Talaq Ruled Invalid in Maryland

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled this week that the Islamic divorce method of talaq by which a man can divorce his wife simply by saying “I divorce you” three times, unsurprisingly, fails to meet the state’s definition of “due process” and awarded a Muslim woman divorced after 20 years of marriage by this method the legal entitlement to about half of her ex-husband’s assets and half of his $90,000 a year World Bank pension.

Washington Post: Islamic Divorce Ruled Not Valid in Maryland

Triflin’ brothers beware, if neither your deen nor your intelligence restrains you, the state of Maryland has the back of the sisters and will keep you in check.


  1. That ruling is one of the most legally absurd rulings I’ve read by the Maryland court or any other court in a while.

    Here is why: They simply could have dismissed the arguments of talaq on the basis that ‘talaq’ inapplicable for divorce in U.S. jurisdiction BUT instead I feel the court purposely went into an unnecessary due process analysis to make the points about “equal rights to men and women.”

    It could have simply re-affirmed the 2007 ruling by the Court of Special Appeals that talaq does not apply in the U.S.

    I agree that the sister should have deserved half of his estate and that the outcome of the decision by the court was right BUT I strongly disagree with the rationale, and the rationale is very unnecessary.

    I don’t think that State of Maryland really cares about the backs of sisters – If you read between the lines, you would have realized this decision can be construed as offensive to Islam.

  2. I do not think the “due process” argument is at all absurd. Yes, it is true, that the court did not need to take that extra step but it doesn’t change the essentials of the case, which are simply a brother who went back home and tried to use Islamic law to skirt the laws in Maryland in order to shirk his responsibilities to his wife and kids.

    The state does not care about anyone but it will hold triflin’ brothers accountable with the full force of the law.

  3. “Aleem went to the Pakistani Embassy in the District, where he executed a written document that asserted he was divorcing Farah Aleem.”

    He never went back home. He simply went to the closest PK embassy here.

    I don’t want to argue about this because I essentially agree with you on holding him accountable, and it does seem he tried to circumvent trying to pay her share under U.S. law.

    thanks for dropping by – i posted the online link to entire Ibn Hazm in a follow post.

  4. As Salaamu Alaikum:

    What I don’t get is if this couple has been in the US since 1985, why are they dealing with the PK embassy?

    I’m glad the brother got HIS due process – after screwing over that sister and their children all those years. Shame on him … with all that money.

  5. Wa alaykum salaam Safiyyah,

    It seems that the brother went to the Pakistani embassy, which is technically considered Pakistani soil in essence “back home” so that he could use their recognition of talaq as a valid method of divorce as talaq is not recognized in the state of Maryland.

    Due process, indeed 🙂

  6. That was a bad article in any case, the gross generalizations about muslims having done it for centuries (unsubstantiated) and kind of insulting frankly to muslim men’s ability to fight for marriage and also the process of Islamic divorce being as simple as triple talaq and cutting loose and running. I wish the WaPo would write better on Muslims and marital discord, they had a bad article a year ago re: spousal abuse and Islam also, not that I deny it, but more responsible journalism is needed.

  7. The due process argument was brought up because the woman in the case had already started divorce proceedings through which she would most probably be awarded 50% of his retirement and net wealth.
    To head off this proceeding the man went to the Pakistani embassy to initiate Talaq so as to prevent her from taking anything more than the nominal amount that had been agreed upon for divorce in their pakistani marriage contract.

    Given these circumstances it is not fair to say Maryland invalidates Talaq in general, but in the case when a man uses Talaq to disenfranchise his wife. Munir Fareed actually was quoted in an article and made some very interesting comments on this case.

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