Saturday 10 February 2024

Understanding Divorce in Islam

Allah created this world for the peaceful coexistence between man and woman. And thus provided immense means of sustenance so that they could not fell absence of means to live a peaceful life. Going a step further, the concept of marriage was given so that a man and woman could live together to bring peace to each other by mutual love, solace, comfort with a sense of belonging. 

It is stated in Surah 30 Ar Rum, verse 21: And one of His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may find comfort in them. And He has placed between you compassion and mercy. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect. 

Marriage, therefore in Islam, is much more than physical intimacy between man and wife. It is more to do with satisfaction of emotions which get disturbed in our pursuit for finding means of sustenance. Generally, man is made responsible to make all possible arrangements for a peaceful living for his wife and the offspring. The wife on the other hand has been entrusted to manage the household. Some liberal women take this responsibility as a burden and feel that they are being made a servant rather than a wife. But they fail to understand that it is the man who is running around day  and night to find means that can ensure a peaceful living for his family. And if this fine equation is not understood, the very sacred institution of marriage beings to crumble and may end up in the most disliked world of divorce (Arabic: الطلاق, aṭ-talāq). 

In Islam, giving divorce “for no reason” is NOT encouraged either for males or females. God says to try, as much as possible to reconcile. He said in 4:127, “peace is best”. In fact, divorce is the most hated and unpleasant thing in Islam. The most detestable of lawful thing nears near Allah is divorce. Despite the Islam permits divorce as it becomes inevitable in some extreme situations when it is not possible for the husband and wife to pull on together.

It is reported from Ibn-Umar that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “In the sight of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), the worst of all halal (lawful) acts is talaq (divorce).”

Generally some of the reasons for seeking divorce in Islam include physical, mental, or emotional abuse, incompatibility, infidelity, and failure to fulfill responsibilities.. However, when when a situation has arisen that a  man and wife cannot live with each other, and that the marital harmony is no more possible, efforts must be made both by the man and wife, as well as all members of the family and friend to avert a  divorce should such a situation arise. 

The Qur'an promotes reconciliation, through negotiated settlements between the spouses themselves or the use of arbitrators from their families. However, when “mutual good treatment” is not possible, there should be an amicable parting. Thus, the Qur'an treats divorce as something permitted but not laudable.

"If you divorce women, and they reach their appointed term, hold them back in amity or let them go in amity. Do not hold them back out of malice, to be vindictive. Whoever does this does himself injustice." (Surah 2. al Baqarah:231) 

If despite all efforts, a reconciliation is not reached, the husband pronounces the phrase “I divorce you” (in Arabic, talaq) to his wife. A man may divorce his wife three times. Institutionally, the three divorces should not be pronounced at one time. Rather, after pronouncing each divorce, a one should wait for sometime, normally three months, to pronounce the second divorcee. For this provides a leverage for the husband to still think over his decision and take back her wife after the first two (reconciling). After the third divorce they can't get back together until she marries someone else.

The Quran also sets waiting periods to discourage hasty divorces.[6] For a menstruating woman, the waiting (Iddah) period before the divorce is finalized, as three monthly periods.[9] For non-menstruating women, including post-menopause women and pre-menarche girls, the waiting period is three months.[10] This is to give the husband time to reconsider his decision.[6] Moreover, a man who vows not to have sexual intercourse with his wife, which would lead to automatic divorce, is allowed a four-month period to break his oath.

While a it is the husband who generally pronounces divorce, Islam provides equal opportunity for the wife to seek divorce, called Khula in Arabic. If a husband denies his wife's request for khula, the wife can seek the assistance of an Islamic court or a qualified scholar to help resolve the matter. In some cases, the court or scholar may attempt to mediate between the husband and wife to find a resolution that is acceptable to both parties.

Detailed instructions on divorce are given in Surah 4. An Nisa (The Women) and Surah 65. At Talaq (Divorce).

Please watch an enlightening video below by one of the most eminent scholars of present times, Nouman Ali Khan:
Nouman Ali Khan, born to a Pakistani family, is an American Muslim speaker and Arabic instructor who founded the Bayyinah Institute for Arabic and Qur’anic Studies, after serving as an instructor of Arabic at Nassau Community College. He has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may refer to our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on some of the important issues and explanations related to Islam Qur'an and Sunnah. 

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | References: Divorce in Islam (Wikipedia) | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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Jazak Allah ! ❤️❤️❤️

Difficult subject. Allah save us all.

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