My husband and I are having marital difficulty and want to get a civil divorce. I am apprehensive about going through with the Islamic divorce in case we work things out and want to stay married. He also doesn't want to live alone and wants to marry another woman pretty quickly so if we stayed married she would be his second wife. Is this possible or must we divorce Islamically also and then have no remedy to stay married later. We live in the USA.

  • Islamic marry and civil marry?? What is diference?
    – user15514
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 23:33
  • 1
    Can you say more about your exact point of difference ?
    – HOPE
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 10:35
  • 1
    @user I think by civil she means government recognised. By Islam, she means in the eyes of God. It's common place in countries that do not allow marrying multiple people.
    – Terry
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 13:30
  • @Aisha-- Please consult a local Mufti in your area. Most places in the US have local Imams and Muftis who are qualified to give you a fatwa on your case.
    – Noah
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 6:48

2 Answers 2


Sorry for you dear,
Islamic marriage must be with Islamic contract and you can have authority to end the Islamic marriage based on the contract. Also note that divorced is divorced and applies on all type of marriage.

So if you get divorced as civil you also divorced as Islamic marriage. so in you case you will be divorce Islamic ally by default.

Marriage is not a game any time you play it based on your needs.

حَدَّثَنَا الْقَعْنَبِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْعَزِيزِ، - يَعْنِي ابْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ - عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ حَبِيبٍ، عَنْ عَطَاءِ بْنِ أَبِي رَبَاحٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ مَاهَكَ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ ثَلاَثٌ جِدُّهُنَّ جِدٌّ وَهَزْلُهُنَّ جِدٌّ النِّكَاحُ وَالطَّلاَقُ وَالرَّجْعَةُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "There are three things which, whether undertaken seriously or in jest, are treated as serious: nikah (marriage), talaq (divorce), and raj'a (taking back the wife after a divorce which is not final)." [Sunan Abi Dawud 2194, Al-Albani said hasan]

So, if the husband says (verbally) or sign a document saying such that he divorce his wife, the divorce is islamically valid.

For your kids i recommend reading this article

كيف تختلف تصرفات الأطفال بعد طلاق الوالدين ؟

  • 2
    I strongly recommend you to add references to your answer to support your claim. Maybe the linked article could be helpful, but you can't expect the questioner to be fluent in Arabic, so if you consider it helpful for her, you should add a summary in your own words about it.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 5:54

Civil marriage is a civil contract, Islamic marriage is a bound before God. Yes, one can exist without the other.

This being said, without a civil marriage, recognized by your state, neither of you have protection. Islamic marriage is not legally binding, but you still get justice in the afterlife, in case you are wronged.

Also, while the woman can ask to end the civil marriage, you have no authority in the Islamic marriage, the man does. In theory, a quadhi (Islamic judge) can pronounce the divorce in your stead if you make your case. I say "in theory" because I don't know where you would find one in the US.

So, technically, if Islamic law is important to you, you can neither initiate the divorce if the man doesn't want to nor stay married if the man wants to divorce.

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