Considering he’s in Iraq “to participate in what he described as ‘jihad,'” maybe the court is being lenient on him. Additionally, he (supposedly) called two friends to confirm the divorce: why didn’t he call his wife? Unless, of course, his friends are fibbing for his sake. After all, the prophet of Islam decreed that it is permissible for a man to lie to his wife; by way of qiyas, why not his friends on his behalf?
“Shariah court approves SMS divorce,” from Arab News, April 9 :
JEDDAH: A Shariah court here has approved the divorce of a young Saudi woman in her 20s whose husband sent her an SMS text from Iraq saying he had divorced her.
The husband, who is in Iraq to participate in what he described as “jihad,” also telephoned two of his friends who witnessed his marriage and told them that he had divorced his wife.
The woman had approached the court and asked for an official document proving she was divorced.
A judge summoned the two witnesses who confirmed that their friend called them from Iraq and told them that he had divorced his wife. Another two relatives of the absent husband also confirmed that he had told them on telephone that he had divorced his wife.
The judge approved the divorce and told the woman that she did not have to go through the iddah (the post-divorce waiting period stipulated by the Shariah) as the marriage was not consummated.