Now this actually will be difficult. I was kind of delaying this post as I usually dislike talking about things which make me unhappy but its a reality of life and a very important topic as far as marriages are concerned: obviously, because marriages are the reason why people get divorced in the first place 😛 . I guess, I need to do this very very seriously. So, here it goes:
Qur’an puts a lot of emphasis on divorce and there is a complete surah (Sura At-Talaq) talking about how, if needed, divorces should be dealt with. It must be kept in mind that divorce, although allowed, should only be exercised when all possible efforts of reconciliation have failed.
The Prophet (SAW) said, “With Allāh, the most detestable of all things permitted is divorce.”
It is, thus, very important to be sure you are getting married to the right person. Obviously, no one can foresee the future but getting married to the right person surely reduces the risks. But, if a situation arises where there is no option but to part ways, it is important to follow the rules as laid by the Qur’an.
O Prophet! When ye do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and count (accurately), their prescribed periods: And fear Allah your Lord: and turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness, those are limits set by Allah. and any who transgresses the limits of Allah, does verily wrong his (own) soul: thou knowest not if perchance Allah will bring about thereafter some new situation. [65:1]
Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if ye have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs), their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy. [65:4]
From the above verses, it can be clearly seen that a divorced woman must not leave her husband’s house (or be forced to leave) until she has completed her iddat period which starts from the time the divorce is announced (when she is not having her periods) till she has had three periods. If the woman is past her menopausal age, iddat is for three months and if she is pregnant, iddat ends with pregnancy. This whole time, the woman remains her husband’s responsibility and must remain in his house.
Let the women live (in ‘iddat) in the same style as ye live, according to your means: Annoy them not, so as to restrict them. And if they carry (life in their wombs), then spend (your substance) on them until they deliver their burden: and if they suckle your (offspring), give them their recompense: and take mutual counsel together, according to what is just and reasonable. And if ye find yourselves in difficulties, let another woman suckle (the child) on the (father’s) behalf. [65:6]
Once the iddat is completed, the woman has to then leave the house in front of two witnesses.
Thus when they fulfil their term appointed, either take them back on equitable terms or part with them on equitable terms; and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice, and establish the evidence (as) before Allah. Such is the admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out. [65:2]
Obviously, the divorced couple might realize later that they have made a mistake and might wish to remarry. There is a condition to it, commonly referred to as, Halalah:
A man divorced his wife and she married another man who proved to be impotent and divorced her. She could not get her satisfaction from him, and after a while he divorced her. Then she came to the Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! My first husband divorced me and then I married another man who entered upon me to consummate his marriage but he proved to be impotent and did not approach me except once during which he benefited nothing from me. Can I remarry my first husband in this case?” Allah’s Apostle said, “It is unlawful to marry your first husband till the other husband consummates his marriage with you.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 63, Number 190]
There are four famous different opinions among the scholars on this issue. The first opinion, which is the opinion of the four dominant schools of thought, is three divorces given together at a time befall and the woman is divorced. The second opinion is if the woman has carried out sexual intercourse, then three will befall, and if she hasnt, then only one will happen. The third opinion is from the Shia school of thought, which says that three divorces at a time are nothing and have no legal status at all. The fourth opinion is this is only to be counted as one divorce. Among these different views the fourth opinion is the strongest and most logical.
The opinion that three divorces uttered at once is to be only counted as one is the opinion of Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddiq (RA) and Hazrat Omar (RA) during the first two years of his caliphate and several of the Ashra-e-mubashira. The conclusive opinion of these sahaba is from authentic texts, which shed light on this controversial issue. It was only during Hazrat Omar’s (RA) caliphate that triple talaaq was imposed as a law of the state and not as an innovation in deen.
In the time of Allahs Messenger (saw), Abu Bakr, and the first two years of the caliphate of Hazrat Omar (RA), the three pronouncements of divorce were regarded as one divorce. So Hazrat Omar (RA) said: People have made haste in an affair they used to practice with patience, so supposing we execute it on them, so he executed it on them.
Jokingly Divorcing the Wife
Although it sounds absurd but some people do end up saying the ‘three words’ as a joke! A fatwa on this might be able to clarify confusions about it.
Wife’s Right to Divorce
Many people think of it as a taboo to discuss divorce before getting married. Now thats an important aspect of being married so why be so scared of it? Discuss at length how you want the ‘contract’ to be finalised and this is one important issue. Although I was not able to find anything in the Qur’an about it, you might like to see a fatwa on this.