As a student of Quran, I am giving below questions that deal with the issue of divorce. There are lot of misconceptions regarding this issue which I hope can be removed. I would like your opinion on aspects which you think need to be highlighted. I have given references of verses and they are posted at the end. I have dealt with Divorce in the following with purely Quranic point of view - nothing else.
Q. Does pronouncing 'talaq' (divorce) 3 times nullify a marriage bond? “my husband pronounced the word 'divorce' more than three times, the first time we were back together within the iddat but the second time he said the word more than three times, and within a week he told me that he was in anger and he did not mean to divorce me.”
A. No. Uttering the word ‘talaq’ or divorce 3 times does not nullify a marriage bond. You have to appoint an arbiter from both the sides (4:35 - Sura Nisa Verse 35). It is a 'process' whereby husband and wife choose to separate. Its does not rest upon the whims of the husband.Q. Does divorce take effect immediately?
A. There is a 4 month period for the divorce to take effect when the husband and wife decide to divorce (2:226). If they want to reconcile - more the better. After 4 months, the Divorce takes effect but a woman can not remarry as she has to wait for 3 menstrual cycles (iddat) (2:228). Both can still reconcile but after the end of this period, divorce is final and for that 2 witnesses have to be present (65:2).
Q. Can the divorce be given during pregnancy?
A. Divorce is a process. An arbiter from both sides has to be appointed (4:35). There is a 4 month period for the divorce to take effect (2:226) and so there is no issue of divorce taking effect when the wife is pregnant, she is menstruating, the husband was intoxicated, the husband was angry, he sent divorce through email, he did not mean it or he was joking.Q. Is it true that Islam has vested the right to divorce with the husband only and not the wife?
A. This is not true. It is a process whereby husband and wife decide to divorce. (2:227)
Q. Is forced divorce accepted as divorce in Islam?
A. As already stated, it is a process and not a unilateral action by a certain person. Furthermore you have to have 2 witnesses in case of divorce to take effect (65:2). Witnesses are for the purpose that forced divorce does not take place. Arbiters from both the parties are to be appointed as well (4:35).Q. What is 'Iddat' according to Quran?
A. 'Iddat' according to Quran are 3 menstruation cycles that a divorced woman has to observe before marrying again. This is to check for pregnancy. (2:228)
As for women who have reached menopause - their iddat is 3 months.
For women who are not menstruating for any reason - their iddat is 3 months.
For women who do not menstruate and are pregnant- their iddat ends when they deliver the child (65:4).
Q. What if someone does not observe 'iddat'?
A. There are guidelines in Quran for observing iddat and not otherwise. It will be better to observe iddat because it will remove a lot of ambiguities (perhaps). What is the hurry any way in remarrying?Q. Can the husband evict the wife from house during the 3 month course?
A. She cannot be evicted from the house during this time (65:1).
Q. What if the husband is abusive and the woman does not want to stay with him? Should a woman stay in the same house during this waiting period?
A. There is no restriction on her to stay in the same house during this course.
Q. But Verse (65:1) states that she should stay at the same place?
A. In my opinion, the verse states the responsibilities of husband and wife. He can not evict her from the house and she is advised to better stay put. This is a general guideline so that reconciliation between the two can take place. As the verse states... "...Thou knowest not: it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass."Q. I have read that when the husband divorces his wife, she will have to spend her ‘Iddat’ in the matrimonial home. She must not leave the house during the day nor at night. Is it true?
A. Nowhere the wife is restricted to spend the ‘iddat’ at the husbands place and she is not prohibited from leaving the house as well.
Q. What if the divorced woman has no where to go, what should be done?
A. After the divorce, the husband is not allowed to force the wife out of the home and he is not allowed to misbehave with her (65:6 and 2:231). She can stay at the same place.
Q. Can a husband force the wife to stay with him after divorce?
A. He can not keep her with him against her wish if she does not want to stay at that place (2:231).
Q. I have heard that a Muslim woman is not entitled to ongoing maintenance. Is it true? Shall a divorced woman be provided for maintenance?
A. A divorced woman can not be forced out of the house by the husband (65:6). The ex-husband has to provide for her according to his means (2:241), of course it has to be an equitable provision (65:7).
Q. I have read that 'A woman observing the Iddat should neither go out of the house nor remarry, nor indulge in beautifying herself through make-up. Is it true?
A. She is only disallowed to re-marry. She can do whatever she pleases to do otherwise.
Q. Can the ex-husband and wife come back again after divorce?
A. Yes they can (2:232).
Q. What if the husband is missing for 60 days? Does divorce take effect?
A. Quran is silent when either of the spouse is 'missing' for any reason for whatever number of days. The reason for this is that it is left for the individual/ court or State to decide what is the best possible means to protect or promote the interests of either of the spouse. So do what is deemed best.
If you find this information useful or otherwise, do comment.
4:35 - And if ye fear a breach between them twain (the man and wife), appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire amendment Allah will make them of one mind. Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Aware.
2:226 - Those who forswear their wives must wait four months; then, if they change their mind, lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
2:227 - But if their intention is firm for divorce, Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
2:228 - Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.
2:231 - When ye have divorced women, and they have reached their term, then retain them in kindness or release them in kindness. Retain them not to their hurt so that ye transgress (the limits). He who doeth that hath wronged his soul. Make not the revelations of Allah a laughing-stock (by your behaviour), but remember Allah's grace upon you and that which He hath revealed unto you of the Scripture and of wisdom, whereby He doth exhort you. Observe your duty to Allah and know that Allah is Aware of all things.
2:232 - When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their ('Iddat), do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on equitable terms. This instruction is for all amongst you, who believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is (the course Making for) most virtue and purity amongst you and Allah knows, and ye know not.
2:241 - For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous.
65:1 - O Prophet! When ye (men) put away women, put them away for their (legal) period and reckon the period, and keep your duty to Allah, your Lord. Expel them not from their houses nor let them go forth unless they commit open immorality. Such are the limits (imposed by) Allah; and whoso transgresseth Allah's limits, he verily wrongeth his soul. Thou knowest not: it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass.
65:2 - Then, when they have reached their term, take them back in kindness or part from them in kindness, and call to witness two just men among you, and keep your testimony upright for Allah. Whoso believeth in Allah and the Last Day is exhorted to act thus. And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah, Allah will appoint a way out for him,
65:4 - And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months, along with those who have it not. And for those with child, their period shall be till they bring forth their burden. And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah, He maketh his course easy for him.
65:6 - Lodge them where ye dwell, according to your wealth, and harass them not so as to straiten life for them. And if they are with child, then spend for them till they bring forth their burden. Then, if they give suckle for you (off-spring), give them their due payment and consult together in kindness; but if ye make difficulties for one another, then let some other woman give suckle for him.
65:7 - Let him who hath abundance spend of his abundance, and he whose provision is measured, let him spend of that which Allah hath given him. Allah asketh naught of any soul save that which He hath given it. Allah will vouchsafe, after hardship, ease.
Check My Other Posts: