// Text Message: "i divorce u" debate....
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« on: Jan 24, 2008 11:01 PM »


A New Text in Islamic Law
Egypt to Rule on Phone-Message Divorce


Washington Post Foreign Service


CAIRO -- The Cairo woman stared in disbelief at the text message in her cellphone inbox.

She and her husband, an Egyptian army officer away on duty, had just hung up after quarreling on the phone. She ignored his return call, not wanting to continue the argument, the woman recounted in an interview this week.

The electronic chirrup of an incoming message signaled his response. "I divorce you," her husband had written. "That will teach you not to answer my calls."

Reconciliation followed, only to be broken by another quarrel, this one over the woman asking her family to mediate the couple's problems. "I divorce you," her husband wrote in another message. "Don't ask other people to interfere in our business."

Another reconciliation. Another argument. And another declaration of divorce from her husband, this time face to face, late last year.

Islamic law can make the act of divorce stunningly simple for men, even if the ensuing financial settlements often are not. A husband has only to declare to his wife, "Inti talaq" -- "You are divorced" -- three times, and mean it, to end their marriage.

But technology has introduced a complication that Egyptian religious authorities are now debating in the case of the 25-year-old Cairene, an engineer and an observant Muslim: How should Islamic laws that began to take shape in the 6th century apply to 21st-century text messages?

In Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, where some of the first text-message divorce cases have arisen in recent years, civil and religious officials have arrived at varying conclusions.

Until Egyptian courts and religious scholars decide the fate of the woman's marriage, she lives apart from the officer with their 4-year-old son, but still wears her wedding ring. She asked that her name not be used to protect her privacy, because such cases are so rare in Egypt.

"What hurts me most is I don't even know if I'm divorced or not," she said in an interview. The woman, slim and soft-spoken, wore a lavender head scarf to cover her hair and matching lavender shadow drawn carefully around her eyes.

Judicial officials confirmed her identity and the facts of the case, initiated in family court in December. Court officials could not agree on whether the case was Egypt's first or second text-message divorce. They said the army officer had not yet appeared in court.

Islamic institutions have adroitly adopted evolving technology to spread their message and tend their followers. Preachers abound on satellite television channels. Many religious institutions and sheiks offer Web sites that provide their followers with online fatwas, or rulings, on religious questions.

Egypt's state-appointed grand mufti, one of the country's highest religious authorities, recently began offering online imam training. Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa's fatwa Web site receives 3,000 hits a day, and a similar hotline gets scores of calls a day, according to his spokesman, Ibrahim Negm. Almost all the inquiries have to do with family matters, including divorce, he added.

Yet the proliferation of televised preaching and Islamic Web sites has produced a confusing array of voices competing for followers. Broadcast and Internet media can amplify hate or oversimplify a complex religious point. Technology offers modes of communication that the first practitioners of Islamic law never could have imagined.

Conservative and liberal streams within Islam each have used technology to get their messages across. In Egypt, young members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement used blogs last year to urge that the Islamic organization be more inclusive of women and less exclusionary of other religions.

Islamic institutions have adopted Web sites and other technology as a tool to show that Islamic law still provides "pragmatic solutions to contemporary problems," Negm said. "We also believe there has been abuse of technology," he added. "This does not lead us to say, 'Forget it.' That would not be possible."

But text-message divorces represent "a clear-cut abuse of the law," Negm said.

Religious authorities in at least two Persian Gulf countries, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, upheld divorce by text message in rulings between 2001 and 2003. Islamic officials in Singapore rejected it.

Government officials in Malaysia decried the first cases, promising big fines for any man who tried to shed his wife by impersonal text messages.

"We hope . . . that instead of sending messages, you should look at the beautiful wife that you are going to divorce," then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in 2003. "Maybe she would cry a bit, and you would change your mind."

Malaysia's religious leaders upheld the legality of text-message divorce, and government talk of bans and fines ended.

In Egypt, text messages strike many as far too frivolous a way to end a marriage.

"It has to be face to face, person to person," said Sanaa Mohammed, a 43-year-old woman standing outside a Cairo family court this week. She jabbed two fingers toward her eyes, symbolizing eye-to-eye contact. By cellphone, "it's not respectful."

Mohammed had opted for khola, a provision that allows a woman to divorce her husband without his agreement. Doing so, however, she forfeited the financial settlements that are usually due divorced women.

Government statistics indicate that a divorce occurs every six minutes in Egypt, said Ahmed Eid Ahmed, a counselor in Cairo's family court.

Even before the advent of text messages, divorce was too easy in Egypt, said Hoda Badran, chairwoman of the Cairo-based Alliance for Arab Women.

Quick divorces, especially among poor families, often allow husbands to bully less-educated wives out of divorce settlements, leaving the women without enough to support themselves and the children, Badran said.

"Ninety-nine percent of the children out on the streets are there because of divorce" and polygamy, Badran said. "What's the actual cost, the economic cost, of the unlimited divorce?"

For the 25-year-old engineer, text messages have made the costs impossibly high.

Her husband wants her back, the woman said, but the religious scholars she consulted tell her she is divorced in the eyes of God and would be returning to him out of wedlock.

But if she refuses to return, and the courts rule the text-message declarations invalid and her marriage intact, she risks losing her claim to her young son.

With the text messages, she said, "the doors of hell have opened on my life."
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 24, 2008 11:16 PM »

As salaamu alaikum

I read about similar before; can't recall which country however.  I think it's cowardly to use a text message to make a statement of divorce.  Now, I wonder for those that accept such as valid would they also accept text messaging, e-mail or video conference as a viable alternative to a face-to-face marriage?  Technology has its benefits as it opens the world to us and closes the global divide but this is just going too far.

It is shameful that the woman profiled in the article has to live in such a state of limbo while her husband doesn't.

As salaamu alaikum

Fa'izah
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 25, 2008 07:18 PM »

 peace be upon you



All praise be to Allah.


Divorce is the last resort in a series of steps in trying to resolve one's marriage relations.  It is not to be taken lightly.  Its general ruling is that it is disliked (makrooh).  The Prophet (s) once became very angry when some rushed into divorcing his wife three times, and said "Will the Book of Allah be played with and I am still amongst you?"


This is because the right of divorce has been given to men because of what Allah has given them of control over their emotions.  Thus it is inappropriate for a man to allow his emotions to cause him to utter the words of divorce in a fit of anger.


Having said this, the case of divorce is different than marriage.  The marriage contract has specific conditions to be valid, such as the presence of the wali, witnesses, and an offer and acceptance, with mahr.


Divorce does not have such conditions, and it is valid when pronounced with intention, even in the absence of the wife.


Thus, the Ulema have said that divorce is valid once uttered or written.


Once the first divorce is pronounced, this is not the end of the marriage relationship.  The woman should stay in the house of her husband, as Allah says: "Perhaps something may happen (ie. reconcilliation)", for a period of three menstrual cycles. 

If, after this, they decide to part ways or stay together, in either case the husband must treat the wife well, and should not harm her.


If they part, the husband must pay in full any remaining portion of the mahr.  Also, the Islamic judge may require him to pay a gift to his ex-wife, to soften the hardship of divorce on her.




Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 26, 2008 03:41 AM »

peace be upon you

what's wrong with that man?  why did his wife even return to him after the first text message?

obviously they had lots of issues as a couple and txt message or not, they were not to able to solve things.

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« Reply #4 on: Jan 26, 2008 08:41 PM »

Allah will grant her a better Husband and a good stepfather for her child Inshallah.

She should be grateful to Allah for the divorce.
Any man who behaves like this by using divorce and Allah’s deen as a game to win points in an argument does not deserve a wife.

There has never been a case where a man gave three in an argument and not regretted it. There is no point in three because one is sufficient.
But some people think it is all a joke. If the rule was that a man can’t remarry after a hundred divorces, they would give a hundred and then regret it. Go crying to an alim, and complain about how oppressive Islam is, and how it was just a mistake, or a slip of the tong. They will demand that the Alim exempt them from this rule, or claim that the rule doesn’t apply to them for some unknown reason.
Men like that are nothing but a joke.
At least now she is free to remarry. And Inshallah she will find a better husband and stepfather for her child.
She should do Shukr, because at least now he can’t threaten her with talaq any more.
Bullies use threats, because threats hurt more than the act they are threatening to do. Now it is done, she has nothing left to fear from him.
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 26, 2008 09:32 PM »

Quote
Once the first divorce is pronounced, this is not the end of the marriage relationship.  The woman should stay in the house of her husband, as Allah says: "Perhaps something may happen (ie. reconcilliation)", for a period of three menstrual cycles. 


ExACTLY.. so whyy are they worried , they still have chance for reconciliation.. but you see ..just bc he said it three times it is still ONE divorce.. right?

this is what i dont understand...are there diff views by the scholars in this topic?  Because I know in pakistan if he said it three times than thats it.. they are divorced.. there doesnt seem to be any chance for reconciliation?Huh?Huh??
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 26, 2008 09:34 PM »

what are you talking about  Cheese?
Islamically she has to give up her child if she wants to remarry and who wants to give up their child
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 27, 2008 09:28 AM »

If she gets married again, Allah will grant her more children inshallah.
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 27, 2008 04:33 PM »

I'm confused ..

So abdurrehman and blackrose...

What you're saying is:

If 3x = 1x...
then for the divorce to be valid it needs to be 3(3x)
which means 9x???

That sounds kind of. Lenient on the man who is texting his wife a divorce.

Wasalaam.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 27, 2008 06:32 PM »

Some people don’t understand Iktilaf in Islam.
Some Modernist claim that there is no iktilaf on issues where there is and always has been and claim that there is iktilaf on issues where there isn’t and never has been.
They do so to try and form an Islam that is in agreement with the deen of the colonialists.

The rightly guided Hanifees say that three in one sitting equals three divorces while the rightly guided Shafis say that three in one sitting equals one divorce.
How can both be rightly guided when both are different?
They are rightly guided according to their Usul.
Looking at the text using Shafi Usul shows one and looking at the text using Hanafi Usul shows another meaning.
But allot of people don’t know or refuse to know anything about Usul.

But this really is an irrelevant debate. People who give three in one sitting or three sitting do so with the intention of three. These people are just trying to use Islam and its rules as a point scoring game. If they wanted Divorce why didn’t they just do it once?
If the rule was a hundred divorces in a hundred sittings, these people would do it, and then regret it and claim it was just a mistake.
The rule is clearly irrelevant to them.
These people deserve what they get. They deserve to be alone. Women should refuse to marry these people and men should refuse to give their daughters to these people.
Men should try and marry these women who have been divorced by “accident”, since they were divorced through no fault of their own; some of whom were divorced on their wedding night.
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 28, 2008 06:10 AM »

 peace be upon you
Correct me if I am wrong .....
   From what I understand, the article above mentions three divorces at 3 different times. First one was sent by text message and there was a reconciliation. Then another was sent by text message and again there was a reconciliation. Then the husband pronounced a third divorce in person, face to face. So, that is a total of 3 divorces on three separate occasions. The debate is not about whether 3 divorces pronounced once are counted as 3 or 1. The debate is about whether divorces done by text messaging are valid.

  peace be upon you Huh?

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2- Thank Allah subhanahu wata'ala that you were not tested in your religion
3- Thank Allah subhanahu wata'ala that it wasn't worse than it was
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 31, 2008 03:24 PM »


ExACTLY.. so whyy are they worried , they still have chance for reconciliation.. but you see ..just bc he said it three times it is still ONE divorce.. right?

this is what i dont understand...are there diff views by the scholars in this topic?  Because I know in pakistan if he said it three times than thats it.. they are divorced.. there doesnt seem to be any chance for reconciliation?Huh?Huh??

If he says it three times it means they cant re-marry untill She marrys someone else and they get divorced and it can be planned that "were gonna get divorced after 2 months," or somthing like that. if he says it once he has 40 days to 'appoligize' and ask for her back, he can do that one more time the third he cant bring her back basiclly. So confusing took it last year in school.

As for the whole text message thing whats up with that what a Coward and a jerk and.. and.. *lets just say some profanities are bettter not uttered*

 princesssis

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« Reply #12 on: Jan 31, 2008 03:28 PM »

Allah will grant her a better Husband and a good stepfather for her child Inshallah.

She should be grateful to Allah for the divorce.
Any man who behaves like this by using divorce and Allah’s deen as a game to win points in an argument does not deserve a wife.

There has never been a case where a man gave three in an argument and not regretted it. There is no point in three because one is sufficient.
But some people think it is all a joke. If the rule was that a man can’t remarry after a hundred divorces, they would give a hundred and then regret it. Go crying to an alim, and complain about how oppressive Islam is, and how it was just a mistake, or a slip of the tong. They will demand that the Alim exempt them from this rule, or claim that the rule doesn’t apply to them for some unknown reason.
Men like that are nothing but a joke.
At least now she is free to remarry. And Inshallah she will find a better husband and stepfather for her child.
She should do Shukr, because at least now he can’t threaten her with talaq any more.
Bullies use threats, because threats hurt more than the act they are threatening to do. Now it is done, she has nothing left to fear from him.

YA YA! Soldiatry sister friend uuuhh sorry i mean brother
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 31, 2008 07:52 PM »


ExACTLY.. so whyy are they worried , they still have chance for reconciliation.. but you see ..just bc he said it three times it is still ONE divorce.. right?

this is what i dont understand...are there diff views by the scholars in this topic?  Because I know in pakistan if he said it three times than thats it.. they are divorced.. there doesnt seem to be any chance for reconciliation?Huh?Huh??


All praise be to Allah.

Honorable sister,


When a husband says to his wife "I divorce you" with intention, it counts as one divorce.  If he says, "I divorce you three times," or "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you", this still counts as ONE divorce, according to the stronger of two opinions of the Ulema.  This is because using the words of divorce more than once is a Bid'ah, an innovation, that is rejected by the Shariah.  As the Prophet (s) said:

"Whoever innovates in this affair of ours (Islam), then it is rejected."


Thus the first divorce counts, but the second and third are rejected.


Furthermore, it is only permissable to pronounce divorce to the wife when she is in a state of purity (not menstruating) and he has not had relations with her during this period of purity.


If he says it three times it means they cant re-marry untill She marrys someone else and they get divorced and it can be planned that "were gonna get divorced after 2 months,"


This is incorrect sister Smiley  If there have been three normal divorces, the man and woman part ways.  This is so the man cannot annoy his wife by divorcing her and taking her back all the time.  Allah limits it to 3 only.  If they cannot get along, then they can look elsewhere for a better match.

If the woman marries a normal marriage, WITHOUT intention of divorce, and the new husband consummates the marriage with her, then they happen to divorce, she may go back to her first husband.  This cannot be pre-arranged, or else it will be called Nikaah Muhallil, which is invalid.

Quote
or somthing like that. if he says it once he has 40 days to 'appoligize' and ask for her back,

No, he has three menstrual cycles to take her back.  He does not have to apologize, taking her back is his right.  She is still his wife until the 3 menstrual cycles are over.  After that, she is free.  If he wants to take her back after that, he must pay a new Mahr and they need a new marriage contract.

Quote
So confusing took it last year in school.

It nice to hear that you are learning some of the Fiqh.  Maybe you can review some of your notes and share it with us Smiley



Again, divorce is a very serious event and it is a hated thing to Allah, but it is allowed as a last resort, if there is a genuine need.


More often, divorce is the result of lack of support mechanisms in society to help keep couples together, such as the role extended families play in Muslim societies, or lack of understanding of the Fiqh of marriage, such as nashooz from the wife (such as raising her voice against her husband) or nashooz from the husband such us not properly supporting his wife and kids, which is required of him.


As a Muslim community, we need to look into ways to resolve marriage difficulties, that are rooted in the Quran and Sunnah.  For example,  the husband and wife can discuss their problems through intermediaries, before escalating the situation to full-fledged divorce.  There needs to be mechanisms to solve marriage problems amongst Muslims.  Its all too easy to say divorce and run away from our problems.  The much harder solution is to bite our tongues and try to work out our problems.


May Allah help us work out our marriage problems and make our relations filled with love and mercy.


And Allah knows best.


Shaykh Abdurahman.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 31, 2008 11:37 PM »

Quote
If she gets married again, Allah will grant her more children inshallah.

I dont think you realize that this is such a sick an ignorant thing to say.. you obviously dont have children.

it doesnt matter if she has a hundred children, nobody can take the place of anybody.
No woman will give away her child so she can have more children or so she can remarry.
NOthin and noone can take the place of the child that shes already had
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« Reply #15 on: Feb 01, 2008 10:41 AM »


When a husband says to his wife "I divorce you" with intention, it counts as one divorce.  If he says, "I divorce you three times," or "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you", this still counts as ONE divorce, according to the stronger of two opinions of the Ulema.  This is because using the words of divorce more than once is a Bid'ah, an innovation, that is rejected by the Shariah.  As the Prophet (s) said: "

[/quote]
Are you sure about this cuz in my knowledge Omar bin Katab "rd" announced that no once he said it three times in a row it counted because in his time pepole were playing around with it alot so he said that. but also if he says it as a joke like i divorce you joke or whatever it counts and that wasn't with an intention i guess.

Oh and I'm in a Sharia School which basically means adding to the already heavy load of subjects i take, theres 13 Islamic subjects as well like umm tafseer, Fiqh, Asol AL Fiqh, fra'ad, Iqeda,hadith...etc..etc. Which by the way n total is 25 Subjects Shocked
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« Reply #16 on: Feb 10, 2008 05:37 AM »

in reply to sister Faiza
The difference i believe being that it is acceptable islamically to send a letter or even
 send somebody else to tell the wife she is divorced. not very honorable way no, but
 acceptable non the less. BUT in case of marriage you need two witnesses present.

This post submitted using the ANONYMOUS button on the main Madina menu. Please reply here publicly so that the original poster can read any replies.
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« Reply #17 on: Feb 10, 2008 03:57 PM »

in reply to sister Faiza
The difference i believe being that it is acceptable islamically to send a letter or even
 send somebody else to tell the wife she is divorced. not very honorable way no, but
 acceptable non the less. BUT in case of marriage you need two witnesses present.

Well then doesn't this get to the heart of the matter?  As Muslims we should always act with honor even when saying something rather unpleasant and unexpected such as "I divorce you".  If the reasons are valid (and not just within someone's mind) then why not act honorably instead of cowardly.
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« Reply #18 on: Apr 21, 2008 05:20 PM »

Quote
No, he has three menstrual cycles to take her back.  He does not have to apologize, taking her back is his right.  She is still his wife until the 3 menstrual cycles are over.  After that, she is free.  If he wants to take her back after that, he must pay a new Mahr and they need a new marriage contract.
Huh?

Perhaps you should review your 'Fiqh Notes', because in order for them to remarry, the wife would have to spend a night with another man (i.e, marry him) and then be divorced by him... hence they can't just remarry like nothing happend.





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« Reply #19 on: Apr 21, 2008 08:44 PM »

salam

Due to circumstance I may be able to help on this one.

Three divorces according to our Imam count.
So if three divorces are uttered in one go that's it game over you are divorced irrevocably.
If one divorce is said and the couple reconcile within the iddat period then the couple have two lives left but thereafter the second time divorce is uttered it is a second divorce and you havent gone back to three divorces being required, again after this if the wife feels too helpless to leave the twat and reconciles with him within the iddat period then that is permissable, however from this point on if another divorce is uttered that's it, the iddat period has to be observed and then the woman is free.

Imho men who use divorce as a weapon against their wives to 'control' and subjugate them, are very rarely anything approaching honourable.

With regards children, it wouldn't matter to me whether I had a thousand children, I would never ever give up my girls. As a mother, the prospect of future children does not diminish the love I have for my existing children.
However as Cheese appears to be speaking from a male perspective, perhaps the man should give up claim to his children as by that principle men can father children right up till they drop dead.

Abdurahman, out of curiousity, are you just randomly cutting and pasting information you come across on websites? If not where on earth are you coming up with your information, if you are doing cut and pastes you might want to excersise common sense on occasion.

Wassalaam

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« Reply #20 on: Apr 21, 2008 09:00 PM »

Asalamualaikum wrt,


All praise be to Allah.


" the wife would have to spend a night with another man (i.e, marry him) and then be divorced by him... hence they can't just remarry like nothing happend.  "



This situation depends on how many times the husband divorced his wife before they separated.  If he divorced her once or twice only, and then after the 3 month waiting period ('Iddah) expired, they parted ways, this type of divorce is called baynoona sughra (minor separation).  

They can still get back together anytime after that, if they both agree to that, with a new contract and mahr.


On the other hand, if the husband divorced her three times (in separate sittings), they can never get back together unless the divorced wife marries someone else, and they consummate the marriage, and then she is divorced by the second husband.  Only then can she go back to the first husband.  This type of divorce is called baynoona kubra (major separation).

 



The scholars say it is best for a husband to divorce only once, and leave the door open for the future.  Perhaps Allah will help them decide to make up and get back together at some future date. 

A person would be very foolish to divorce his wife three times, unless he had a compelling reason to do so.




And Allah knows best.



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« Reply #21 on: Apr 21, 2008 10:57 PM »

You call yourself a sheikh while you're wearing the devil’s shoes.

Unfortunately, we have people who are simply safeeh, and I don’t care how sincere they are, there are plenty of sincere people out there but we have people who are fools. There are people that read things and take them literally. This is what our Ulama were talking about - you have naqal and you have ‘aqal -  and we really have some naqal-heads out there... who are not using their intellect when they read verses/hadiths.

Well, don’t think these people haven’t been around since the beginning... they actually believe they are rightly guided and our Prophet said “Yahmilu hadha al-ilm min kul qarnin uduluhu” – that this knowledge will be carried in each generation by upright people, “yanfuna ‘anhu tahrith al-ghalin”– they’ll repudiate the misquotations of extremists.



"Do not treat people with contempt, nor walk insolently on the earth. Allah does not love the arrogant or the self-conceited boaster. Be modest in your bearing and subdue your voice, for the most unpleasant of voices is the braying of the ass." [The Holy Qur'an, Surah Luqman - 31:18-19]
um aboodi
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« Reply #22 on: Apr 21, 2008 11:11 PM »

salam

Quote
You call yourself a sheikh while you're wearing the devil’s shoes.

wow sr Siham,  those are very harsh words.

technically speaking, the information posted so far should be taken within context.  So far, i haven't seen anything devilish written or pasted in here.   it may be that the language was kinda unnecessarily expicit at occasions. 

any how, if you have an alternative fiqh ruling regarding this, why don't you post it for everyone's benefit. 

wassalam
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« Reply #23 on: Apr 21, 2008 11:50 PM »

salam

I can actually see Sr Sihams point. If one were to take literally what Abdurahman is posting, one could be in deep doodoo.

For most situations in life, a blanket ruling just does not apply, you've got to look at context.

I always find it uncomfortable when people start cutting and pasting Fatwas and acting as if they have the right to do so.
Always consult an imam in real life, one who is familiar with your case and circumstance, I could be hairy trucker for all anyone knows...it's especially dangerous when the advice is aimed at people who could be in a very vulnerable situation in life.


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #24 on: Apr 22, 2008 07:10 AM »

peace be upon you

You call yourself a sheikh while you're wearing the devil’s shoes.

Sister Siham I am sorry but I take exception to this. I do not see where you got the right to say such things about a poster, particularly one who is always polite, and quotes Quran and Saheeh Hadith. And for all you know, Shaikh Abdur Rehman may indeed be a Shaikh. If the fatwa he has given does not appeal to you, you are welcome to the madhabi point of view. But this is the fatwa according to the Quran and the Hadith.

Sister Fozia, your Imam most likely follows the Hanafi madhab, (although perhaps the same position is taken by the other three well-known madhabs). This is one of the few occassions where the shia and ahle Hadith (or gheir muqallid) schools of thought converge. The Prophet (saw) did not allow three simultaneous divorces as three, but only as one. In Umar's (ra) time people started misusing this a lot, so he said he would regard the pronunciation of three simultaneous talaqs as three. The gheir muqallid point of view is that this can at best be considered a temporary measure, like Umar's (ra) suspension of cutting of hands for theft of food in times of famine.
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