The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has questioned the right of a woman to seek divorce through court without the husband’s consent, saying only male partners can dissolve a marriage.
It has declared it un-Islamic for courts to grant ‘Khula’ (divorce filed by women) to dissolve a marriage without the husband’s consent.
In a recent meeting, the body observed the courts were dissolving Nikahs (marriages) incorrectly since under Shariah only the husband has the right to grant Khula. Urging civil courts to differentiate between Khula and unilateral dissolution of marriage through a court order, the CII chief said several women who dissolved their marriages using the terminology were still uncertain if their marriage had ended or not.
Khula is the prerogative of a husband, not the courts, the CII observed. While Shariah has explicitly defined the framework and procedure for Khula, it is not defined in the country’s existing marriage laws.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2016.