Divorce plays a role in Islam; it is often misunderstood within the context of Islamic law. It functions as a process allowing married couples to formally and legally end their marriage under certain circumstances.
This comprehensive guide aims to educate Muslims on how to divorce in Islam, shedding light on what triggers it the types of divorce, and the significance behind uttering “talaq” three times. We will draw upon references from the Quran and Hadith to provide an understanding of this topic.
Table of Contents
What Causes Divorce?
In Islam divorce can be initiated by either spouse; however certain triggers must be present for the dissolution of marriage to occur. These triggers are deeply rooted in jurisprudence. Are explicitly mentioned in the Quran.
1. Irreconcilable Differences
Divorce may arise due to differences or disputes between spouses. The Quran acknowledges this aspect in Surah An Nisa (4:128);
وَإِنِ ٱمْرَأَةٌ خَافَتْ مِنۢ بَعْلِهَا نُشُوزًا أَوْ إِعْرَاضًۭا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَآ أَن يُصْلِحَا بَيْنَهُمَا صُلْحًۭا ۚ وَٱلصُّلْحُ خَيْرٌۭ ۗ وَأُحْضِرَتِ ٱلْأَنفُسُ ٱلشُّحَّ ۚ وَإِن تُحْسِنُوا۟ وَتَتَّقُوا۟ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًۭاQuran 4:128
And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better. And human inner-selves are swayed by greed. But if you do good and keep away from evil, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.Translation of Quran 4:128
2. Cruelty or Abuse
When one spouse suffers cruelty or abuse at the hands of their partner they have the right to pursue divorce. The Quran emphasizes this notion, in Surah An Nisa (4:19); “But do not retain them with intent to harm them.”
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَرِثُوا۟ ٱلنِّسَآءَ كَرْهًۭا ۖ وَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُوا۟ بِبَعْضِ مَآ ءَاتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ إِلَّآ أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَـٰحِشَةٍۢ مُّبَيِّنَةٍۚ وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ ۚ فَإِن كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَىٰٓ أَن تَكْرَهُوا۟ شَيْـًۭٔا وَيَجْعَلَ ٱللَّهُ فِيهِ خَيْرًۭا كَثِيرًۭاQuran 4:19
O believers! It is not permissible for you to inherit women against their will or mistreat them to make them return some of the dowry ˹as a ransom for divorce˺—unless they are found guilty of adultery. Treat them fairly. If you happen to dislike them, you may hate something which Allah turns into a great blessing.Translation of Quran 4:19
Process of Divorce in Islam
The process of divorce in Islam involves the following steps:
1. Starting the Divorce Process
In Islam, it is common for the husband to initiate divorce by saying the word “talaq” (divorce) three times. The Quran discusses this in Surah At Talaq (65: 2-3) which suggests that either the couple should try to agree on terms or separate amicably.
فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ فَارِقُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍۢ وَأَشْهِدُوا۟ ذَوَىْ عَدْلٍۢ مِّنكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلشَّهَـٰدَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِۦ مَن كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلْـَٔاخِرِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُۥ مَخْرَجًۭاQuran 65:2
Then when they are about to fulfil their term appointed, either take them back in a good manner or part with them in a good manner. And take for witness two just persons from among you (Muslims). And establish the witness for Allah. That will be an admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).Translation of Quran 65:2
وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُۥٓ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بَـٰلِغُ أَمْرِهِۦ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدْرًۭاQuran 65:3
And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.Translation of Quran 65:3
2. Waiting Period (Iddah)
Following the pronouncement of divorce, there is a designated waiting period known as “iddah.” The length of this period may vary depending on circumstances. Its purpose is to determine if the wife is pregnant and allows for reconciliation between the spouses.
3. Arbitration and Reconciliation
During the iddah period Islamic teachings encourage spouses to seek reconciliation. Surah An Nisa (4:35) advises involving arbitrators from both sides if there are concerns about discord between them. If both parties genuinely want to reconcile Allah may facilitate a resolution.
وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَٱبْعَثُوا۟ حَكَمًۭا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِۦ وَحَكَمًۭا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ إِن يُرِيدَآ إِصْلَـٰحًۭا يُوَفِّقِ ٱللَّهُ بَيْنَهُمَآۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرًۭاQuran 4:35
If you fear a breach between them twain (the man and his wife), appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from her’s; if they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation. Indeed Allah is Ever All-Knower, Well-Acquainted with all things.Tranlation of Quran 4:35
What Occurs After Two Talaq in Islam?
Once two talaqs have been pronounced, a waiting period (iddah) follows where efforts, towards reconciliation are encouraged. If reconciliation does not take place within this period and it comes to an end the marriage is considered terminated.
However if the couple desires to reunite they have the opportunity to do so, within the iddah period.
Types of Divorce in Islam
There are four types of divorce in Islam which are as follows:
1. Talaq e Ahsan
Talaq e Ahsan is regarded as the method of divorce, in Islam. It involves a declaration of talaq followed by a waiting period known as iddah. If the wife is not pregnant the divorce is considered final after the iddah.
2. Talaq e Hasan
Talaq e Hasan entails three pronouncements of talaq with waiting periods (iddah) between each pronouncement. If the husband does not retract the divorce during the iddah it becomes final.
3. Talaq e Bid’ah
Talaq e Bid’ah refers to innovations in the divorce process that’re not in accordance with tradition. It is strongly discouraged in Islam. Some scholars consider it invalid.
Does uttering “talaq” three times result in divorce?
The act of saying “talaq” three times is commonly referred to as ” talaq.” While it is recognized as a form of divorce it is. Considered sinful in Islam.
The Quran advises against divorces and encourages reconciliation efforts. However, saying “talaq” three times consecutively does initiate a divorce; nevertheless its consequences and implications may vary based on jurisprudence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can women initiate divorces in Islam?
A woman has the ability to initiate divorce by means of a process called “khul’.” Khul involves the requirement of returning the dowry to the husband as a prerequisite for divorce.
Is there any waiting period for men following divorce?
For men, there is no waiting period (iddah), after divorce, it is expected that he will provide assistance to his ex-wife during her iddah period.
Can a Divorced Couple Remarry Each Other in Islam?
It is possible for a couple to get married again as long as the required waiting period (iddah) has passed and both individuals are willing to reconcile. There are no obstacles or complications, in such a situation.