Question: I am a Muslim. I have been married to a Muslim for two years. Three months ago, my husband divorced me for no reason. What are my rights according to Islamic law? Can I get alimony for a period of one year because I was the one who was spending on the house. I do not have children. Do I have the right to claim housing?
Answer: Before stating your rights as per the UAE Personal Status Law, please be informed that the UAE law allows you to apply the laws of your country in matters of personal status as per Article 1 of the Federal Law No. (28) Of 2005 On Personal Status (The provisions of this law shall apply to citizens of the United Arab Emirates State unless non-Muslims among them have special provisions applicable to their community or confession. They shall equally apply to non-citizens unless one of them asks for the application of his law.)
As for your rights under the UAE Law, they are as follows:
Dowry, the advanced part if you did not take it yet and the deferred part as per Article 52 of the law (Dowry may, in whole or part, be advanced or deferred upon the formation of the contract. Dowry is due by virtue of a valid contract. It becomes certain by a consummation of the marriage, valid privacy or death. The deferred part of it shall become due by death or repudiation).
Alimony to the wife is due as of the date of refrainment from payment. Alimony includes food, clothing, dwelling (housing), medical care, servicing charges for the wife. Alimony and shelter during the waiting period (“idda”) are due to the divorcee in a reversible divorce; in a non-retractable divorce if the divorced woman is pregnant and, if she is not, only sheltering is due.
Article 63 of the law defines alimony to cover food, clothing, dwelling, medical care, servicing charges for the wife, if she is performing such services within her family. In assessing the amount of alimony, it shall be taken into consideration the possibilities of the debtor thereof, the circumstances of the beneficiary and the economic situation, in place and time, provided it does not fall below the sufficiency level.
Alimony is due as of the date of refrainment from payment as per Article 67 of the law (alimony to the wife is due as of the date of refrainment from payment when due as a debt on the husband, independently of a court judgment or agreement. It is not forfeited except by payment or discharge. A claim for alimony, for a past period exceeding three years from the date of introducing action in court shall not be heard unless it is imposed by agreement).
Housing is a part of alimony under the following conditions as per Article 69 of the law: Alimony and sheltering, during the waiting period (“idda”) are due to the divorcee in a reversible divorce, in a non-retractable divorce if the divorced woman is pregnant and, if she is not, only sheltering is due.
Compensation other than the alimony paid as per article 140 of the law is applicable in case the husband divorces his wife from a valid consummated marriage by his unilateral will without a request from her. She is entitled to a compensation other than the alimony paid during the waiting period depending on the financial status of the husband, provided it does not exceed a one-year alimony payable to those in similar condition. The judge may order that it be paid by instalments depending on the degree of solvency or insolvency of the husband. In assessing the amount thereof, the prejudice sustained by the wife shall be taken into consideration.