I was legally divorced from my husband on June 7 and I wanted to get married again. They told me I had to be Islamically divorced so I went to the Imam and he took the info from the divorce decree and dated the certificate July 21. Which of these days is the start of the 90 day waiting period before I can get Islamically married again?
In my personal opinion, all social contracts including marriage, divorce etc. should be entered in accordance with the provisions of the law of the particular land in which that contract is taking place. The only exception is where any provisions of this law force a person into disobedience of any of the directives of the Shari`ah. If, however, the Shari`ah has imposed any additional obligations on the parties to the contract, then these parties should honor these obligations of the Shari`ah as well, while following the provisions of the law of the land of their residence.
As a corollary of my aforementioned opinion, according to my understanding, not only was the issuance of the divorce certificate from the Imam’s office unnecessary but also the countdown for your divorce to be fully affective should start from the date when you were legally divorced and not from the time that your divorce certificate was issued by the Imam. Nevertheless, to save yourself from any future complications – like wayward fatwas of various Muslims and Muslim scholars – I would recommend that, if you can, you may wait till the time that the period of 90 days expires after the issuance of the divorce certificate from the Imam’s office.
I hope this helps.
July 28, 2002