A Saudi man divorced his wife of 25 years by text message but later changed his mind has been told the divorce must go ahead.
The husband told a court in the southern province of Jizan that he had sent the text while angry and wanted his wife to come home. The couple have six children.
But the judge decided to separate the couple in spite of the man’s request because he had already divorced his wife, according to Islamic tradition, on two previous occasions.
According to local newspaper Alsaudeh:
“The judge told him he cannot have his wife back because it was the third divorce. The judge made clear that under Islamic law, the woman must marry another man and get a divorce after a specific period of time before she is allowed to return to her ex-husband.”
Islamic tradition allows a man to divorce his wife by saying ‘I divorce you’ three times, although this is a controversial practice and is not regarded as valid by all Muslims. After the first two times the divorce can be revoked but it becomes irrevocable after the third.