What Muslim Women Should Know about Khulu’
Every woman basically wants to get married once in a lifetime. If a woman has received a man as her husband, she hopes that he will meet his obligations to her as his wife and will treat her well so the marriage remains harmonious and long-lasting. Unfortunately, sometimes he or she violates his/her promises after the wedding has occurred and as a result, the marriage ends with divorce. In the case of the wife who filed for divorce, it is called khulu’.
According to the language, khulu’ means a man divorcing his wife and receiving a ransom. While according to Fiqh, khulu’ means divorce against the wife made the husbands getting a wealth redeemer (‘iwadh). It means if the wife is filing for divorce, she must return the dowry that her husband gave her.
It was narrated from Ibn Abbas (RA):
“The wife of Thabit bin Qais bin Syammas has come to the Prophet and said,” O Messenger of Allah, I do not denounce my husband about his morals and religion. But I do not like disbelief in Islam.” Then the Prophet Muhammad asked: “Would you hand him back his garden?” “Yes,” she replied. Then the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Accept the garden (O Thabit) and throw her a divorce (talaq 1).” (Reported by al-Bukhari and An-Nasa’i and mentioned also in Nail Al-Authar by Ash-Syaukani).
The words “I do not like disbelief in Islam” means that she did not like to disobey her husband and leave her duties due to the fact that she did not love him.
It is unlawful for a husband to deliberately mistreat his wife so that his wife files for divorce and in the end he will receive the treasures ransom. The aim of divorce to get the ransom is unlawful in Islam, because his wife has suffered and has to pay the ransom. Allah (SWT) has warned against it in Surat an-Nisa verse 19:
O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr you have given them, unless they commit open illegal sexual intercourse. And live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.
Finally, Islam allows a wife to ask for divorce if it is forced and if the reasons are acceptable. For example, if the husband does not give her a living, if the husband has a defect and cannot fulfill his obligations, if the husband harasses his wife, if the wife is afraid to fall into sin because the husband disappeared or is gone for years, or if the husband is imprisoned, but if the reasons are not agreeable then a Muslim woman should avoid khulu’.
Reference: Fiqhul Mar’ah Al-Muslimah by Ibrahim Muhammad Al-Jamal