Philippine Divorces – Covert from Christianity to Islam and the types of Islamic Divorces

Philippine Divorces – Covert from Christianity to Islam and the types of Islamic Divorces

At Okinawa Translator we learn many news things on the job. We recently translated an Islamic Divorce Decree issued from the Philippines.

In the Philippines you cannot get divorced under Christian Law so individuals are forced to convert to Islam so they can get divorced and then officially convert back to Christianity after the divorce is completed.

We learned the types of divorce under Islamic Law which we had to translate to Japanese. Here are the types of divorce under Islamic Law which you might find interesting to know:

(Talaq) – Muslim man utters the word (Talaq translates to ‘divorce’) three times to their wife.

(ila)- is an oath whereby the husband vows to refrain from sexual relations with his wife for at least four months. If he fulfills his oath, the marriage is dissolved; if he breaks it, the marriage continues.

(Zihar) which literally means “you are like my mother”. It is a form of incest and if a husband says these words to his wife, it is not lawful for him to have intercourse with her unless he recompenses by freeing a slave or fasting for two successive months or feeding sixty poor people.

(Li’an) “A mutual cursing of each other” A form of divorce which takes under the following circumstances. “If a man accuses his wife of adultery, and does not prove it by four witnesses, he must swear before ‘God that he is the teller of truth four times and then add: If I am a liar, may God curse me.’ The wife then says four times, ‘I swear before God that my husband lies’; and then adds: ‘May God’s anger be upon me if this man be a teller of truths’ After this a divorce takes place ipso facto.”

( Khul ) ‘Giving back the Money’ also called Khula, is a procedure through which a woman can divorce her husband in Islam, by returning the dower (money) or something else that she received from her husband, as agreed by the spouses or court decree, such as property or asset.

(Tafwid) A type of divorce in which the husband delegates a power of divorce  to his wife. The delegation may be made at the time the marriage is contracted, or upon the occurrence of certain circumstances, or at any time during the marriage. For instance, the parties may specify that if the husband takes a second wife, the first wife will automatically have the power to initiate a divorce, or that the wife has the power to initiate a divorce at any time without reason.

(Faskh) The decision to grant or dismiss any application for divorce by Faskh rests exclusively in the hands of the Judge hearing the application, exercising his discretion after hearing and accepting the evidence of the applicant (the husband or the wife) and at least 2 adult male Muslim witnesses.

The following constitute some of the common valid grounds for Faskh:

1. Absent husband: absconding or missing.

2. Failure to provide maintenance: inability or refusal.

3. Serious health condition or disease: insanity, leprosy, impotency, HIV or any such disease that could endanger the wife.

4. Severe abuse: Physical or other

5. Gross neglect and/or undesirable conduct: spouses fear inability to fulfill the limits prescribed by Allah.

6. Lengthy imprisonment

Learning about the different types of divorce in Islamic culture was a great educational experience and also helped broaden our understanding of how cultural and religious differences impact divorce. 

Islamic divorces have some variances, as different countries belong to either Sunni or Shia denominations. For example, in the Philippines most Muslims are Sunni, and in Saudi Arabia they are Shia. 

Divorce in the Philippines is possible, but complex, so we recommend guidance from a lawyer in the Philippines.

David Higgins is a full time Japanese/English translation company owner located in Okinawa, Japan. David, his wife Hazuki and four employees and various freelancers of other languages run Okinawa Translator. They specialize in translation of all kinds of documents, technical manuals and on site interpreting for instructional safety classes with the military to family reunions. They have expanded their business all over Japan and overseas to serve customers in any location.

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