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Gulf Saudi

WhatsApp divorce valid, says senior Saudi cleric

‘Divorce takes place in writing as well as verbally’



“Divorce made through WhatsApp, text messages or on phone is valid because divorce takes place in writing as well as verbally,” said Sheikh Abdullah Al Mutlaq, a member of the Committee of Senior Scholars, Saudi Arabia’s top Islamic body.
Image Credit: AP

Cairo: A prominent Saudi Muslim cleric has said that divorce alerts made via WhastApp, or short text messages, comply with the Islamic Sharia.

“Divorce made through WhatsApp, text messages or on phone is valid because divorce takes place in writing as well as verbally,” said Sheikh Abdullah Al Mutlaq, a member of the Committee of Senior Scholars, Saudi Arabia’s top Islamic body.

“Accordingly, if the husband makes the divorce oath via WhatsApp, the divorce takes place,” Al Mutlaq told a fatwa programme on the Saudi state television Al Saudia.

Muslim men traditionally use verbal divorce to end marriages by telling their wives: “I hereby divorce you”.

There has been an increase in divorce rates in Saudi Arabia in recent years. Three out of every 10 marriages end in divorce in the kingdom, according to official statistics.