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I understand and know that marriage is a big deal. I am looking forward to getting married, Alhamdulillah and Inshallah.

Question is: What if I find that when meeting a potential spouse that the compatibility based on questions seems to be there (with limited contact/meet), but then when we have nikah, maybe we are not exactly compatible? It may be that we are good people but when it came down to it, we just are not exactly compatible and by no ill will or bad means, we decide to divorce.

Would this be a haram act or an immoral act?

I don't want this to seem like a temporary (Mutah) marriage like Shia's believe but the reality is that things DO happen. It may seem very nice to begin with but then after the fact (of Nikah), things may not be so well as once thought or were alluded to.

I'd appreciate a solid answer with references as to this potential matter.

  • Could you add some more info to make it more specific? – Sakib Arifin Jul 22 '16 at 19:22
  • @MohammadSakibArifin - sadly I cannot. it was intended to be generic. For instance there maybe some incompatibility between the 2 or things did not seem as "interesting" or "exciting" as once may have thought. – Ahmed ilyas Jul 22 '16 at 19:43
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In Islam, divorce is not a haram or immoral act. This intense societal dislike of divorce is mostly a Christian concept. Although it is considered good to remain in marriage, divorcing is not a sin, in Islam (although some cultures like Indian and surroundings have a stigma against divorce probably due to Hindu influences). In fact, this is how Quran speaks of the divorce of one of the Sahaba:

And (remember) when you said to him (Zaid bin Harithah, the freedslave of the Prophet SAW) on whom Allah has bestowed Grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you (O Muhammad SAW too) have done favour "Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah." But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what Allah has already made known to you that He will give her to you in marriage) that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., Muhammad SAW married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him. So when Zaid had accomplished his desire from her (i.e. divorced her), We gave her to you in marriage, so that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in respect of (the marriage of) the wives of their adopted sons when the latter have no desire to keep them (i.e. they have divorced them). And Allah's Command must be fulfilled. (33:37)

As you can see above, Allah noted the Prophet (SAW)'s advice to keep in marriage and didn't say anything bad about it (i.e. the Prophet (SAW) did nothing wrong by advising Zaid (RA) to keep the marriage). Then he also said that Zaid (RA) divorced his wife and didn't say anything bad about it (i.e. Zaid (RA) did nothing wrong by divorcing). It is also important to note that Zaid (RA)'s divorce was entirely based on compatibility. His wife, Zainab (RA), was a cousin of the Prophet (SAW) and later a Mother of the Believers, and Zaid himself was a well-loved Sahabi who died a Shaheed later on, so both were good Muslims.

In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with divorce. Although it is better to stay in the marriage, Islamically, there is nothing wrong with divorcing even entirely based on compatibility. Marriage is not a once per life thing.

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It's difficult to get accurate information on this because the legalities vary from place to place, but the options I found for a couple who consider themselves incompatible and agree to separation/divorce are listed below.

They're not haram (as divorce is not haram), but ordinarily couples are encouraged to endeavour to reconcile and mediate first. I cannot say whether or not these are immoral.

1. Faskh (annulment)

In these circumstances, the marriage may be annulled (faskh, or judicial separation). Islam Q&A lists this exact reason:

Examples of reasons for which the marriage contract may be annulled (faskh) include the following:

  • Lack of compatibility between the spouses, according to those scholars who regard that as one of the conditions for the marriage contract to be valid.

Islam Q&A includes some specifics:

  • It requires a judge or a sharia ruling.

  • The wife is not entitled to anything of the mahr (dowry).

Doing some Googling indicates that (a) what faskh actually is (and whether or not it includes khula), (b) what is the process of obtaining faskh, and (c) how the court can be satisfied varies significantly.

2. Khula (wife-initiated divorce)

Khul' is a procedure through which a woman can divorce her husband in Islam, by returning the dower (mahr) that she received from her husband. ... khul' allows a woman to initiate a divorce through the mutual consent of the husband or a judicial decree.

3. Mubarat (mutually negotiated divorce)

TheNews.com.pk explain this as:

The literal meaning of the word mubarat is ‘obtaining release from each other.’ When the husband and wife, with mutual consent, seek release from married state. ... It is equivalent to one irrevocable divorce without the aid of the court.


See also Muslim Personal Law: Moral and Legal Issues (pdf)

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