Subject : Islamic Ruling on Retracting from one`s Acknowledgment in Divorce and other Matters
Fatwa Number : 3792
Date : 17-08-2023
Classified : Jurisprudence
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What is the ruling of Sharia on retracting from one`s acknowledgment in divorce and other matters?

The Answer :


All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


If a Muslim acknowledges a right and then retracts his acknowledgment, then the following has to be considered: If this acknowledgment pertains to a right of Allah, the Almighty, that is negated by doubt-such as prescribed punishments (Hudud) which is the view of the majority of scholars from different schools of jurisprudence. However, if the acknowledgment pertains to a right of individuals (human rights) or a right of Allah Almighty that is not negated by doubt and includes a right for a person as well-such as retribution (Qisas), false accusation (Qadhf), zakat, and divorce-then his retraction is not accepted, and this is without dispute among the scholars. 

It is not permissible for a husband to retract his acknowledgment of divorce, and his retraction is not accepted, especially if the acknowledgment was made willingly and correctly. Scholars of the Shafi'i, Hanafi, and Maliki schools of thought have all stated that the retraction of acknowledgment of divorce is not accepted. Imam Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy on him, mentioned: "If someone acknowledges one divorce or three divorces and then denies it, or says there was only one divorce, and if he does not provide a valid excuse, his retraction is not accepted." [Tuhfat Al-Muhtaj Fi Sharh Al-Minhaj Vol.8/ P.87].

Imam Al-Kasani (May Allah Have mercy on his soul) from the Hanafi school of thought, stated: "The one who acknowledges cannot retract his acknowledgment, just as if he acknowledged divorce and then retracted by saying to his wife, 'I divorced you three times,' and then said, 'Or I meant something else.' ………." [Bada'i Al-Sana'i Fi Tartib Al-Shara'i Vol.4/ P.14].

In the book [Tanqih Al-Hamidiyya], one of the books of the Hanafi school, in the section concerning divorce, it is mentioned in the first part: "A case was presented concerning a man who was asked about his wife and he said: "I have divorced her." However, the reality is that he did not actually divorce her but falsely claimed it. What is the ruling? The answer is that he is not believed in court (Divorce takes place), and he is held accountable in this matter before Allah The Almighty." Also, check [Al-Modawanah, Vol.2/P.95].

Therefore, the retraction of a divorce statement by the husband is not accepted. If the divorce was revocable, then he retains the right to take his wife back into his marital bond during the waiting period (Iddah), without the need for a new marriage contract or dowry and without her consent. This is because it is an established right for him in Islamic law. Otherwise, if the divorce is irrevocable, then he can`t take her back. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.




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