I want to go through with a divorce as things are not working out. My husband lives abroad and the last time I was with him was 9 months ago. He is refusing to give me a divorce, but he says I can divorce him. I have been looking up information, and have read that if a husband gives you permission to divorce, then you can say 'I divorce myself' (something called 'empowerment'). I want to know: How can I do this?
If the Husband gives you the option of divorcing yourself, you can divorce yourself. The only conditions are the time of the session for which he gives you this right(it can be limited or perpetual). This is the view of the Hanafi and Shafi schools of thought as cited below. I am unaware if the Malikis and Hanbalis differ on this matter.
This is a separate matter from Khula(where the wife demands divorce from the Husband or a court), and from Fasak-e-Nikah(where a court dissolves the marriage unilaterally).
Imam Nawawi of the Shafi school of thought documents in his Minhaj Al Talibin:
A husband may lawfully grant his wife the right to pronounce her own répudiation(Talak), a proceeding which Shafîi in his second period likened to a transfer of property. The law requires that a wife so authorised should exercise the right soon afterwards. Thus one may say to one's wife : " You may yourself prononunce your répudiation for one thousand pieces of money," and after this she is irrevocably repudiated upon pronouncing the répudiation, and also owes the sum mentioned. One jurist, however, compares this proceeding to an appointment as agent by the husband, and consequently does not insist on the wife's pronouncing the répudiation soon afterwards.
Similarly in Al-Hidayah, a compendium on Hanafi law mentions:
If he says to his wife, "Choose yourself," and he intends divorce thereby, or he says to her, "Divorce yourself," then, she has the right to divorce herself as long as she is in this session. If she gets up from this session or begins some other act, the matter moves out of her hands.
If a person says to his wife, "You may divorce yourself," when he has not formed any intention or he forms the intention of a single repudiation, and the woman says, "I have divorced myself," then one revocable repudiation takes effect. If she divorces herself with three repudiations, and the husband had intended this, three repudiations will occur.
It depends on the rules of your country...but in Sharia there are 3 kinds of divorces:
1. The man divorces the woman:
- 2. They both want to divorce:
- 3. Just the woman wants to divorce:
in your case, it might have some disadvantages, so consider the rules of your country first.