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There are two ways to legally end a marriage - annulment and divorce.

An annulment is a legal procedure which cancels a marriage between a man and a woman. Annulling a marriage is as though it is completely erased - legally, it declares that the marriage never technically existed and was never valid.

A divorce, or legal dissolution of a marriage, is the ending of a valid marriage between a man and a woman returning both parties to single status with the ability to remarry.

I'm aware that Islam allows divorce but what is it's stand on annulment of marriage?

  • Thank You for the comment. What I'm trying to research on is if anullment resets the number of marriages to zero (or n-1 where n=total marriages so far) or if that previous marriage is still counted against the allowed four. I think it is the latter (but then its not exactly anulled is it) but I dont have any references. – Ahmed Nov 23 '16 at 8:14
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    You mean like if for example you have been married to 3 wives and got 1 annulment would it be still counted as 3 or 2 marriages (wives) I'd say two. – Medi1Saif Nov 23 '16 at 8:29
  • For example if a man had 3 wives, he is Islamically allowed only one more wife. If he gets the marriage "anulled" will he now be able to marry two more times or only once since he had married already thrice. – Ahmed Nov 23 '16 at 8:38
  • Maybe you are confusing something like this Questioner islam.stackexchange.com/questions/35335/… – Medi1Saif Nov 23 '16 at 8:48
  • Thank you for the link. But that question refers to a situation where a person already had 4 wives before Allah's command was revealed. – Ahmed Nov 23 '16 at 9:00
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Marriage annulment is called faskh and Islam Q&A has an article about it:

As for faskh, it is annulment of the marriage contract and dissolution of the marital bond completely, as if it never happened, and this can only be done by means of the verdict of a qaadi (judge) or a shar‘i ruling.

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).

Googling indicates that some aspects vary from place to place: (a) what faskh actually is (and whether or not it includes khula), (b) what is the process of obtaining faskh, (c) how the court can be satisfied varies significantly, and (d) if faskh requires a waiting period (iddah).


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

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