Ruling on divorce via e-mail

Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,


It is well known in sharee’ah that divorce takes place when the words are uttered, written or indicated by a gesture that takes the place of speaking. This is something that is between the husband and his Lord if no one hears him say that. With the regard to divorce via e-mail there is no problem regarding the fact that it is valid: if the husband writes that he is divorcing his wife then the divorce takes place by virtue of that writing. But the issue here is whether this divorce can be proven and authenticated (in court).  

It seems that the husband’s divorce of his wife via e-mail is effective if it is proven definitively that the one who sent the e-mail containing the words of divorce is the husband or someone whom the husband appointed to issue the divorce, and he acknowledges that and does not deny it. 

But if that cannot be proven and the husband does not acknowledge it, then this e-mail message is not valid and divorce does not take place in this case, because it is well known to those who work in this field that it is possible to hack into e-mail accounts and send messages. So we cannot be absolutely certain that the one who sent it is the husband. 

So proof and confirmation must be sought from the husband, and the the divorce should not be regarded as having taken place until after it has been confirmed by the husband. If he confirms it then the ‘iddah begins from the time when he uttered or wrote the words of divorce. 

Allah knows best.

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