Understanding Khula

“If khula is considered as separation, then it can be a given a number of times and in case it is considered as a divorce then it is only once and irrevocable.” Is this true?

If yes, kindly answer the following:

1. Does separation mean that the couple is still married but live separately and can marry others too?

2. What is the waiting period in the case of khula?

3. What is irrevocable khula?

The difference of opinion arises regarding the words that the husband uses. If after the wife asks for divorce he uses the term khula then the scholars say this is an annulment of the marriage while others say that this is just a separation which does not have the effects of divorce (talaaq) but if he uses the term talaaq then the other scholars say in this case it is to be regarded as a talaaq and not just a mere annulment/separation. Scholars like Ibn Abbas say whether the word talaaq is used or not if the separation is on the condition of compensation from the wife then it is not talaaq but a separation. [1]

  1. Separation: The woman is no longer his wife, the man does not have a right to take her back even in her iddah without her consent (this is not the case with talaaq). If he wants to marry her he has to propose again and if she accepts then they can re-marry. Thus if the khula is valid they can marry other people and there will be nothing wrong with that.

When it comes to talaaq, after the first or second talaaq, the woman will be in a waiting period in which she is still considered a wife of this husband. The implication of this is that the husband can take her back even without her consent. [2]

  1. The waiting period is one menstrual cycle. This is the view supported by the majority of the scholars including Ibn Taymiyyah. The daleel for this is a hadeeth in which the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wasallam) commanded the wife of Thabit ibn Qays to observe an iddah of one menstrual cycle. [3]

Revocable Khula: To the best of my understanding, this is in reference of the husband taking back the wife. Remember, if the husband divorces the wife (talaaq and not khula) he can take her back during the iddah and her consent is not necessary as she is considered his wife, but if it’s khula then he does not have this right because when khula takes place its usually due to a harm coming from the husband to the wife. [4]


[1] Ibn Rushd, Bidayatul Mujtahid, 3/135

[2] Sheikh S Al-Fawzan, A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence, 2/

[3] http://islamqa.info/en/5163

[4] Ibn Rushd, Bidayatul Mujtahid, 3/135

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