Is divorce via text message similar to a divorce through email

Q: is typing massage on mobile phone similar to writing on the paper.
2: Is divorce via sms and mobile valid?

3: what are the rulings of talaaq over the mobile phones. jazakallah plz give me reference from relevant books

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Answer

In Islam a verbal declaration of divorce is not necessary in determining the validity of a divorce.

Imam Kasani (RA) has said:

“Similarly issuing a divorce verbally is not a condition. Hence divorce will be effected with clear and unambiguous writing.” (Badai-al-Sanai P.100 v.3)

However, it should also be remembered that the written word in Talaq is not always taken at face value. There are situations where divorce issued with clear and unambiguous writing will constitute a legal divorce and in other situations it would not.

Before looking at your question, in the Hanafi Fiqh there are two types of written divorce:

  1. Marsumah
  2. Ghair Marsumah

Marsuma is where the letter is addressed to his wife and Ghair Marsumah is where the letter is not written to his wife. Then Marsuma and Ghair Marsumah have two types: clear and understandable writing and unclear and unreadable writing. Example of the first one will be writing that is written on a piece of paper, wall or ground in a way which is understandable and examples of unclear writing will be writing in the air, on water or on something in a way that is not understandable or readable.

In a situation where the writing is unclear, divorce will not occur irrespective whether it is Marsumah or Ghair Marsumah or whether he made an intention or not

In a situation where the writing is clear but it is not directed or written to his wife for example he typed the word ‘divorce’ or ‘Talaq’ then talaq will occur if he made an intention.

In a situation where the writing is clear and it is directed or referred to his wife for example he says ‘O Zainab! I have given you divorce,’ then talaq and divorce will occur irrespective of whether he makes an intention or not. (Fatawa Hindiyyah p.378 v.1)

With regards to your question, when a husband writes on the email, “Talaq” and sends it to the wife, then this becomes a formal letter, thus divorce will occur. (Raddul Muhtar p.456 v.4)

As soon as the husband emailed the message the letter became Marsumah, i.e. addressed to the wife thus talaq will occur without an intention of talaq or not. If he had not sent it but just typed ‘Talaq’ thrice, then it will depend on the intention of the husband.

Finally, divorces written on a text message has the same effect of typing it on an email. Therefore, if the husband texted divorce or talaq on his mobile phone and sends it to his wife the message has become Marsumah, i.e. addressed to the wife thus talaq will occur without an intention of talaq or not. If he had not sent it but just texted ‘Talaq’, then it will depend on the intention of the husband.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

 

 

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