Muslims have had no-fault divorce for 1,500 years!

We congratulate the Justice Secretary for adopting the Islamic best practice with regard to divorce

Today the Justice Secretary announced that the UK Government is proposing legislation to allow no-fault divorces. This is welcome news. Currently, according to the law on divorce in England and Wales, with its historical roots in the Old and New Testaments, divorce cannot take place unless and until one of the parties is proven to be at fault or alternatively both parties have lived separately for two years with mutual consent. The original definition of ‘fault’ was adultery but then it was expanded to cover many other reasons.

Islamic law is based on the commandments of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet Muhammad’s (s) interpretation of those commandments. Although the Holy Quran clearly disapproves of divorce because of the impact it has on those divorcing and their children, it allows it. Despite disapproving it, then, Islam takes a radically different approach. In Islam, divorce depends on the affirmative answer to a simple question: do both, or does even just one of the parties want to end the marriage? There need be no ‘fault’ on part of either party. There are two famous examples of this.

This first one, recorded in authentic history, involves the Holy Prophet himself. When the daughter of al-Jawn was brought in as a bride to the Messenger of Allah (s) and he came close to her, she said: “I seek refuge with Allah from you”. So, he said to her: “You have sought refuge with One Who is great; go back to your family”. Here. a woman is asking the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself for a ‘no fault’ divorce and it is granted.

The second records an episode during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (s) when he was approached by the wife of a companion of his, Thabit bin Qais. She told the Prophet that she could not find any defects in Thabit’s character or religion, but she could not bear to live with him. The Prophet asked if she was willing to return a garden Thabit had given to her as a marital gift or Mehr, upon which she replied that she was. She agreed to this and she was allowed to divorce Thabit. It is worth adding that on marriage a husband has to settle a part of his estate on his wife to make her financially independent.

This shows that ‘no fault’ divorce has been a part of Islam for 1,500 years. We welcome the Justice Secretary’s decision to adopt the Islamic best practice in this regard.


The Ahmadiyya Association for the Propagation of Islam (Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaʻat Islam) was established in Lahore in 1914 to promote the informed understanding of Islam in the West. In the UK it operated the Shah Jehan Mosque in Woking until the early 1960s. Its new headquarters is at Dar-us-Salaam, 15 Stanley Avenue, Wembley, HA0 4JQ, UK. In 1924, in Berlin, it built the first mosque in Continental Europe of the modern era. The German Government recognises the Berlin Mosque as part of the German national heritage. From its European and other centres around the world this organisation has taught that Islam promotes peace, harmony and mutual respect between all communities and nationalities.

  • Submissions in 2016 to UK Parliament Inquiries:
    • Countering Extremism
    • Sharia Councils:


    Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore (United Kingdom), on Tuesday 9 April, 2019. For more information subscribe and follow

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