What is the procedure of khula, and when does it become complete?
Khula is the name given to the termination of marriage at the wifes request. It is different from an application for divorce. From the Islamic point of view, a woman can apply for divorce for anyone of a variety of reasons, such as ill-treatment by the husband, his being miserly, or negligent of duties, etc. Such an application is put to a judge who looks into the case. If he rules in favor of a divorce, the woman is divorced and receives all her rights, including any outstanding portion of her dowry. In khula, the woman does not have to give any reasons for her desire to end her marriage. She must refund her husband all the dowry he had paid her.
What Islam requires in cases of khula is an application to a judge or a person in competent authority. The judge will then call the husband in and settle the matter, outlining the rights of the two parties.
In both divorce and khula, the woman must observe a waiting period of three menstrual periods or three cleanliness periods. The husband can reinstate the marriage during this waiting period if he so wishes, but this applies to a revocable divorce that he has initiated. If it is a khula case, he cannot reinstate the marriage. When the waiting period is over, the process is complete. Needless to say, all material rights of both parties should be settled within this period, unless the two parties willingly agree on some other procedure.
What I have outlined is the process that meets Islamic requirements. The family laws of Muslim countries differ in their details. I cannot answer according to the law in force in any Muslim country. The person concerned should consult a competent scholar or lawyer. There are also some differences among schools of thought concerning the details that result from khula, but these need be looked into according to each individual case.
Is the punishment decreed for homosexuals mentioned in the Quran? Please give references.
(S. Abd Al-Raheem)
No punishment is mentioned in the Quran for homosexuality, but it is treated as one of the worst crimes against Islamic morality. Islam is indeed very serious in matters of social morality. Therefore, fornication and adultery are considered very serious offences and strict punishments are prescribed for them, when certain conditions apply. Homosexuality is viewed as even more ghastly than adultery. The way the Quran speaks about Lots people, who were the first to practice this heinous offence, leaves no doubt as to how it should be viewed in Islamic society.
The fact that no specific punishment is mentioned in the Quran does not mean that this offence can go unpunished when it is proven. Islamic legislation is taken from two main sources: the Quran and the Sunnah, which includes the statements and practices of the Prophet. The Prophet ordered the death penalty for anyone who is guilty of this crime. He is quoted as saying: If you find someone doing what Lots people used to do, then kill both partners. (Related by Abu Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nassaie and Ibn Majah). He is also reported to have cursed such offenders in clear terms.
Scholars have different views on how a sodomist should be punished. However, the overwhelming majority are of the view that the death penalty applies, even though they differ as to the method of execution. Whichever method is chosen, the punishment should be one that provides a deterrent so that this offence is viewed in its true colors: a stark aggression against human decency, morality and Gods creation.