Muslim Matrimonials and More's Ask Bilqis


Monday, October 11, 1999


Dear Sister Bilqis,

Assalamu Alaykum,

I am Muslim and happened to meet a young divorced Muslimah (a revert to Islam) whose former husband is a Muslim. We agreed to get married and the former husband knew of our plans and said everything was clear so we could ahead. She told me her iddah (waiting period) was completed and that everything has been cleared concerning the former husband. We set a date for the wedding and just a couple of days before the set date she said the wedding could not go on: That she has been informed (Allahu A'lam) by friends or brothers of the former husband that her divorce was not valid and that she must go back to the former husband to start a new divorce.

I would be glad if you could give your opinion or advice concerning this complicated and weird issue based on Islamic teachings.

Disturbed Muslim


Dear Disturbed,

Concerning marriage and divorce, these are matters that should be "witnessed" by parties other than just the couple involved. The community in my area has a particular brother appointed to deal with such things.

After both parties are counseled as to their rights and responsibilities as Muslims, if a divorce is granted there is a paper drawn up confirming this fact which is signed by all parties (e.g. the Imam, usually two witnesses and the divorced party). A notarized copy of this is kept at the Masjid office and a copy is given to the divorced party.

If something of this nature has not been done, I suggest you find someone in authority at a Muslim community that you both agree upon and arbitrate this matter. A third party who can be objective needs to look at the situation and make a decision according to Islamic Law.

-Bilqis Muslim Matrimonials