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1. "And if you fear a breach between the two, then appoint a judge from his people and a judge from her people; if they both desire agreement, Allāh will effect harmony between them" (4:35).

2. "And if a woman fears ill usage or desertion on the part of her husband, there is no blame on them if they effect a reconciliation between themselves, and reconciliation is better. And if they separate, Allāh will render them both free from want out of His ampleness" (4:125-130).

3. "When you divorce women, divorce them for their prescribed time. Do not drive them out of their houses, nor should they themselves go forth, unless they commit an open indecency" (65:1).

4. "And the divorced women shall keep themselves in waiting for three qurū......and their husbands have a better right to take them back in the meanwhile if they wish for reconciliation" (2:228).

5. "And when you have divorced women and they have ended their term of waiting, do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree among themselves in a lawful manner" (2:232).

6. "Divorce may be pronounced twice; then keep them in good fellowship or let them go with kindness: and it is not lawful for you to take any part of what you have given them, unless both fear that they cannot keep within the limits of Allāh; then if you fear that they cannot keep within the limits of Allāh, there is no blame on them for what she gives up to become free thereby ...... Then if he divorces her, she shall not be lawful to him afterwards until she marries another husband; if he (too) divorces her, there is no blame on them if they return to each other if they think that they can keep within the limits of Allāh" (2:229, 230).

7. "And if you wish to have one wife in the place of another and you have given one of them a heap of gold, take not from it anything would you take it by slandering her and doing her manifest wrong? (4:20).

8. "O you who believe! When you marry the believing women. then divorce them before you touch them, you have in their case no term which you should reckon" (33:49.)

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9. "So when they have reached their prescribed time retain them with kindness or separate them with kindness, and call to witness two just ones from among you" (65:2).

10. "And for those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, if you have doubt, the prescribed time shall he three months, and of those too who have not had their courses; and as for the pregnant women, their prescribed time is that they lay, down their burden" (65:4).

Talāq (lit., undoing of a knot), or dissolution of marriage, is permitted by Islām, bur the right should be exercised under exceptional circumstances (hh. 1. 2). When differences arise between husband and wife, every effort should first be made for reconciliation, and private judges should be appointed for the purpose (v. 1). Divorce may be resorted to only if reconciliation cannot be effected (v. 2) The wife can claim a divorce for any good reason (vv. 2, 6; h. 2), even though there is no ill-treatment on the part of the husband. (h. 3). The procedure laid down requires that divorce should be pronounced, during the period of cleanness (h. 4), and must be followed by 'iddah, a waiting period of three qurū', about three months; and during this period the woman should remain in the house of her husband, and the parties may re-establish marital relations (vv. 3, 4). In the case of women who do not menstruate, the 'iddah is three months, and in the case of pregnant women it lasts till delivery (v. 10). There is no 'iddah when the divorce takes place before the parties have come together (v.8). After the 'iddah has passed away, the parties may remarry (v. 5). But the option for re-establishment of marital relations and remarriage is limited to two occasions, if the husband after benefiting of the permission on two occasions resorts to divorce a third time the divorce becomes irrevocable and reconciliation cannot be effected, nor can the parties remarry. An exception in this case is, however, made when the wife has married another husband and becomes eligible again for marriage through a divorce (v. 6), or any other reason. Halālah is an un-Islamic practice, and it was denounced by the Holy Prophet (h. 8). The dowry settled on the wife at the time of marriage cannot be taken back by the husband on divorce. unless the wife is guilty of adultery (v. 7), or she wants a divorce without any fault on the part of her husband (b. 3). The divorce must be pronounced in the presence of witnesses (v. 8; h. 9). Divorce should be pronounced only once; its utterance thrice on one occasion is un-Islamic (hh. 5, 6). The three divorces allowed are separate acts between which there must be an interval (h. 7). To give the wife option of freeing herself from the marital tie is not a divorce, unless the wife exercises the right (h. 10). The wife is considered to be divorced if the husband is mafqūd (h. 11). Divorce also takes place when li'ān is resorted to. but in this case the husband cannot claim the return of dowry (h. 12). If a man resorts to ilā' (temporary cessation of marital relations), without naming a period, he is bound either to reestablish the normal relations after four months or to divorce the wife after the lapse of this period (h. 13).

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1 Ibn 'Umar reported,

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said

"With Allāh, the most detestable of all things permitted is divorce."1

(AD. 13:1)

2 Thaubān said,

The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said:

"Whatever woman asks for divorce from her husband without any harm, the sweet odour of paradise shall be forbidden to her."2

(Ah. 5, 277.)

3 Ibn 'Abbās reported,

The wife of Thābit Ibn Qais came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, and said, O Messenger of Allāh! I do not find fault in Thābit ibn Qais regarding his

1. This hadīth shows that divorce should be resorted to only in cases of extreme hardship, A Muslim is required to face the difficulties of the married life, and to avoid disruption of family relations, so long as possible, turning to divorce only as a last resort.

2. This hadīth recognises the right of the wife to demand a divorce, so much so that she may demand it even without any harm being caused to her, though she is told that in such a case she will displease God.

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morals or faith, but I hate disbelief in Islām. The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said: "Wilt thou return to him his orchard?" She said, Yes. So the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said (to Thābit): "Accept the orchard and divorce her."3

(B. 68:12.)

4 Ibn 'Umar reported,

He divorced his wife while she was menstruating. 'Umar mentioned this to the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, so the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, became displeased on account of this and said:

"He should take her back, then keep her until

3. In this case, the wife had no specific complaint against her husband, and there was neither desertion, nor ill-treatment. She said that she could not pull on with him. and her right to have a divorce was not refused. But she was required to return the orchard which the husband had given to her as dowry. This is technically called khul', lit., undoing of a knot. The words I hate disbelief in Islām mean that she could not pull on with him as a faithful Muslim wife should; according to another version the words are lā utīqu-hū, i.e., I cannot bear him.

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she is clean, then menstruates and (again) becomes clean, if it then appears to him that he should divorce her, he should divorce her while she is in a clean condition before he approaches her. This is the 'iddah as Allāh has commanded it."4

(B. 65:65.)

5 Ibn 'Abbās said,

The (procedure of) divorce in the time of the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, in that of Abū Bakr and for two years in the caliphate of 'Umar ibn al-Khattāb, was that divorce uttered thrice (on one occasion) was considered as one divorce. Then 'Umar said, People have made haste in a matter in which there was moderation for them; so we may make it

4. This hadīth relates to procedure in the matter of divorce. It shows that divorce is not effective unless it is pronounced when the wife is clean 'Iddah, or the period during which a woman must wait before remarrying, is stated in v. 4 (2:228) to be three qurū'. The word qurū' is plural of qar' which signifies the entering from the state of cleanness into a state of menstruation, and is in normal cases about four weeks.

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take effect with regard to them. So he made it take effect with regard to them.5

(Ah. I, 314.)

6 Mahmūd ibn Labīd said,

The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, was informed about a man who divorced his wife, divorcing (her) three times together, so he stood up in displeasure and said:

"Is the Book of Allāh being sported with while I am in your midst? "

(Ns. 27:6.)

7 Rukānah ibn 'Abd Yazīd reported,

He divorced his wife Suhaimah thrice and informed the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, about it and said, I call Allāh to witness that I intended only a single (divorce). The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said

5. See note on h. 7.

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"Dost thou call Allāh to witness that thou didst not intend but a single (divorce)?" He said, Yes, I call Allāh to witness that I did not intend but a single (divorce). So the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, returned her back to him, and he divorced her a second time in the time of 'Umar, and a third time in the time of 'Uthmān.6

(AD. 13: 13.)

6. This hadīth and h. 5 show that divorce uttered on one occasion, whether uttered once or thrice--in fact. any number of times,--counts only as one divorce, and this was made clear by the Holy Prophet himself: while h. 6 shows that pronouncing divorce thrice on a single occasion is un-Islamic. Even the jurists call it talāq bid'ī (an innovation), but they consider it irrevocable in the terms of 2 230: as these Hadīth show, the Holy Prophet did nor consider it such. The procedure of talāq according to Islām is laid down clearly in the Holy Qur'ān. It is to be pronounced once while the woman is in a clean condition, and it is followed by a period of waiting, called the 'iddah (65:1), during which the parties may be reconciled to each other, or after which the parties may marry each other again (2:228, 232). Such a divorce, called a revocable divorce, may be pronounced twice (2:229). the option for reconciliation or remarriage being with the parties: but if it is uttered a third time, it becomes irrevocable as laid down in 2:230. 'Umar's object in making effective three divorces pronounced on one occasion (h. 5) was to warn the people that they would have to take the evil consequences of following an un-Islamic practice, but the result is just the contrary of what he intended. This hadīth shows that whenever a woman was divorced, whether the divorce was on that occasion pronounced once or thrice, it was a single act of divorce and revocable. Divorce became irrevocable only when two revocable divorces were first pronounced, hence the occasion for the third divorce spoken of it., 2:230 was a rare event.

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8 'Ali said,

The 'Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, cursed the man who committed halālah and the one for whom halālah was committed.'

(Tr. 9:25)

9 Mutarrif reported,

'Imrān was asked about a man who divorced his wife, then he had intercourse with her, and he did not call in witnesses on the occasion of the divorce, nor on taking her back. 'Imrān said, Thou divorcest against the Sunnah and takest back against the Sunnah; have witnesses on the occasion of her divorce and on taking her back.8

(IM. 10:5.)

7. In pre-Islamic Arabia the divorce was pronounced thrice and was irrevocable, and remarriage between the parties required the wife to go through a temporary marriage with another husband who divorced her after having sexual connection with her. This practice was called halālah (lit., making a thing lawful). Without going through it, it was not lawful for the divorced pair to return to marital relationship. Islām did not recognise temporary marriage (H. xx:4), and therefore halālah was denounced. The marriage after an irrevocable divorce spoken of in 2:230 is quite different, being a perpetual marital tie.

8. As marriage is a public act, so is divorce; it must be pronounced in the presence of witnesses.

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10 'Ā'ishah said,

The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, gave us option; so we chose Allāh and His Messenger; this was not reckoned for us as anything.9

(B. 68:5.)

11 Ibn al-Musayyab said.

When a person is found missing while fighting, his wife shall wait for one year.10

(B. 68:22.)

12 'Abd Allāh reported,

A man from among the Ansār accused his wife of adultery; so the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, asked them both to take an oath, then he ordered them to be separated from each other.11

(B. 68:27.)

9. The wives of the Holy Prophet demanded certain comforts which in the later days of the Holy Prophet's life fell to the lot of Muslim women generally. Just then the Holy Prophet received a revelation telling him to give his wives the option of remaining with him without these comforts, or to have the material benefits and get themselves divorced. They chose the first alternative. This was not a divorce.

10. So that if no news of the husband is received within this period, the wife can marry. Imām Mālik holds the view that in all cases where the husband is mafqūd al-khabar, the wife should wait for four years and may marry after this.

11. The procedure of li'ān, when a husband accuses the wife of adultery and there is no evidence. is laid down in the Holy Qur'ān (24:6-9). The marital relation is in this case cut off. The dowry remains the wife's. (B. 68:51).

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13 Ibn 'Umar used to say, with respect to ilā' about which Allāh has spoken,

It is not lawful for any one after the prescribed time (of four months) has passed away, except that he should either keep (the wife) in good fellowship or resolve upon divorce.12

(B. 68:21.)

12. Ilā' is spoken of in the Holy Qur'an in the following words: "Those who swear that they will not go in to their wives should wait four months" (2:225).

Next: Chapter XXII: Buying and Selling (Buyū')