Question and Answer:
Q. My husband gave me divorce, i.e. he told me thrice that he divorced me. But we had no witnesses. I was told that such divorce doesn’t count.
(There may be grammatical and spelling errors in the above question. Questions are published as received)
A. Although it is recommended to have witnesses when issuing a divorce, Talaaq (divorce) is valid without witnesses. Thus, if your husband had told you thrice that he has divorced you, all three divorces are valid and effective and the marriage irretrievably terminates. Consequently, both of you become Haraam for each other and it is not permissible to reconcile even by renewing the Nikah.
NB. Since Talaaq (divorce) is a very sensitive issue, it is extremely important that a person should always consult with a reliable scholar and when querying about the divorce, the exact scenario should be described to the Alim/Mufti/Sheikh. In most cases, the rulings of Talaaq are not standard. Instead, the ruling may differ from situation to situation. It is therefore imperative that both husband and wife jointly relate the case with precise details to the local or regional Alim or Mufti for a ruling in the event of a divorce being issued.
And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Suhail Tarmahomed
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)
Council of Muslim Theologians