Dear Mufti Sahib
Im writing this e-mail in relation to a Sharia council in the UK which has been dealing with my marital issue.
I am 41 years of age and my wife is 38 years of age. We are currently living in separate houses.
We both have children from previous marriages and our own 5 year old son.
my wife and I got married in January 2008. I had moved to my wife’s house, due to the fact that my wife’s children had already settled down. I started having problems with my stepchildren. However, family life still was okay, as I was providing finances via my family. My wife got pregnant in January 2013 and had aborted the child at 42 days, due to me not having financial stability and the fact that I was finishing repairing the new home. This caused major issues between us and we were both emotional and upset regarding this joint decision to abort, also the fact that I had taken full custody of my own daughter and the case started in May 2013.
My wife applied for faskh to a Shari’a council in the UK. On the 1st of June 2014, me and my wife had a meeting with the Sharia council to discuss matters further. My wife alleged that I had not given financial support or emotional support to her and that I had intentions to kick out my two stepchildren, because I now had full custody of my daughter.
These allegations have not been looked into by the Sharia council and my proof against these allegations has been totally dismissed, as my wife has said that this marriage is unworkable and that i do not want to live with my husband. The Sharia council have not dealt with the allegations of not providing for her, as I had full bank statements to prove I was providing for her, but they did not check my evidence. I also had my laptop with pictures of my wife and stepchildren that showed that family life was good, even until the decision that my wife had made in January 2014 to get in contact with the Sharia council.
I was told by the Sharia council that I have three weeks to reconcile with my wife and that we resolve all issues. I asked to speak to my wife in the meeting, but I was refused because my wife did not want to talk to me as she was upset and they said they cannot force her to talk to me. I was left totally clueless as to what to do.
I turned up unannounced at the Sharia council and spoke to one of the maulanas there. He said that we cannot force your wife to stay with you and she does not like you and doesn’t want to stay with you. He said just as a man has the right to divorce, a woman has the right to ask for talaaq if she says she can’t stand the sight of her husband. He told me to put myself in her shoes and think about it. He said on the basis of SHIQAQ they can finish the marriage. I said this was wrong to which he said “Are you a mufti?” and got angry with me. Basically, the Sharia council said they can dissolve this marriage on the basis that your wife doesn’t want to stay with you and that we can issue one TALAAQ AL-BAIN. I complained that nobody listened to my side of the argument and said my wife needs to be told that what she is doing is wrong. The maulana said he cannot tell the wife what she is doing is wrong.
These are the points they have put in a letter to me:
“3 weeks have been allowed for reconciliation, although the Petitioner is in no doubt that her marriage with you has broken down. At the end of 3 weeks both parties shall write to SC of their respective final decision. SC hopes that a reconciliation is reached. However, if that is not possible SC will reserve its right for a dissolution and shall send divorce documents to the Respondent to finalise the divorce.”
Mufti Sahib, my question is that can a marriage be finished in this way through SHIQAQ?
What are the conditions according to Shariah law for Shiqaq?
What happens if they have not even listened to my side of the story?
If a divorce is issued by them, will it be valid?
Please provide me with answers and I would be grateful for evidence too, as the Shariah Council refused to answer with evidence when I told them what they were doing is wrong. I am sure you appreciate how serious this matter is and that a marriage has ups and downs and shouldn’t be given an ultimatum of three weeks, especially when parties need time to cool down and overcome emotions.