Don't you love the conveniences of modern technology? I must say I'm in awe of the advances made by the new media and modes of communication. I'm even in more awe of the way some of us Arabs are taking full advantage of it all. Take divorce, for instance. Now, it has been made far more convenient than before. It is possible for a Muslim man to divorce his wife by sending her an SMS message saying "You are divorced." But before those feminatzis and men haters among you jump to conclusions and start frothing at the mouth, let me assure you that there are still some rules. Rest assured, this is being regulated. For any SMS divorce message has to meet four, I repeat, four, conditions to be legally binding: (in Arabic)
First condition: the sender should be the husband. In other words, the husband can't delegate the divorce statement to his friend or butler. He still has to do it himself. But now that I think about it, how about if the husband dictates the message to, say, his secretary? Some men are busy, leading demanding public lives and we need to accommodate their schedules. After all, isn't convenience what this technology is about? The ambiguity of this condition need to be attended to because we really do not want to take this matter lightly, do we?
Second condition: the husband should have the intention and desire to divorce his wife. Just as there is no coercion in religion, there is no coercion in divorce, you know. If a second wife is holding the gun to the man's head and demanding that he divorce the first, the divorce is not legal. Do not underestimate the wiles of women: they can really harass men into doing things they do not want to do. So this is an important condition to guard against the abuse of men's free will.
Third condition: The text of the message should not contain anything beside the statement of divorce. This is very important if you think about it. If a man sends a text message saying, for example,: "u divorced. will b home late 4 dinner," the woman may think that the second statement cancels the first. She may conclude, and females are not particularly known for logical thinking, that the man changed his mind (because women are fickle they think men are fickle too). So instead of worrying about being divorced, she should worry about keeping his dinner warm (which if you think about it she could (should?) do even if she was divorced). Definitely mixed messages are a no no. We don't want to create the impression, and I'm sorry to say that females are impressionable, that men can be fickle or inconstant.
Fourth condition: the message must be received by the wife. We all know how considerate some men can be. In order to save their wives the shock of receiving the news dirctly from them, they may choose to spare them and send the SMS to the woman's father or uncle or grocer. But this too can cause problems. The wife can claim that she never received the divorce message and will continue to consider it her legal right to nag her husband, drain his coffers, and, if he is Egyptian, beat the heck out of him. So this condition is a must to offer the man some measure of protection from exploitation and abuse.
ن قبول الطلاق عبرالرسائل القصيرة مرهون بأربعة شروط هي: أن يكون الزوج هو المرسل، وأن يكون لديه العزم والرغبة على تطليق زوجته، وألا تعني صياغة الرسالة أكثر من معنى غير الطلاق، وأن تستقبلها الزوج