Divorce in Islam

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Divorce in Islam involves the pronouncement by a husband of the Arabic phrase "I divorce you" to his wife orally or written.The mere pronouncement of the phrase by a man divorces him from his wife[citation needed]. Three simultaneous declarations of divorce are considered three separate divorces, after which the couple are considered to be permanently separated and cannot remarry without meeting certain conditions.


If husband swears an oath of not going to his wife then there is period of 4 months. If he comes back then God is forgiving and merciful and if determines to divorce then God is All-knowing, All-aware. Quran States:

And make not God by taking oaths a hindrance to your being righteous and doing your duty and making peace among mankind; and God is hearer and knower.God does not blame on you for what is idleness in your oaths but blame you on what your hearts have earned; and God is All-forgiving All - merciful.

Those who forswear their wives Must wait for four months then if they change their mind then God is All-Forgiving All-merciful. And if they detrmine to divorce then God is Knower and Wise. (Al-Quran 2:224-227)

If husband vows of separating from his wife then after four months he has to choose one of two alternatives. 1: he changes his mind 2: he determines to divorce. [1]

Divorce initiated by husband[edit]

The husband may initiate the divorce process by pronouncing the word divorce, the formula of repudiation, or a statement of equal meaning in another language such as "I divorce you" orally or written. A single pronouncement is sufficient to suspend the marriage, but after this the husband can cancel divorce within iddah. If iddah has passed husband cannot cancel divorce but couple can remarry. After three divorces, the divorce is irrevocable unless the wife has remarried,, and is divorced by her new husband. A wife cannot initiate the divorce unless her husband agrees to it (see Tafwid below) or she wins the approval of a qadi, who can divorce the marriage or divorce the couple.

There is a period of separation after a divorce during which the husband and wife can reconcile without a new marriage contract, and she is prohibited from remarriage. This period lasts for the span of three menstrual cycles, three months, or until the end of pregnancy. Surah Talaq which stipulates that the divorce, also encourages witnesses to be present at the end of the separation period to confirm that the couple has chosen not to reconcile.[2][3][4][5]

And when you have divorced women and they have ended-- their term (of waiting), then do not prevent them from re-marrying their husbands when they agree among themselves in a lawful manner; with this is admonished he among you who believes in Allah and the last day, this is more profitable and purer for you; and Allah knows while you do not know."

— Qur'an, Sura 2 (Al-Baqara), ayat 232[6]

"And there is no blame on you respecting that which you speak indirectly in the asking of (such) women in marriage or keep (the proposal) concealed within your minds; Allah knows that you will mention them, but do not give them a promise in secret unless you speak in a lawful manner, and do not confirm the marriage tie until the writing is fulfilled, and know that Allah knows what is in your minds, therefore beware of Him, and know that Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing. "

— Qur'an, Sura 2 (Al-Baqara), ayat 235[7]

"For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale). This is a duty on the righteous."

— Qur'an, Sura 2 (Al-Baqara), ayat 241[8]

After divorce, Qur'an specifies responsibilities regarding child maintenance in 223rd verse of Second Chapter.[9][10] Qur'an also prohibits interventions from the previous husband in the divorced woman's life in 232nd verse of second chapter.[11]

Following are some of the cases regarding child custody decided by Muhammad:

  • Abu Hurairah narrates that a woman came to Muhammad and said, "My husband wants to take away from me this child even though he has brought over water for me from the well of Abu ‘Anbah and given me a lot of benefit." Muhammad replied, "Both of you can cast a lot on this." When the husband heard, he said, "Who will quarrel with me regarding this son of mine?" Muhammad said, "O son! This is your father and this is your mother; grasp the hand of the one you want to hold." The child grasped the mother's hand and she took him away. Sunnan Abu Dawood 2277

Tafwid (delegation)[edit]

In the context of Islamic personal status law the term tafwid (lit. delegation) refers to a type of talaq (talaq al-tafwid or tafwid al-talaq) in which the power of initiating the divorce is delegated to the wife.[12] This delegation can be made at the time of drawing up the marriage contract or during the marriage, with or without conditions.[12] Most modern Muslim-majority countries permit this type of divorce in some form.[12]

Dower (mahr) in divorce[edit]

A mahr is an agreed upon compensation for the wife that is obligatory on the husband before the act of intercourse occurs.In these cases the Islamic jurisprudence has clear guidance depending on who asks for the divorce and whether or not the intercourse occurred. If the husband asks for a divorce and intercourse has occurred, he pays full mahr; if the husband asks for a divorce and the intercourse has not occurred, the husband pays half the dowry; if the wife asks for a divorce and intercourse has occurred, the husband pays half the mahr; and if the wife asks for a divorce and is still a intercourse has not occurred, then no mahr is required to be paid by the husband. However, there may be other financial obligations depending on the length of marriage, whether there are any children involved and their ages, and the property that they own under joint ownership.[citation needed]

Other financial obligations in divorce[edit]

Depending on the length of marriage, whether intercourse occurred or not or if any children are involved and income levels for either husband or wife, the husband may be required to provide a monthly maintenance support for the children to ensure their well-being. However, unlike most Western laws where the couple split assets earned during the marriage, Islamic law does not entitle the wife to a split of the husband's assets at divorce.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Islamic jurisprudence by Muhammad Ahmad
  2. ^ Freeland, R, "The Use and Abuse of Islamic Law", Volume 73, The Australian Law Journal, 130
  3. ^ Hasan, A, "Marriage in Islamic Law - A Brief Introduction", (March, 1999) Family Law, 164
  4. ^ Hinchcliffe, D, "Divorce in the Muslim World", (May, 2000), International Family Law, 63
  5. ^ South African Law Commission, Islamic Marriages and Related Matters, Project 59. July, 2003. [1]
  6. ^ Quran 2:232–233
  7. ^ Quran 2:235
  8. ^ Quran 2:241
  9. ^ Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i-Qur'an, 2nd ed., vol. 1, (Lahore: Faran Foundation, 1986), p. 545
  10. ^ "And the mothers should suckle their children for two whole years for him who desires to make complete the time of suckling; and their maintenance and their clothing must be-- borne by the father according to usage; no soul shall have imposed upon it a duty but to the extent of its capacity; neither shall a mother be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child, and a similar duty (devolves) on the (father's) heir, but if both desire weaning by mutual consent and counsel, there is no blame on them, and if you wish to engage a wet-nurse for your children, there is no blame on you so long as you pay what you promised for according to usage; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah and know that Allah sees what you do." Qur'an, [Quran 2:223]
  11. ^ "And when you have divorced women and they have ended-- their term (of waiting), then do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree among themselves in a lawful manner; with this is admonished he among you who believes in Allah and the last day, this is more profitable and purer for you; and Allah knows while you do not know. Qur'an, [Quran 2:232]
  12. ^ a b c John L. Esposito, ed. (2014). "Tafwid". The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (subscription required (help)). 

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