I have been married for a year and have been working in Saudi. My wife was with me and she left me 3 months ago to visit Pakistan. From there, she went to Sri Lanka where her sister is living. From Sri Lanka, she sent me a message that she has started following teachings of Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi (more details can be found at www.goharshahi.com) and she cannot live with me and wants a divorce.
Local ulema declared her murtad (renegade) by following the Gohar Shahi sect. I would like to know:
1. What is the status of my nikah with her?
2. If I divorce her three times will it be valid as I have not met her in three months and she is not in contact with me?
3. What is punishment of her act in Islam and if someday she reverts back to Islam what would be my status with her?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
The Gohar Shahi cult is centred on the figure of Riyaz Ahmad Gohar Shahi. He was born in 1941. During his lifetime he made many absurd claims such as that he had been directly taught by the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam. He also claimed the spirit of God had entered him. According to some sources, he said that Salah, Zakat, Fasting and Hajj were only of a temporary nature and did not have continuing relevance.
He also claimed that the 30 paras of the Holy Quran were meant for ‘ordinary mortals’ and that there were an additional 10 paras that were only accessible by the elite like himself, which talks about the spiritual side of faith.
From the above, we can clearly deduce that the Gohar Shahi sect is not a part of Islam and do not represent the teachings of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah.
With regards to your first question, when your wife joined this group, she became a murtad (apostate) thus your marriage with her was broken straight away. There is no need for a Qadhi or an Islamic Sharee Council to annul the marriage. (Raddul Muhtar p.366 v.4 & Hidayah p.348 v.2)
With regards to your second question, as your marriage is broken there is no benefit in declaring three divorces as they will not take any effect.
Finally, should your wife decide to become a Muslim again then the fatwa or ruling is that she will be obliged to re-marry you again and she will not be allowed to marry anyone besides you. Similarly, the marriage should be conducted with a very small mahr, even if this is less than the minimum amount for mahr (10 Dirhams = £3) (Raddul Muhtar p.367 v.4 & Fatawa Hindiyyah p.362 v.1)
In Darul Islam, the procedure for a man who turns away from his religion is that the Qadhi (Islamic Judge) will speak to him and get rid off any doubts which he may have. The Qadhi will give him a period of three days. If he accepts Islam again then his conversion will be accepted. If not he will be killed. This will only occur in an Islamic state. (Raddul Muhtar p.359 v.6)
A woman, on the other hand, would not be killed, but will be a prisoner for life. This is the punishment for this world. The punishment for the Hereafter is the fire of hell forever.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham