x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Husband has no proof wife cheated on him, Abu Dhabi court rules

The man alleged his wife had cheated on him, but as he did not have four witnesses to the adultery or had not filed a criminal case against her, he did not have sufficient grounds for divorce.

ABU DHABI // A husband who accused his wife of cheating on him does not have sufficient grounds for divorce, the Court of Cassation has ruled.

The man, from an Arab country, filed a divorce lawsuit in which he alleged she was committing adultery. He said she repeatedly left the house without his permission, leaving their child behind with the housemaid.

The Personal Status Court initially refused to grant the divorce, ruling that one could not just claim a spouse was cheating and expect the court to believe it.

The man appealed, but the Court of Cassation upheld the original verdict.

The ruling said the husband should have presented evidence of her alleged affair. This could have been a Criminal Court ruling before the divorce that proved she was cheating.

Alternatively, he should have sought four witnesses to her adultery.

Failing this, he could have requested a Sharia oath, known as a Mulaana, in which the husband swears four times that he is telling the truth, adding: “May Allah’s curse be on me if I am lying.”

In Sharia, if a person accuses another of adultery and does not provide four witnesses, then they face 80 lashes. As verses from the Quran say: “And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them [with] 80 stripes and never [afterwards] accept their testimony. They indeed are evil doers.”

However, in the case of a husband making accusations against his wife, if he is adamant he is telling the truth he could request Mulaana to avoid the lashes.

The verses continue to say: “As for those who accuse their wives but have no witnesses except themselves; let the testimony of one of them be four testimonies, [swearing] by Allah that he is of those who speak the truth; (6) And yet a fifth, invoking the curse of Allah on him if he is of those who lie.”

If the woman wants to avoid the punishment she could take the Mulaana oath herself.

Once the oaths have been sworn, the couple are divorced for ever.

“In normal divorce, a husband can return to his wife, but after Mulaana the couple can never return to each other,” said Emirati lawyer Habeeb Al Houssani.

Mr Al Houssani said in this case the women must undergo a medical examination to see if a sexual relationship occurred outside of marriage.