By: ZOYA AYESHA
This is an oft-repeated issue as far as debates/discussions are concerned of late.I will briefly give an introduction to the different aspects and then focus on the concept of ‘Divorce’ (Talaq) in Islam.
Firstly, marriage is considered to be a very sacred union in Islam. It is very important which can be understood from the following Hadith:
Prophet Mohammed(saws) said, “When a man marries he has fulfilled half of the Deen (religion); so let him fear Allah(swt) regarding the remaining half.”
It is the foundation of the basic unit of the society, i.e. family and because of this the most desire criterion specifically mentioned in ‘Hadith’ with respect to selection of spouse is Deen (Religion) as Hadith goes like this:
It is narrated by Abu Hurairah(RA) that the Prophet (saws) said, “A woman is marriedfor four (things), i.e. her wealth, her familystatus, her beauty and her religion. So you should take possession of (marry) the religious woman (otherwise) you will be a loser.” (SahihBukhari, Hadith: 5090)
Secondly, both the bridegroom and bridewill have to agree upon marriage, without any force otherwise the ‘Nikaah’ is not valid.
The ‘Nikaah’ specifically includes 2 things worth mentioning:
- ‘Mahr’:A gift exclusively given by the husband to the wife as a token of appreciation. It can be in cash or kind- depending on the mutual agreement between the bridegroom and bride.
- The financial responsibility (maintenance) of the wife has to be borne by the husband under all circumstances.
Islam has given space for ‘Talaq’(Divorce– when it is from husband) and Khulaa (Divorce – when it is from wife), but it has also been mentioned in the Hadith that the most despised permitted action in the sight of the Exalted Allah is the divorce. The Hadeeth is:
It is narrated on the authority of Muhaarib (RA) that he said, the Messenger of Allah said: “Allah didn’t make anything Halaal (permitted) that is more despised in His sight than divorce.” (Abu Dawood, Hadith: 2177)
It is natural when the couple: husband and wife stay together, in some cases difference of opinions and viewswill arise and which will lead to some conflicts between the husband and wife. In such cases they should try to solve it their level best.In the case based on the religious affair,if one of the couple is sure that by remaining together in the wedlock, the law and limit of Allah (SWT) will be transgressed then he or she should take the step toward Talaaq or Khulaa; but before reaching to the step of Talaaq, they need to exercise the following steps:
- Sit down and talk it out and try to resolve. (Surah Talaq,Ayat: 107)
If they can’t solve it between themselves, then they should appoint an arbitrator and mediator.(Surah Nisa, Ayat: 25)
If still the matter cannot be resolved and they find it absolutely impossible to live with each other, then they can go for a divorce.
The processes mentioned with respect to Divorce are:
According to this, the husband utters ‘Talaq’ once and then waits for 1 month/1 menstrual cycle
Again he says ‘Talaq’ and waits for another month/ menstrual cycle
Again he says ‘Talaq’ and waits for another month/ menstrual cycle.
If they haven’t resolved it by then, then the divorce is complete.
Note- Talaqshould not be pronounced in a state of anger or when one is drunk or when the woman is menstruating.It is not recommended in Islam; but if some unfortunate does so in the mentioned cases, the Talaaq will take place undoubtedly.
This is a kind of divorce when it takes place from wife side. In this case,the wife divorces her husband and she has to return the dower (Mahr) that she received from her husband.
To prevent making a mockery of the sacred institution of marriage and of the rights of women, where the man divorces his wife and marries her again and again, Islam imposed the two strict rules whereby a man is allowed to divorce and remarry the same woman again only twice. If the man divorces his wife for the third time, it would constitute an irrevocable divorce and it would be impermissible for the man to marry the same woman again unless and until she (perchance) marries another man, consummates the marriage, and the man dies or he divorces her according to his own will because of circumstances when he thinks that they cannot stay together. Following this divorce or the death of the husband, the previous husband (who divorces her) and the wife (divorced one) agree upon remarrying, they can do.
The husband utters the word ‘Talaq’ three times at one go without any intervening period. As per Islamic History- this kind of thing did happen once during the time of our Prophet Mohammed(saws) and when he came to know of it, he became furious. But he didn’t refute it. This means that the ‘Talaq’ was valid though the procedure was wrong.
Again during the time of the Caliph (Khalifa) Umar (RA), the husbands started misusing their rights by uttering ‘Talaq’ three times at one go in anger. Later they would repent and take back their wives who had already become unlawful for them – and this was being done multiple times by them. Observing this, Umar(R.A.) said that even if a man had uttered in anger, it is still going to be considered as divorce.
This was the context in which Umar(R.A.) had said.
The problem is that people over the years have misinterpreted the entire context and hence the ruling and have innovated the ‘WRONG PROCEDURE’ of ‘Triple Talaq’.
BENEFITS OF ‘TALAQ’:
- Divorce despite being abhorred by Allah(swt) has been included in the religion. This explains that if the husband and wife find it absolutely incompatible to stay with each other, then they can go their separate ways rather than staying forcibly and harming each other- in any and every aspect.
- The divorced woman goes back to her own family and she is now under the care and responsibility of her father. If her father has passed away, in that case her brother is responsible for her. In case she doesn’t have a brother/ the brother has also passed away – then the male relatives of the family are responsible for her. In all these cases, the divorced lady is not burden on the family members as she deserves Inheritance (the money, property, etc. that one receives from father, mother etc. when they die) form his father or mother’s wealth according to Islamic Law. If this is also not possible, then the Government must bear her maintenance.
- The divorced woman can be given her share of the family inheritance and that can supplement her finances.
- The divorced woman is free to marry again and lead a normal life.
- In ISLAM, the kids legally belong to the father; therefore, that part of her responsibility is also taken care of.
Thus, it proves that a divorced Muslim woman has many options and she can still lead a normal and peaceful life.
The conclusion is that if the Divorce has become necessary, can be carried out provided it is being done in the light of ISLAMIC LAW (SHARIAH).
A divorced Muslim woman is not oppressed in any manner.She retains all her rights and she can still live her life to the fullest. The aspects which actually require upliftment and development as far as Muslim women are concerned are to provide them:
- REPRESENTATION IN GOVERNMENT JOBS.
It’s high time our central and state governments must focus on these ‘REAL’ issues rather than the ‘VIRTUAL’ ones. ***
(Author’s Note: The above article has been written to shed light on the queries/doubts of non-Muslims. It is not aimed to deal with the intricacies of the Islamic Law(‘Shariah’) and Divorce(‘Talaq’). O Allah (swt),forgive me please, for any mistakes I have made unknowingly!)