What is Khula under Islamic Law?

April 3, 2024

The Supreme Court recently held that Muslim women have the absolute right to unilateral and extra-judicial divorce through Khula under Islamic law.

About Khula:

  • 'Khula' is a practice within Islamic law that empowers Muslim women to unilaterally seek separation from their husbands. It is expressly mentioned in the Quran. It is designed to safeguard women's rights and operate within the parameters of Islamic law.
  • The process involves the wife initiating the divorce by formally requesting it from the court, providing a valid reason such as incompatibility, abuse or neglect.
  • In the 'Khula' process, there is also the possibility of the woman returning the 'Mehr' or reaching a financial settlement with her husband as part of the agreement for ending the marriage.
  • Following a 'Khula' divorce, the husband assumes responsibility for the education and financial support of the children.

What is Talaq?

  • 'Talaq' occurs when the husband initiates the divorce. According to Muslim law, once a man pronounces 'Talaq,' the marriage is immediately terminated.
  • But unlike Khula, wherein a Muslim woman needs to formally give a reason for the divorce, in Talaq, a Muslim man can divorce his wife with or without any cause and there is no specific procedure for it.
  • After taking a 'Talaq', a Muslim man has to repay his former wife her dowry and property, if any, owned by her.