories. These are:

Talaq from husband

  • A Muslim woman can be left or divorced by her Muslim husband at any time in their married life.
  • The husband can exercise his rights if he is of sound mind and capable of making decisions. He will just pronounce it and have no reason or explanation for it.
  • The pronounced scenario may not have been in front of his wife or her family, he doesn’t have to do it in front of her addressing her, but the only thing in divorce under Muslim law is to provide is that the wife should be informed and notified about it as soon as this takes place.
  • Muslim marriage is written or simply verbal as it has no deciphered form in divorce under Muslim law. 
  • Shia Law has four conditions that are taken into consideration to evaluate if the husband is competent and capable.

The following are the conditions:

  • The husband who wants to give divorce under Muslim law should be a major. Only those above 18 years of age can give Talaq.
  • He should not be abnormal and must be of sound mind to take this serious decision.
  • Must act out of his intentions and free will. There should be no undue influence involved. 
  • Marriage dissolution intention should exist, and he should take the necessary steps likewise.

In Sunni law, if the husband pronounces the word “Talaq” in an intoxicated state, it is still valid and accepted.

It is not accepted under an intoxicated state in Shia law, as divorce under Muslim law has many nitty-gritty regulations which are considered. 

Divorce under Muslim law further classified Talaq by husband into more categories:

  • Talaq-ul-Sunnat: This is vastly used and accepted by Muslim communities as this conforms to the Prophet’s traditions and actions. This is also divided into two categories which are
  • Talaq Ahsan: It is done by pronouncing the word “Talaq” once while the period “Tuhr” or purity is going on, which means the wife is not on her menstrual cycle. The iddat period starts when the wife refrains from marrying another man between this period.

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It is very commonly used and approved as it can be terminated during the iddat period. The husband can commit sexual intercourse with the wife again or use words to conduct that he wants to be in marital status again.

  • Talaq Hasan: It is not that common and is used by the husband during the purity period. He had to pronounce the word “Talaq” three times during this period itself to complete the formal divorce under Muslim Law. If there is any involvement of sexual intercourse during the three times pronouncements, it becomes invalid. The last pronouncement makes it valid and cannot be reversed.
  • Talaq-ul-bidder: This is not accepted by many as it is notified as a sinful way of divorce under Muslim law. It is also called Triple Talaq, and it is not used or accepted by Shias. This is not commonly used in Muslim communities. 
  • Talaq-i-Hafeez: The husband can or can not delegate his power to his wife or some third person. An agreement is formed where the wife can pronounce the word herself accordingly if the conditions imposed are within consideration and not against any public policy.

This can be used in situations where a wife cannot access legal help or a divorce lawyer for herself. However, the issues related to divorce must be sought after legal consultation. 

There are options available for mutual consent divorce under Muslim Law:

  1. Khula: This right to divorce is bought by a wife from her husband. It takes place generally from the wife’s side, so it is not actually in mutual consent. The husband can also sue his wife for this in any way for not considering the payment agreed upon.
  2. Mubarak: This word means “Release” and is done by mutual consent of husband and wife. This type of divorce under Muslim law becomes irreversible if both parties accept it and act accordingly. They may hire a divorce lawyer for legal purposes and to resolve matters swiftly and effectively without further disputes.

In both cases, the wife has to go through the period of iddat and cannot reverse it. This is done by mutual consent.

Legal implications

  • After the divorce under Muslim Law is finalized, any intercourse is unlawful, and the children from this become illegitimate. 
  • The wife can remarry immediately if the marriage is not consummated. Otherwise, the iddat period prohibits her from remarrying.
  • The whole dower is payable to the wife if the marriage is consummated, half when not consummated.
  • The wife is maintained by her husband during her iddat period. 
  • Mutual rights are terminated when divorce under Muslim Law is finalized. One must take legal consultation while getting a divorce under Muslim Law.

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Divorce under Muslim Law is regulated by the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act 1939, where many rules and regulations are followed to stay on par with equal rights for husband and wife. Many scenarios are to be considered before proceeding with the process. 

The couple should approach legal consultation in order to receive professional help in such cases where marriage is on the line. Things about the law are to be thoroughly acknowledged before taking any immediate action.

Adv. Priyanka Sampathy

Adv. Priyanka Sampathy


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Priyanka Sampathy is a legal consultant who prioritises ethical and professional conduct while striving to achieve desired outcomes. With over 15 years of independent practice, she has significant expertise in handling legal cases. Her exceptional communication skills enable her to express arguments in a clear and persuasive manner, both in writing and verbally, in Hindi, English, and Telugu.

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