In Islam there are separate rules for divorce for men and women under the terms of Islamic law (sharia). When a man has initiated a divorce the procedure is called ṭalāq (Arabic: الطلاق). When a woman has initiated a divorce it is called khula (Arabic: خلع).
The rules for Islamic divorce vary among the major Islamic schools of jurisprudence. Most importantly Shia and Sunni Muslims have different rules for performing an Islamic divorce. Sunni practice requires no witnesses, and allows a husband to end a relationship by saying the one, two or triple talaq. Shi’a scholars view the triple talaq (in one sitting or at one time) as a pagan pre-Islamic custom, forbidden by Muhammad, but reinstated by Umar ibn al-Khattab, and thus forbidden (haraam). Sunni scholars agree to the facts, but deem it lawful (halal) anyway.
In some Sunni schools of jurisprudence, for example Shafi’i, it is possible for a woman to petition a qadi (“judge of Muslim jurisprudence”) for a divorce under certain conditions.[clarification needed]
Shi’a practice requires two witnesses followed by a waiting period where the couple are supposed to try to reconcile with the help of mediators from each family. If the couple breaks the waiting period, the divorce is voided.
Since Shi’a view Islamic divorce as a procedure stemming from a conflict rather than a decision, they do not use the procedure to end a temporary marriage. The Shi’a annul the temporary marriage at the end of the period, without any divorce being involved, since there is not necessarily a conflict to resolve.
After the waiting period is over, the couple is divorced and the husband is no longer responsible for the wife’s expenses.