Divorce By SMS

Interesting mahloket in the Islamic world. In 2000 an Alexandrian court ruled that Islam doesn’t accept electronic communications for divorce. Malaysia, however, authorized the use of SMS as a legitimate medium. This seems to be an official pesak and would carry more weight than the acts of individuals.

Acc to Islamic law, a husband divorces his wife by telling her “I divorce thee” three times. So, are electronic communications ok for this?

Topics for discussion:

  • What are the nafka minot between SMS and e-mail?
  • Would this work for AOL’s Instant Messenger?
  • Can the husband do this over the phone, since the technology converts his voice into electronic pulses? Is it a din in the voice or a din in the da’as haba’al?
  • If it’s an electonic communication, does the husband have to type the whole message three times, or can he type it once and just send the same message three times? Is it talui on the shlichus or kabbalah?
  • What does this mean for the Da’as Torah of the Moetzet Gedolei Ha-Quran?

My bekiut in Islam is admitedly weak, so any comments would be appreciated.