We live in Azerbaijan where religion is separated from government management – a country which is not ruled as per Islamic Shariah rules). We need to perform a government nikah at governement institution and a religious nikah (separately) at a mosque by Imam to marry a woman. After 7 years of marriage, the wife applied to Government Court asking for divorce because husband prays salat, goes to mosque, read Adhan at home, teach Qu’ran to his kids, etc. Husband said in the court that he did not want to divorce and the court extended the case for a 3 month so the couple have a time to re-think about a divorce, but after 3 month since the wife insisted on divorce, the court made the nikah invalid and divorced the couple though the husband did not give his consent to divorce.(no talaq was given to wife in any way by husband and the wife did not return the mahr to husband.) Since that both of them live seperately almost for 2 years now, none of them married and husband gives nafaqa – alimony to his ex-wife as per court decision to cover the costs for 2 kids.) The question is – if government court invalidates the nikah does this mean shariah nikah also becomes invalid? Is this considered as an Islamic divorce though no talaq was given and the divorce did not happen as per shariah court?
Can this couple re-marry again with Mahr? Is new nikah required or sexual intercourse suffices? The government rules do not impose any restriction on marriage, so the same couple can divorce and marry again several times.
As we are not fully aware of how the legal system in Azerbaijan operates it would be difficult for us to issue a ruling on your particular case. We can however, provide an overview of related principles which you may discuss with local scholars.
If the legal system implemented by the government does not abide by sharʿi rules, and the opinion of your local scholars is to carry out an independent nikah with an Imam, then it would seem that these are two independent legal systems. Hence, a divorce according to the countries legal system would not be considered a sharʿi divorce if the conditions of a sharʿi divorce are not met such as the husband issuing the divorce.
We would advise speaking to local scholars who would be more aware of how the legal system operates and its relation to Islamic principles.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel