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What is the Muslim divorce law in India?


Kishore Sagar

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Under the Muslim shariah, marriage is repealed if the husband or wife dies or undergoes divorce. The husband can remarry after the death of the wife. But the woman is not supposed to marry in the iddah period(3 months) after the death of the husband to confirm the absence of her pregnancy.

It was Qazi Mohamed Ahmad Kazmi that introduced the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939 on March 17th. In addition to the shariah law divorce of Muslims, marriage can be disintegrated by judicial edict under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939.

The husband can dissolve the marriage as per his will, but the marriage can be dissolved as per mutual agreements as well. But the wife cannot separate herself from her husband without his consent. She can acquire her divorce from her husband and can have the marriage dissolved.


  1. Judicial divorce
  2. ‘An Act to consolidate and clarify the provisions of Muslim law relating to suits for dissolution of marriage by women married under Muslim law and to remove doubts as to the effect of the renunciation of Islam by a married Muslim woman on her marriage tie. '

    Grounds for an ordinance for dissolution of marriage.

    A woman married under Muslim law shall be entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage on any one or more of the following grounds, namely:

    (i)that the whereabouts of the husband have not been known for four years;

    (ii)that the husband has neglected or has failed to provide for her maintenance for a period of two years;

    (iii)that the husband has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of seven years or upwards;

    (iv)that the husband has failed to perform, without reasonable cause, his marital obligations for a period of three years;

    (v)that the husband was impotent at the time of the marriage and continues to be so;

    (vi)that the husband has been insane for a period of two years or is suffering from leprosy or avirulent venereal disease;

    (vii)that she, having been given in marriage by her father or other guardians before she attained the age of fifteen years, repudiated the marriage before attaining the age of eighteen years 

  3. Extra-Judicial divorce
  4. Divorce in Islam is divided into below categories based on who is proposing for divorce. It could be either husband or wife that wants the divorce.

    a. A husband can divorce in the following rules prescribed by Islam

    • Talaq: This is the liberation from the marriage tie immediately or eventually.

    • Ila:  When a husband abstains from all kind of relationship with his wife.

    • Zihar: where husband logical and adult contrast his wife to his mother or any other female within the prohibited rank.

    b. A wife can divorce in the following rules prescribed by Islam

    • Talaqetafwiz: talaq by the wife under the husband’s approved power.

    • Lian: If the husband points false statements of corruptness or adultery against his wife, then this denotes character slaying, and the wife has got the right to ask for a divorce in these areas.

The Muslim Divorce Laws are different compared to other divorce laws prevailing in India. Hindu and other religions follow common divorce laws. But as per new laws issued in 2019 by the new government, the triple talaq divorce has been eliminated from the constitutional system of India. The government identified the triple talaq divorce system as discriminating and oppressing the female sector of society even though it has been being followed by all Muslims in India.

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