Monday, October 11, 1999
Dear Sister Bilqis,
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.
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.