There is absolutely no life situation the Islamic Holy scripture, the Qur'an, and the Hadith -- the collected traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), which are based on his sayings and actions -- did not talk about, both here on earth and the hereafter.
And just like Allah (S.W.T) talked about marriage in the Qur'an, and the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) in the Hadith, the issue of divorce is also touched. In fact, a huge emphasis is laid on it.
But contrary to what the Qur'an and the Hadith say about divorce, a lot of husbands in Islam have divorced their partners in an unacceptable manners, which are against Allah's (S.W.T) command.
The most common method of divorce in the world today, is to accord the court the immense authority to dissolute a union -- that is, ‘what court binds, it should loose’.
And in some cases, a husband would just order the wife out of his house, which is acknowledged to be the end of the marriage: divorce. In some others, a wife would suddenly pack out of her husband's house and declare that she is no longer interested in the union. These are what is obtainable in the world today.
However, Islam recognises the likeliness of disagreements between husband and wife. And when this disagreements come to being, they could lead to the separation of the husband and wife. In Islam, this separation could be informed either by repudiation (talaq), mutual divorce (khul') or oath.
As expected, when this situation arises, Allah (S.W.T), the All-knowing, has given his believers a proper and profitable way of divorcing their partners. It is more of a command. The rulings on divorce is also emphasised in the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).
How Allah commands Muslim husbands to divorce their wives.
In the Qur'an, Allah (S.W.T.) talked on divorce in several verses. But in this article, our reference will be on Allah's (S.W.T) words on divorce in four (4) verses from two different chapters of the Holy Qur'an. They are; Surat-ul Baqara (2:228) and Surat-ul Talaaq (65:1, 2 & 4).
Al-Baqara (2: 223)
وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنْفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ ۚ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَهُنَّ أَنْ يَكْتُمْنَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ فِي أَرْحَامِهِنَّ إِنْ كُنَّ يُؤْمِنَّ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ وَبُعُولَتُهُنَّ أَحَقُّ بِرَدِّهِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ إِنْ أَرَادُوا إِصْلَاحًا ۚ وَلَهُنَّ مِثْلُ الَّذِي عَلَيْهِنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ وَلِلرِّجَالِ عَلَيْهِنَّ دَرَجَةٌ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods. Nor is it lawful for them to hide what Allah Hath created in their wombs, if they have faith in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ وَأَحْصُوا الْعِدَّةَ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ ۖ لَا تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِنْ بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخْرُجْنَ إِلَّا أَنْ يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُبَيِّنَةٍ ۚ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ ۚ لَا تَدْرِي لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرًا.
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.
فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ فَارِقُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ وَأَشْهِدُوا ذَوَيْ عَدْلٍ مِنْكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا.
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,
وَاللَّائِي يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِنْ نِسَائِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلَاثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللَّائِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ ۚ وَأُولَاتُ الْأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَنْ يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْرًا.
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.
To complement what Allah (S.W.T) said about divorce in the Qur'an, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) also directed all Muslims to divorce in the same manner. In Sahih Muslim 1471 a (book 18, Hadith 1), it was reported:
حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى التَّمِيمِيُّ، قَالَ قَرَأْتُ عَلَى مَالِكِ بْنِ أَنَسٍ عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، أَنَّهُ طَلَّقَ امْرَأَتَهُ وَهْىَ حَائِضٌ فِي عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَسَأَلَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم " مُرْهُ فَلْيُرَاجِعْهَا ثُمَّ لْيَتْرُكْهَا حَتَّى تَطْهُرَ ثُمَّ تَحِيضَ ثُمَّ تَطْهُرَ ثُمَّ إِنْ شَاءَ أَمْسَكَ بَعْدُ وَإِنْ شَاءَ طَلَّقَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَمَسَّ فَتِلْكَ الْعِدَّةُ الَّتِي أَمَرَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنْ يُطَلَّقَ لَهَا النِّسَاءُ"
Ibn 'Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported that he divorced his wife while she was menstruating during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ). 'Umar b. Khattib (Allah be pleased with him) asked Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) about it, whereupon Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: Command him ('Abdullah b. 'Umar) to take her back (and keep her) and pronounce divorce when she is purified and she again enters the period of menstruation and she is again purified (after passing the period of menses), and then if he so desires he may keep her and if he desires divorce her (finally) before touching her (without having an intercourse with her), for that is the period of waiting ('ldda) which God, the Exalted and Glorious, has commanded for the divorce of women.
From the excerpts, it can be deduced that, if a husband wants to divorce his wife or vice versa, it is mandatory for the wife to observe the waiting period ('Idda). This waiting period has to be after the wife has had her mensuration twice, and becomes purified after each of the mensuration periods. However, on no account should a man send his wife away -- or the wife herself willingly left her husband --- without observing the waiting period. Doing this means going against Allah's command.
But, in a situation whereby the waiting period ends and the husband feels like continuing with the marriage -- that is, keeping his wife (and the wife also feels same), he can do so. Otherwise, he should let the wife leave without subjecting her to any torment.
However, during the waiting period, the husband must not touch (have intercourse with) the wife, if he really wants to divorce her. Else, the wife will have to start the process again, should he still consider divorcing her.
In addition, if a woman does not experience mensuration anymore or above the mensuration age, then her waiting period would be three (3) months.
And for pregnant women, the waiting period would be after childbirth. For them, during the waiting period, their husbands must provide for their needs. In similitude, when they suckle their children, they must reward or remunerate them.
Adhering to Allah's (S.W.T) commands is nothing but profitable; going against them will only attract His wrath upon one. And nobody can stand the wrath of Allah (S.W.T.). Therefore, all Muslim husbands should take seriously the command of Allah (S.W.T) whenever they deem it fit to divorce their wives. Doing so, is profitable.
NB: This article does not sum up all what Allah (S.W.T.) and Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said about divorce in the Holy Qur'an and Hadith respectively. The article only contains few relevant details of Allah's command, and the Prophet Muhammad's words on divorce. But for a detailed account, Suratul Talaaq (65:1-12) is a specific reference.
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