Can women give divorce?

In the Shariah, the right to divorce has been given to the man and not to the woman because in the married life, the husband is responsible for all the economic and other such affairs and the responsibility of the wife to obey her husband. As long they are bound by marriage, it is necessary for the husband to provide maintenance to the wife and take care of her housing and other affairs. In all these matters, the husband has to perform the duties and is responsible for them. The wife can stay in the house and benefit from what the husband provides. She is free of responsibilities. For this reason, it is justice to give the husband the right to end the relationship and refuse the responsibilities. Allah Ta'ala says about the husband:

Translation: ……. in his hands is the knot of the marriage.

Apart from this, the woman is easily overwhelmed by anger and other emotions. In her menses, the woman suffers from restlessness and anxiety. The decision-taking ability of a woman is less than that of a man. The wisdom of a woman is naturally less than that of a woman. For this reason, she is called as "Naqis Ul Aql" i.e. having less brain in the Hadith. Many cases of divorce happen only because a woman demands them.

A woman remains busy in taking care of the house and in bringing up the children. For this reason, she cannot pay attention to other matters. It must not be that because of tiredness due to work, and some excess committed by the husband, the woman ends up using her right of divorce and repents and rules later on. For all these reasons, the woman is not given the right to divorce.

In light of the above details, it becomes obvious that giving the right of divorce to the husband is correct. However if the wife is facing injustice and she wants separation, she may take course to Khula (annulment of marriage). 

Author: Mufti Hafidh Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri, Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia


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