Ruling On Getting Married And Divorced On Paper In Order To Have Residency In A Kaafir Country
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your opinion about a person who falsely divorces his
wife, i.e. formally having the divorce contract,
without saying the word of talaaq actually to her?
This enables him to marry a European woman in order to
get a residency. Then he will divorce the European
woman and return his first wife to him afterwards.
What is the ruling on this matter?
Praise be to Allaah.
Marriage is a serious covenant and it is one of the
most important rulings of sharee'ah, by means of which
intimacy becomes permissible and rights such as the
mahr (dowry) and inheritance are proven, and children
are attributed to their father, and other rulings.
By means of divorce, a woman becomes haraam for her
husband and is deprived of inheritance, and she
becomes permissible for other men to marry, subject to
well known conditions. Our aim in explaining all this
is to alert the Muslims to the necessity of not using
these two contracts in ways other than that which has
been prescribed by Allaah, and not using them as
tricks. We have seen – unfortunately – men who will
marry a woman not so that the intimacy with her which
was forbidden becomes permissible, and not so as to
form a family with her – as is the aim of the shar'i
contract – but so as to attain some worldly purpose,
such as registering land, or getting a licence to open
a business, or to get residency, or to enable the
woman to travel outside her country. In none of this
cases is the man a husband or the woman a wife in the
real sense, rather he is a husband on paper only! It
is not more than ink on paper. This is a kind of
toying with the rulings of sharee'ah. It is not
permissible to do it or to take part in it, and it is
essential to try to stop it when the aim is to achieve
some haraam purpose, such as the one who does that in
order to get residency in a non-Muslim country.
The same may be said with regard to divorce. It is a
shar'i ruling and it is not permissible for anyone to
take it lightly or to toy with its rulings. They call
that a divorce on paper.
These people should all realize that they are sinning
by doing this. Allaah has not prescribed marriage and
divorce so that the wife might be a name on the
contract with no rulings and rights. They should
realize that the rulings come into effect merely by
virtue of the contract being done, if the conditions
and essential parts of it are fulfilled, and that if
any of these are missing it is invalid, and that
divorce from the husband takes place if the words are
merely uttered. There is no such thing in sharee'ah as
marriage on paper and divorce on paper. The sin is
further compounded if it is done in order to do
something that is haraam in the first place, such as
one who uses it to avoid giving people their rights or
paying debts to them, or if a woman uses it to get
help given to divorcees by a state or institution, or
so that she can live in a non-Muslim state where it is
not permissible for her to reside, and other invalid,
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on
The Lawgiver forbids treating the Verses (Laws) of
Allaah as a jest (al-Baqarah 2:231) and forbids a man
to speak of the Verses of Allaah which are binding
contracts except in a serious manner as they are meant
to be. Hence it is forbidden to take them lightly and
or to marry a divorced woman in order to divorce her
so that it will be permissible for her to go back to
her first husband. This is indicated by the verse in
which He says (interpretation of the meaning): "And
treat not the Verses (Laws) of Allaah as a jest" [al-Baqarah
2:231], and by the words of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him): "What is the matter
with people who toy with the sacred limits of Allaah
and make a mockery of His verses (laws), (and say), I
divorce you, I take you back, I divorce you, I take
you back?" It should be understood that toying with
them is haraam. End quote.
Al-Fataawa al-Kubra (6/65).
Based on this:
If a man marries a woman who is permissible for him,
and it is done in accordance with the conditions
prescribed in sharee'ah, with the essential parts
being fulfilled and in the absence of any impediments,
then it is a valid marriage with all that that
If a man divorces his wife verbally, it counts as a
divorce, even if he does not intend it as such.
As for a written divorce that is not uttered out loud,
that is subject to further discussion as explained in
the answer to question no. 72291.
Marrying that European woman for the purpose of
obtaining residency and then divorcing her is a haraam
action. We have quoted the fatwa of Shaykh 'Abd al-'Azeez
ibn Baaz prohibiting such actions in the answer to
question no. 2886. This applies if he marries her
without fulfilling the conditions of marriage, such as
if he marries her without a guardian, or if there is
any impediment to the validity of the marriage, such
as if she is a zaaniyah who has not repented, or she
is not one of the people of the Book (i.e., Jewish or
Christian), in which case marriage to her is haraam
and is invalid.
If he marries her in a marriage that fulfils all the
necessary parts and conditions, and is free of any
impediments, then his marriage is valid with all that
that implies, but his intention is forbidden.
These reprehensible actions of obtaining a divorce
paper for the first wife and marrying another woman
for the purpose of obtaining residency, then divorcing
her, include two other things that are haraam:
1 – Trickery, lying and giving false witness, because
it is deceiving the state and tricking it in order to
obtain nationality, which is haraam.
2 – He wants to do the divorce and marriage on paper
in order to get residency in a kaafir country, but in
our religion it is forbidden to settle among the
kuffaar unnecessarily, because of the great danger
that this poses to one's religious commitment and
morals, and to the individual and the family.
It was narrated from Jareer ibn 'Abd-Allaah (may
Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "I disavow
any Muslim who settles among the mushrikeen." Narrated
by Abu Dawood (2645) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani
in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
This has also been discussed in the answer to question
What we advise our brothers to do is to fear Allaah,
may He be exalted, with regard to shar'i contracts and
not to use them as means to worldly ends, and to
refrain altogether if the purposes are haraam. They
should fear Allaah with regard to their wives and
children, and think about the great hardship that
their actions may lead to, or the deprivation of
rights and other negative consequences that may result
from doing these contracts in this corrupt manner.
And Allaah knows best.