Q: Can a woman issue a divorce? What am I entitled to as a wife?
A. A woman cannot issue a divorce. Issuing a divorce is the prerogative of the husband. If the wife has valid grounds, she can ask the husband to divorce her. Valid grounds for a divorce or annulment are physical and mental abuse, withholding of expenses, deserting the marital home, refusing to fulfil the wife’s conjugal rights. If any of these reasons are found and the husband still refuses to issue divorce, the wife may apply to the local Ulama body for a Faskh or annulment. The Ulama or Learned People will follow a strict procedure and after having ascertained that there are indeed Islamic grounds for annulment, they would proceed to annul the marriage by issuing a decree of Faskh.
Mufti Siraj Desai