Is divorce from U.S court valid?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Brother Burhan, Salam-alaikum

Thank you very much for your prompt reply. I appreciate your work and efforts that you are doing in helping people understand Islam better and finding answers to their questions, either personal or general. My first question is rather personal. Topic is not new, but I need to know how it effects my life.  I  had a very unsuccessful marriage, my husband, being abusive and violent, always treated me badly throughout the period we lived togather. I have two children from this marriage.He left us and we haven't heard from him for over four years now. I  want to resolve this marriage. I  am granted divorce from US court, but I need to know what can I do to make sure that its over. I  just want to have a normal happy life, and well within the limits of shariah.

I would appreciate your help.

Thank you.


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Is divorce from U.S court valid?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His  forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Beloved sister in Islam,  before we make a comment on the validity of the divorce granted by the US Courts,  we need to know whether your husband was present in the Court when they granted a divorce,  or did he disappear for four years without saying anything.   


If your husband was present at the divorce proceedings,  and gave you the divorce before leaving,  then the divorce will be considered valid.    If your husband disappeared before giving you the divorce,  the divorce granted by the US Courts in his absence will not be binding on the believers.  


In such a case,  where the husband disappears for a long period,  the wife has a right to initiate a divorce proceeding in a Shariah Court,  and the Shariah Judge or Qadi will grant her a divorce on grounds of the husband’s disappearance for a long period of time.   In the US where one might not have access to a Shariah Court,  the people may approach the Imam or leader of the mosque and he should be able to help you in this regard.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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