A Saudi woman divorced her husband after he violated a condition in their marriage contract that stipulated he would not marry another woman.
After 20 years of marriage and four children, the wife, who is in her 40s, discovered that her husband had another wife.
The Jeddah Court of Cessation confirmed a ruling issued earlier by the Jeddah Court of First Instance which divorces the plaintiff, the wife, from her husband after he violated one of their marriage conditions rendering the union invalid.
The court also emphasized that the ruling is irreversible. Should the husband ever wish to return to his ex-wife, he would have to pay a new dowry and sign a new contract.
Sheikh Abdullah al-Manei, member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said he endorsed the court's decision.
"All scholars agree that the conditions in marriage contracts are legitimate and that violating them invalidates the contract."
In Islam, a woman is allowed to set the conditions of her marriage as long as they are not in violation of Islamic teachings. She is then entitled to a "conditional divorce" if any of those conditions are not met by her husband.
A divorce that results from violating the terms of the contract is considered final and a husband may not return to his wife for a three-month waiting period, called Iddah. During this time the couple can revise their decision and rekindle their marriage if they sort out their differences.
(Translated from the Arabic by Sonia Farid)