Praise be to Allaah.
Marriage is a serious covenant and it is one of the most
important rulings of sharee’ah, by means of which intimacy becomes
permissible and rights such as the mahr (dowry) and inheritance are proven,
and children are attributed to their father, and other rulings.
By means of divorce, a woman becomes haraam for her husband
and is deprived of inheritance, and she becomes permissible for other men to
marry, subject to well known conditions. Our aim in explaining all this is
to alert the Muslims to the necessity of not using these two contracts in
ways other than that which has been prescribed by Allaah, and not using them
as tricks. We have seen – unfortunately – men who will marry a woman not so
that the intimacy with her which was forbidden becomes permissible, and not
so as to form a family with her – as is the aim of the shar’i contract – but
so as to attain some worldly purpose, such as registering land, or getting a
licence to open a business, or to get residency, or to enable the woman to
travel outside her country. In none of this cases is the man a husband or
the woman a wife in the real sense, rather he is a husband on paper only! It
is not more than ink on paper. This is a kind of toying with the rulings of
sharee’ah. It is not permissible to do it or to take part in it, and it is
essential to try to stop it when the aim is to achieve some haraam purpose,
such as the one who does that in order to get residency in a non-Muslim
The same may be said with regard to divorce. It is a shar’i
ruling and it is not permissible for anyone to take it lightly or to toy
with its rulings. They call that a divorce on paper.
These people should all realize that they are sinning by
doing this. Allaah has not prescribed marriage and divorce so that the wife
might be a name on the contract with no rulings and rights. They should
realize that the rulings come into effect merely by virtue of the contract
being done, if the conditions and essential parts of it are fulfilled, and
that if any of these are missing it is invalid, and that divorce from the
husband takes place if the words are merely uttered. There is no such thing
in sharee’ah as marriage on paper and divorce on paper. The sin is further
compounded if it is done in order to do something that is haraam in the
first place, such as one who uses it to avoid giving people their rights or
paying debts to them, or if a woman uses it to get help given to divorcees
by a state or institution, or so that she can live in a non-Muslim state
where it is not permissible for her to reside, and other invalid, haraam
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him)
The Lawgiver forbids treating the Verses (Laws) of Allaah as
a jest (al-Baqarah 2:231) and forbids a man to speak of the Verses of Allaah
which are binding contracts except in a serious manner as they are meant to
be. Hence it is forbidden to take them lightly and or to marry a divorced
woman in order to divorce her so that it will be permissible for her to go
back to her first husband. This is indicated by the verse in which He says
(interpretation of the meaning): “And treat not the Verses (Laws) of
Allaah as a jest” [al-Baqarah 2:231], and by the words of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “What is the matter with
people who toy with the sacred limits of Allaah and make a mockery of His
verses (laws), (and say), I divorce you, I take you back, I divorce you, I
take you back?” It should be understood that toying with them is haraam. End
Al-Fataawa al-Kubra (6/65).
Based on this:
If a man marries a woman who is permissible for him, and it
is done in accordance with the conditions prescribed in sharee’ah, with the
essential parts being fulfilled and in the absence of any impediments, then
it is a valid marriage with all that that implies.
If a man divorces his wife verbally, it counts as a divorce,
even if he does not intend it as such.
As for a written divorce that is not uttered out loud, that
is subject to further discussion as explained in the answer to question no.
Marrying that European woman for the purpose of obtaining
residency and then divorcing her is a haraam action. We have quoted the
fatwa of Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz prohibiting such actions in the
answer to question no. 2886. This applies if he marries her without
fulfilling the conditions of marriage, such as if he marries her without a
guardian, or if there is any impediment to the validity of the marriage,
such as if she is a zaaniyah who has not repented, or she is not one of the
people of the Book (i.e., Jewish or Christian), in which case marriage to
her is haraam and is invalid.
If he marries her in a marriage that fulfils all the
necessary parts and conditions, and is free of any impediments, then his
marriage is valid with all that that implies, but his intention is
These reprehensible actions of obtaining a divorce paper for
the first wife and marrying another woman for the purpose of obtaining
residency, then divorcing her, include two other things that are haraam:
1 – Trickery, lying and giving false witness, because it is
deceiving the state and tricking it in order to obtain nationality, which is
2 – He wants to do the divorce and marriage on paper in order
to get residency in a kaafir country, but in our religion it is forbidden to
settle among the kuffaar unnecessarily, because of the great danger that
this poses to one’s religious commitment and morals, and to the individual
and the family.
It was narrated from Jareer ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be
pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said: “I disavow any Muslim who settles among the mushrikeen.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (2645) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in
Saheeh Abi Dawood.
This has also been discussed in the answer to question no.
What we advise our brothers to do is to fear Allaah, may He
be exalted, with regard to shar’i contracts and not to use them as means to
worldly ends, and to refrain altogether if the purposes are haraam. They
should fear Allaah with regard to their wives and children, and think about
the great hardship that their actions may lead to, or the deprivation of
rights and other negative consequences that may result from doing these
contracts in this corrupt manner.
And Allaah knows best.