Surah At-Talaq (Arabic Text: سورة الطلاق) in English means “Divorce”. It is the 65th Surah of the Qur’an with 12 ayats. It is classified as a Medinan Surah.
This Surah speaks about family dynamics and rules. In this Surah it advises spouses to follow Allah’s rules when they have disagreement. It also tells men not to just say the words of divorce and separate but to also honor the rights of their wives.
“That is the command of Allah, which He has sent down to you; and whoever fears Allah – He will remove for him his misdeeds and make great for him his reward.”
Surah Talaaq Ayat 5
Below you can read the Surah with transliteration and Sahih International English translation. This is an important Surah so for those looking to learn in detail about the rulings we’ve included different tafseer including the one by Ibn Kathir.
Read Surah Talaq with Translation and Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ وَأَحْصُوا۟ ٱلْعِدَّةَ ۖ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ ۖ لَا تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِنۢ بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخْرُجْنَ إِلَّآ أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَـٰحِشَةٍۢ مُّبَيِّنَةٍۢ ۚ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ ٱللَّهِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ ٱللَّهِ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُۥ ۚ لَا تَدْرِى لَعَلَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرًۭا
Yaaa ayyuhan nabiyyu izaa tallaqtummun nisaaa’a fatalliqoohunna li’iddatihinna wa ahsul’iddata; wattaqul laaha rabbakum laa tukhri joohunna mim bu-yootihinna wa laa yakhrujna illaaa any yaateema bifaahishatim mubaiyinah; wa tilka hudoodul laah; wa many yata’adda hudoodal laahi faqad zalama nafsha; laa tadree la’allal laaha yuhdisu ba’dazaalika amraa
1. O Prophet, when you [Muslims] divorce women, divorce them for [the commencement of] their waiting period and keep count of the waiting period, and fear Allah, your Lord. Do not turn them out of their [husbands’] houses, nor should they [themselves] leave [during that period] unless they are committing a clear immorality. And those are the limits [set by] Allah. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah has certainly wronged himself. You know not; perhaps Allah will bring about after that a [different] matter.
فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ فَارِقُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍۢ وَأَشْهِدُوا۟ ذَوَىْ عَدْلٍۢ مِّنكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلشَّهَـٰدَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِۦ مَن كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلْءَاخِرِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُۥ مَخْرَجًۭا
Fa izaa balaghna ajalahunna fa amsikoohunna bima’roofin aw faariqoohunna bima’roofinw wa ashhidoo zawai ‘adlim minkum wa aqeemush shahaadata lillaah; zaalikum yoo’azu bihee man kaana yu’minu billaahi wal yawmil aakhir; wa many yattaqil laaha yaj’al lahoo makhrajaa
2. And when they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or part with them according to acceptable terms. And bring to witness two just men from among you and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah. That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last day. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out
وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُۥٓ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بَـٰلِغُ أَمْرِهِۦ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدْرًۭا
Wa yarzuqhu min haisu laa yahtasib; wa many yatawakkal ‘alal laahi fahuwa husbuh; innal laaha baalighu amrih; qad ja’alal laahu likulli shai’in qadraa
3. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.
وَٱلَّـٰٓـِٔى يَئِسْنَ مِنَ ٱلْمَحِيضِ مِن نِّسَآئِكُمْ إِنِ ٱرْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلَـٰثَةُ أَشْهُرٍۢ وَٱلَّـٰٓـِٔى لَمْ يَحِضْنَ ۚ وَأُو۟لَـٰتُ ٱلْأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُۥ مِنْ أَمْرِهِۦ يُسْرًۭا
Wallaaa’ee ya’isna minal maheedi min nisaaa ‘ikum inir tabtum fa’iddatuhunna salaasatu ashhurinw wallaaa’ee lam yahida; wa ulaatul ahmaali ajaluhunna any yada’na hamlahun; wa many yattaqil laaha yaj’al lahoo min amrihee yusraa
4. And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months, and [also for] those who have not menstruated. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him of his matter ease.
ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرُ ٱللَّهِ أَنزَلَهُۥٓ إِلَيْكُمْ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يُكَفِّرْ عَنْهُ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِۦ وَيُعْظِمْ لَهُۥٓ أَجْرًا
Zaalika amrul laahi anzalahoo ilaikum; wa many yattaqil laaha yukaffir ‘anhu saiyi aatihee wa yu’zim lahoo ajraa
5. That is the command of Allah, which He has sent down to you; and whoever fears Allah – He will remove for him his misdeeds and make great for him his reward.
أَسْكِنُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ سَكَنتُم مِّن وُجْدِكُمْ وَلَا تُضَآرُّوهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُوا۟ عَلَيْهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن كُنَّ أُو۟لَـٰتِ حَمْلٍۢ فَأَنفِقُوا۟ عَلَيْهِنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ ۚ فَإِنْ أَرْضَعْنَ لَكُمْ فَـَٔاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ ۖ وَأْتَمِرُوا۟ بَيْنَكُم بِمَعْرُوفٍۢ ۖ وَإِن تَعَاسَرْتُمْ فَسَتُرْضِعُ لَهُۥٓ أُخْرَىٰ
Askinoohunna min haisu sakantum minw wujdikum wa laa tudaaarroohunna litudaiyiqoo ‘alaihinn; wa in kunna ulaati hamlin fa anfiqoo ‘alihinna hattaa yada’na hamlahunn; fain arda’na lakum fa aatoo hunna ujoorahunna waatamiroo bainakum bima’roofinw wa in ta’aasartum fasaturdi’u lahooo ukhraa
6. Lodge them [in a section] of where you dwell out of your means and do not harm them in order to oppress them. And if they should be pregnant, then spend on them until they give birth. And if they breastfeed for you, then give them their payment and confer among yourselves in the acceptable way; but if you are in discord, then there may breastfeed for the father another woman.
لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍۢ مِّن سَعَتِهِۦ ۖ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُۥ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّآ ءَاتَىٰهُ ٱللَّهُ ۚ لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَآ ءَاتَىٰهَا ۚ سَيَجْعَلُ ٱللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍۢ يُسْرًۭا
Liyuntiq zoo sa’atim min sa’atihee wa man qudira ‘alaihi riquhoo falyunfiq mimmaaa aataahul laah; laa yukalliful laahu nafsan illaa maaa aataahaa; sa yaj’alul laahu ba’da’usriny yusraa
7. Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted – let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ عَتَتْ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهَا وَرُسُلِهِۦ فَحَاسَبْنَـٰهَا حِسَابًۭا شَدِيدًۭا وَعَذَّبْنَـٰهَا عَذَابًۭا نُّكْرًۭا
Wa ka ayyim min qaryatin ‘atat ‘an amri Rabbihaa wa Rusulihee fahaasabnaahaa hisaaban shadeedanw wa ‘azzabnaahaa ‘azaaban nukraa
8. And how many a city was insolent toward the command of its Lord and His messengers, so We took it to severe account and punished it with a terrible punishment.
فَذَاقَتْ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهَا وَكَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ أَمْرِهَا خُسْرًا
Fazaaqat wabbala amrihaa wa kaana ‘aaqibatu amrihaa khusraa
9. And it tasted the bad consequence of its affair, and the outcome of its affair was loss.
أَعَدَّ ٱللَّهُ لَهُمْ عَذَابًۭا شَدِيدًۭا ۖ فَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ يَـٰٓأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَلْبَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ۚ قَدْ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَيْكُمْ ذِكْرًۭا
A’addal laahu lahum ‘azaaban shadeedan fattaqul laaha yaaa ulil albaab, allazeena aammanoo; qad anzalal laahu ilaikum zikraa
10. Allah has prepared for them a severe punishment; so fear Allah, O you of understanding who have believed. Allah has sent down to you the Qur’an.
رَّسُولًۭا يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ مُبَيِّنَـٰتٍۢ لِّيُخْرِجَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ مِنَ ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ ۚ وَمَن يُؤْمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ وَيَعْمَلْ صَـٰلِحًۭا يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّـٰتٍۢ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدًۭا ۖ قَدْ أَحْسَنَ ٱللَّهُ لَهُۥ رِزْقًا
Rasoolany yatloo ‘alaikum aayaatil laahi mubaiyinaatil liyukhrijal lazeena aamanoo wa ‘amilus saalihaati minaz zulumaati ilan noor; wa many yu’mim billaahi wa ya;mal saalihany yudkhilhu jannaatin tajree min tahtihal anhaaru khaalideena feehaa abadan qad ahsanal laahu lahoo rizqqa
11. [He sent] a Messenger [Muhammad] reciting to you the distinct verses of Allah that He may bring out those who believe and do righteous deeds from darknesses into the light. And whoever believes in Allah and does righteousness – He will admit him into gardens beneath which rivers flow to abide therein forever. Allah will have perfected for him a provision.
ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَـٰوَٰتٍۢ وَمِنَ ٱلْأَرْضِ مِثْلَهُنَّ يَتَنَزَّلُ ٱلْأَمْرُ بَيْنَهُنَّ لِتَعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدِيرٌۭ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عِلْمًۢا
Allaahul lazee khalaq Sab’a Samaawaatinw wa minal ardi mislahunna yatanazzalul amru bainahunna lita’lamooo annal laaha ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeerunw wa annal laaha qad ahaata bikulli shai’in ilmaa
12. It is Allah who has created seven heavens and of the earth, the like of them. [His] command descends among them so you may know that Allah is over all things competent and that Allah has encompassed all things in knowledge.
Tafsir of Surah Talaq
The Qur’an was revealed as a book of proof that Islam is the one true religion and to be a book of guidance. We should set aside time to learn and study this book daily to understand its timeless teachings and meaning.
There’s no one right way to do this, each person has a different learning style so you should do whatever you find effective. We believe written text provides a more structured format and can be more dense than a formal talk. You can branch off easily and explore different ayat of different Surahs as needed and learn at your own pace. Below we have included three different tafseer of Surah Talaq which include one by Ibn Kathir.
Tafsir Surah Talaq by Ibn Kathir
(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
The Prophet was addressed first in this Ayah, to honor him, even though his Ummah is also being addressed in Allah’s statement,
(O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their `Iddah) Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar divorced his wife, during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger , while she was menstruating. `Umar bin Al-Khattab mentioned that to Allah’s Messenger . Allah’s Messenger became angry and said,
(Order him to take her back and keep her until she is clean from her menses, and then to wait until she gets her next period and becomes clean again. Then, if he wishes to divorce her, he can divorce her when she is clean from her menses, before he has sexual intercourse with her. This is the `Iddah which Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has fixed.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith in several parts of his Sahih. Muslim collected this Hadith and his narration uses these words,
(This is the `Iddah which Allah has fixed for the women being divorced.) In his Sahih, Muslim has recorded a Hadith which is a more appropriate version from a narration of Ibn Jurayj who said that Abu Az-Zubayr informed him that he heard `Abdur-Rahman bin Ayman, the freed slave of `Azzah, questioning `Abdullah bin `Umar. And Abu Az-Zubayr heard the question, “What about a man who divorces his wife while she is still on her menses” `Abdullah answered, “During the time of Allah’s Messenger , `Abdullah bin `Umar divorced his wife who was menstruating in the life time of Allah’s Messenger . So Allah’s Messenger said:
(Let him take her back.) so she returned and he said:
(When she is pure, then either divorce or keep her.) `Abdullah bin `Umar said, “Allah’s Messenger recited this Ayah: (ياأَيُّها النَّبِيُّ إِذا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّساءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ فِي قُبُلِ عِدَّتِهِنَّ) (O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their `Iddah) And `Abdullah (Ibn Mas`ud) commented on Allah’s statement,
(divorce them at their `Iddah) He said, “Purity without intercourse.” Similar was reported from Ibn `Umar, `Ata’, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Ibn Sirin, Qatadah, Maymun bin Mihran and Muqatil bin Hayyan. It is also reported from `Ikrimah and Ad-Dahhak.`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas about the Ayah;
(divorce them at their `Iddah), “He does not divorce her while she is on her menses nor while she is pure if he has had intercourse during that (purity). Rather, he leaves her until she has her menses and after the menses ends, then he divorces her once.” And `Ikrimah said about
(divorce them at their `Iddah), “The `Iddah is made up of clean- liness and the menstrual period.” So he divorces her while it is clear that she is pregnant, or he does not due to having sex, or since he does not know if she is pregnant or not. This is why the scholars said that there are two types of divorce, one that conforms to the Sunnah and another innovated. The divorce that conforms to the Sunnah is one where the husband pronounces one divorce to his wife when she is not having her menses and without having had sexual intercourse with her after the menses ended. One could divorce his wife when it is clear that she is pregnant. As for the innovated divorce, it occurs when one divorces his wife when she is having her menses, or after the menses ends, has sexual intercourse with her and then divorces her, even though he does not know if she became pregnant or not. There is a third type of divorce, which is neither a Sunnah nor an innovation where one divorces a young wife who has not begun to have menses, the wife who is beyond the age of having menses, and divorcing one’s wife before the marriage was consummated. Allah said,
(and count their `Iddah.) meaning, count for it and know its beginning and end, so that the `Iddah does not become prolonged for the woman and she cannot get married again,
(And have Taqwa of Allah, your Lord.) in this matter.
(And turn them not out of their homes nor shall they leave,) meaning, during the duration of the `Iddah, she has the right to housing from her husband, as long as the `Iddah period continues. Therefore, the husband does not have the right to force her out of her house, nor is she allowed to leave his house, because she is still tied to the marriage contract. Allah said,
(except in case they are guilty of Fahishah Mubayyinah.) meaning that the divorced wife is not to abandon her husband’s house unless she commits Fahishah Mubayyinah, in which case, she vacates her husband’s house. For example, Fahishah Mubayyinah implies adultery, according to `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan, Ibn Sirin, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Qilabah, Abu Salih, Ad-Dahhak, Zayd bin Aslam, `Ata’ Al-Khurasani, As-Suddi, Sa`id bin Hilal and others. Fahishah Mubayyinah implies disobeying her husband openly or when she abuses her husband’s family in words and actions, according to Ubay bin Ka`b, Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah and others. Allah’s statement,
(And those are the set limits of Allah.) means, these are from His legislation and prohibitions,
(And whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allah,) meaning, whoever violates these limits, transgresses them and implements anything else besides them,
(then indeed he has wronged himself.) by doing so.
(You know not, it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass.) meaning, `We commanded that the divorced wife remains in her husband’s house during the `Iddah period, so that the husband might regret his action and Allah decides that the husband feels in his heart for the marriage to continue.’ This way, returning to his wife will be easier for him. Az-Zuhri said that `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah said that Fatimah bint Qays said about Allah’s statement,
(You know not, it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass.) “Taking her back.” Similar was said by Ash-Sha`bi, `Ata’, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Ath-Thawri.
Here the view of the scholars of the Salaf and those who follow them is that housing is not obligatory in the case of the irrevocably divorced woman. They also relied on the Hadith of Fatimah bint Qays Al-Fihriyah when her husband Abu `Amr bin Hafs divorced her the third and final time. He was away from her in Yemen at the time, and he sent her his decision to divorce her. He also sent some barley with his messenger, but she did not like the amount or method of compensation. He said, “By Allah I am not obligated to spend upon you.” So, she went to Allah’s Messenger , who said,
(There is no obligation on him to spend on you.) Muslim added in his narration,
(nor housing.) And he ordered her to finish her `Iddah period in the house of Umm Sharik. He then said,
(She is a woman my Companions visit. Spend this period in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum, for he is a blind man; ﴿he cannot see you if﴾ you take off your garments.) Imam Ahmad collected this Hadith using another chain of narration. In his narration, the Messenger of Allah said,
(Look O daughter of the family of Qays! Spending and housing are required from the husband who can return to his wife. So if he does not have the right to return to her, then she does not have the right to spending and housing. So leave his house and go to so-and-so woman.) He then said,
(They speak to her. Therefore, go to Ibn Umm Maktum, for he is a blind man and cannot see you.) Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani recorded that `Amir Ash-Sha`bi went to Fatimah bint Qays, sister of Ad-Dahhak bin Qays, from the tribe of Quraysh. Fatimah was married to Abu `Amr bin Hafs bin Al-Mughirah, from Bani Makhzum. She said, “Abu `Amr bin Hafs sent me his decision to divorce me while he was in an army that had gone to Yemen. I asked his friends to provide me with financial provisions and housing. They said, `He did not send us anything for that, nor did he request it from us.’ I went to Allah’s Messenger and said to him, `O Allah’s Messenger! Abu `Amr bin Hafs divorced me, and I asked his friends to provide me with spending and housing and they said that he did not send them anything for that.’ Allah’s Messenger said,
(Spending and housing are required from the husband for his divorced wife if he can return to her. If she is not permitted for him anymore, until she marries another husband, then he does not have to provide her with spending and housing.)” An-Nasa’i also recorded this narration.
Allah the Exalted says that when the woman who is in her `Iddah nears the end of the `Iddah term, the husband must decide to reconcile with her, thus keeping their marriage together,
(in a good manner) while being kind to her in their companionship. Otherwise, he must decide to divorce her on good terms, without abusing, cursing, or admonishing her. To the contrary, he should divorce her on good terms, observing kindness and good manners.
(And take as witness two just persons from among you.) meaning when taking her back, if this is your decision. Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded that `Imran bin Husayn was asked about a man who divorced his wife and then had sexual intercourse with her, without notifying witnesses of when he divorced her and when he took her back. `Imran said, “His divorce and taking her back was in contradiction to the Sunnah. Incorporate the presence of witnesses for divorcing her and taking her back, and do not repeat your conduct.” Ibn Jurayj said that `Ata’ commented on the Ayah,
(And take as witness two just persons from among you.) “It is not permissible to marry, divorce or take back the divorced wife except with two just witnesses, just as Allah the Exalted has said, except when there is a valid excuse.” Allah’s statement,
(That will be an admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day.) means, `this, Our command to you to have witnesses in such cases and to establish the witness, is implemented by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day.’ This legislation is meant to benefit those who fear Allah’s punishment in the Hereafter.
(And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out. And He will provide him from where he never could imagine.) meaning, whoever has Taqwa of Allah in what He has commanded and avoids what He has forbidden, then Allah will make a way out for him from every difficulty and will provide for him from resources he never anticipated or thought about. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “The most comprehensive Ayah in the Qur’an is,
(Verily, Allah enjoins Al-`Adl (justice) and Al-Ihsan (doing good) (16:90). The greatest Ayah in the Qur’an that contains relief is,
(And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out.)” `Ikrimah also commented on the Ayah, “Whoever divorces as Allah commanded him, then Allah will make a way out for him.” Similar was reported from Ibn `Abbas and Ad-Dahhak.`Abdullah bin Mas`ud and Masruq commented on the Ayah,
(And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out.) “It pertains to when one knows that if Allah wills He gives, and if He wills He deprives,
(from where he never could imagine.) from resources he did not anticipate” Qatadah said,
(And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out.) “meaning, from every doubt and the horrors experienced at the time of death,
(And He will provide him from where he never could imagine) from where he never thought of or anticipated.” Allah said,
(And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that he rode the Prophet’s camel while sitting behind the Prophet , and the Messenger of Allah said to him,
(O boy! I will teach you words ﴿so learn them﴾. Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you, be mindful of Allah and He will be on your side. If you ask, ask Allah, and if you seek help, seek it from Allah. Know that if the Ummah gather their strength to bring you benefit, they will never bring you benefit, except that which Allah has decreed for you. Know that if they gather their strength to harm you, they will never harm you, except with that which Allah has decreed against you. The pens have been raised and the pages are dry.) At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith and said: “Hasan Sahih.” Allah’s statement,
(Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose.) meaning, Allah will execute His decisions and judgement that He made for him, in whatever way He wills and chooses,
(Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.) This is like His saying:
(Everything with Him is in (due) proportion.) (13:8)
Allah the Exalted clarifies the waiting period of the woman in menopause. And that is the one whose menstruation has stopped due to her older age. Her `Iddah is three months instead of the three monthly cycles for those who menstruate, which is based upon the Ayah in (Surat) Al-Baqarah. ﴿see 2:228﴾ The same for the young, who have not reached the years of menstruation. Their `Iddah is three months like those in menopause. This is the meaning of His saying;
(and for those who have no courses…) as for His saying;
(if you have doubt…) There are two opinions: First, is the saying of a group of the Salaf, like Mujahid, Az-Zuhri and Ibn Zayd. That is, if they see blood and there is doubt if it was menstrual blood or not. The second, is that if you do not know the ruling in this case, then know that their `Iddah is three months. This has been reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr and it is the view preferred by Ibn Jarir. And this is the more obvious meaning. Supporting this view is what is reported from Ubay bin Ka`b that he said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Some women were not mentioned in the Qur’an, the young, the old and the pregnant.” Allah the Exalted and Most Honored sent down this Ayah,
(Those in menopause among your women, for them the `Iddah, if you have doubt, is three months; and for those who have no courses. And for those who are pregnant, their `Iddah is until they lay down their burden.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded a simpler narration than this one from Ubay bin Ka`b who said, “O Allah’s Messenger! When the Ayah in Surat Al-Baqarah was revealed prescribing the `Iddah of divorce, some people in Al-Madinah said, `There are still some women whose `Iddah has not been mentioned in the Qur’an. There are the young, the old whose menstruation is discontinued, and the pregnant.’ Later on, this Ayah was revealed,
(Those in menopause among your women, for them the `Iddah, if you have doubt, is three months; and for those who have no courses.)”
(And for those who are pregnant, their `Iddah is until they lay down their burden;) Allah says: the pregnant woman’s `Iddah ends when she gives birth, whether in the case of divorce or death of the husband, according to the agreement of the majority of scholars of the Salaf and later generations. This is based upon this honorable Ayah and what is mentioned in the Prophetic Sunnah. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Salamah said, “A man came to Ibn `Abbas while Abu Hurayrah was sitting with him and said, `Give me your verdict regarding a lady who delivered a baby forty days after the death of her husband.’ Ibn `Abbas said,` ﴿Her `Iddah period lasts until﴾ the end of the longest among the two prescribed periods.’ I recited,
(For those who are pregnant, their prescribed period is until they deliver their burdens;) Abu Hurayrah said, `I agree with my cousin (Abu Salamah).’ Then Ibn `Abbas sent his slave Kurayb to Umm Salamah to ask her. She replied, `The husband of Subay`ah Al-Aslamiyyah was killed while she was pregnant, and she delivered a baby forty days after his death. Then she received a marriage proposal and Allah’s Messenger married her to somebody. Abu As-Sanabil was one of those who proposed to her.” Al-Bukhari collected this short form of the Hadith, which Muslim and other scholars of Hadith collected using its longer form. Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miswar bin Makhramah said, “Subay`ah Al-Aslamiyyah gave birth to a child a few days after the death of her husband. When she finished the postdelivery term, she was proposed to. So she sought the permission of Allah’s Messenger for the marriage, and he permitted her to marry, so she got married.” Al-Bukhari collected this narration, as did Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah with a different chain of narration from the Hadith of Subay`ah. Muslim bin Al-Hajjaj recorded that `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah bin `Utbah said that his father wrote to `Umar bin `Abdullah bin Al-Arqam Az-Zuhri, requesting that he go to Subay`ah bint Al-Harith Al-Aslamiyyah to ask her about the matter in question, and about what Allah’s Messenger said to her when she sought his verdict. `Umar bin `Abdullah wrote to `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah bin `Utbah informing him that Subay`ah told him that she had been married to Sa`d bin Khawlah, and he was one of those who participated in the battle of Badr. He died during the Farewell Pilgrimage, while she was pregnant. Soon after his death, she gave birth. When she passed the postnatal term, she beautified herself for those who might propose to her. Abu As-Sanabil bin Ba`kak came to her and said, `Why do I see you have beautified yourself Do you wish to remarry By Allah, you cannot marry unless four months and ten days have passed.” Subay`ah said, “When he said that, I dressed myself in the evening and went to Allah’s Messenger and asked him about his verdict. He gave me a religious verdict that I was allowed to marry after I had given birth to my child, saying I could marry if I wish.” This is the narration that Muslim collected. Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith in a shorter form. Allah’s statement,
(and whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make his matter easy for him.) means, Allah will make his matters lenient for him and will soon bring forth relief and a quick way out,
(That is the command of Allah, which He has sent down to you;) meaning, this is His commandment and legislation that He sent down to you through His Messenger ,
(and whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will expiate from him his sins, and will increase his reward.) means, Allah will prevent what he fears and multiply his reward even for the little good he does.
Allah the Exalted orders His faithful servants that when one of them divorces his wife, he should provide housing for her until the end of her `Iddah period,
(Lodge them where you dwell,) means, with you,
(according to what you have,) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and several others said, it refers to “Your ability.” Qatadah said, “If you can only afford to accommodate her in a corner of your house, then do so.”
(and do not harm them in order to suppress them.) Muqatil bin Hayyan said, “meaning, do not annoy her to force her to pay her way out nor expel her from your house.” Ath-Thawri said from Mansur, from Abu Ad-Duha:
(and do not harm them in order to suppress them) “He divorces her, and when a few days remain, he takes her back.”
(And if they are pregnant, then spend on them till they lay down their burden.) This is about the woman who is irrevocably divorced. If she is pregnant, then she is to be spent on her until she lays down her burden. This is supported due to the fact that if she is revocably divorced, the she has then right to receive her support (maintenance) whether she is pregnant or not.
(Then if they suckle them for you,) meaning, when pregnant women give birth and they are irrevocably divorced by the expiration of the `Iddah, then at that time they may either suckle the child or not. But that is only after she nourishes him with the milk, that is the early on milk which the infant’s well-being depends upon. Then, if she suckles, she has the right to compensation for it. She is allowed to enter into a contract with the father or his representative in return for whatever payment they agree to. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
(Then if they suckle the children for you, give them their due payment,) Allah said,
(and let each of you deal with each other in a mannerly way.) meaning, the affairs of the divorced couple should be managed in a just way without causing harm to either one of them, just as Allah the Exalted said in Surat Al-Baqarah,
(No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of child.) (2:233) Allah said,
(But if you make difficulties for one another, then some other woman may suckle for him.) meaning, if the divorced couple disagrees, because the woman asks for an unreasonable fee for suckling their child, and the father refuses to pay the amount or offers an unreasonable amount, he may find another woman to suckle his child. If the mother agrees to accept the amount that was to be paid to the woman who agreed to suckle the child, then she has more right to suckle her own child. Allah’s statement,
(Let the rich man spend according to his means;) means, the wealthy father or his representative should spend on the child according to his means,
(and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him.) This is as Allah said,
(Allah does not burden a person beyond what He can bear.) ﴿2:286﴾
(Allah will grant after hardship, ease.) This is a sure promise from Him, and indeed, Allah’s promises are true and He never breaks them, This is an Allah’s saying;
(Verily, along with every hardship is relief. Verily, along with every hardship is relief.) ﴿94:5-6﴾ There is a relevant Hadith that we should mention here. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “A man and his wife from an earlier generation were poor. Once when the man came back from a journey, he went to his wife saying to her, while feeling hunger and fatigued, `Do you have anything to eat’ She said, `Yes, receive the good news of Allah’s provisions.’ He again said to her, `If you have anything to eat, bring it to me.’ She said, `Wait a little longer.’ She was awaiting Allah’s mercy. When the matter was prolonged, he said to her, `Get up and bring me whatever you have to eat, because I am real hungry and fatigued.’ She said, `I will. Soon I will open the oven’s cover, so do not be hasty.’ When he was busy and refrained from insisting for a while, she said to herself, `I should look in my oven.’ So she got up and looked in her oven and found it full of the meat of a lamb, and her mortar and pestle was full of seed grains; it was crushing the seeds on its own. So, she took out what was in the mortar and pestle, after shaking it to remove everything from inside, and also took the meat out that she found in the oven.” Abu Hurayrah added, “By He in Whose Hand is the life of Abu Al-Qasim (Prophet Muhammad )! This is the same statement that Muhammad said,
(Had she taken out what was in her mortar and not emptied it fully by shaking it, it would have continued crushing the seeds until the Day of Resurrection.)”
Allah the Exalted threatens those who defy His commands, deny His Messengers and contradict His legislation, by informing them of the end that earlier nations met who did the same,
(And many a town revolted against the command of its Lord and His Messengers;) meaning, they rebelled, rejected and arrogantly refused to obey Allah and they would not follow His Messengers,
(and We called it to a severe account, and We shall punish it with a horrible torment.) meaning, horrendous and terrifying,
(So it tasted the evil result of its affair,) meaning, they tasted the evil consequences of defiance and they regretted their actions when regret does not avail,
(and the consequence of its affair was loss. And Allah has prepared for them a severe torment.) means, in the Hereafter, added to the torment that was sent down on them in this life. Allah the Exalted said, after mentioning what happened to the disbelieving nations,
(So have Taqwa of Allah, O men of understanding,) meaning, `O you who have sound understanding, do not be like them because if you do, you will suffer what they suffered, O people of comprehension,’
(who believe) meaning, in Allah and His Messengers,
(Allah has indeed sent down to you a Reminder.) meaning, this Qur’an. Allah also said,
(Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr and surely, We will preserve it.) (15:9)
(A Messenger, who recites to you the Ayat of Allah containing clear explanations,) Some said that the Messenger is the subject of what is being sent ﴿as a reminder﴾ because the Messenger is the one that conveys the Dhikr. Ibn Jarir said that what is correct is that the Messenger explains the Dhikr. This is why Allah the Exalted said here,
(A Messenger, who recites to you the Ayat of Allah containing clear explanations,) meaning, plain and apparent. The statement of Allah;
(that He may take out those who believe and do righteous good deeds, from the darkness to the light.) Allah’s is like saying;
(A Book which We have revealed unto you in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness) (14:1), and,
(Allah is the Guardian of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light.) (2:257) meaning, out of the darkness of disbelief and ignorance into the light of faith and knowledge. Allah the Exalted called the revelation that He has sent down, light, on account of the guidance that it brings. Allah also called it Ruh, in that, it brings life to the hearts,
(And thus We have sent to you Ruh of our command. You knew not what is the book, nor what is faith But We have made it a light wherewith we guide whosoever of Our servants We will. And verily, you are indeed guiding to the straight path.) (42:52) Allah’s statement,
(And whosoever believes in Allah and performs righteous good deeds, He will admit him into Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. Allah has indeed granted for him an excellent provision.) was explained several times before, and therefore, we do not need to repeat its explanation here. All the thanks and praises are due to Allah.
Allah the Exalted asserts His perfect power and infinite greatness, so that the great religion that He has legislated is honored and implemented,
(It is Allah Who has created seven heavens) Allah said in similar Ayat, like what Prophet Nuh said to his people,
(See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another) (71:15), and,
(The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify him.) (17:44) Allah’s statement,
(and of the earth the like thereof.) means, He created seven earths. In the Two Sahihs, there is a Hadith that states,
(Whoever usurps the land of somebody unjustly, even if it was a mere hand span, then his neck will be encircled with it down to the seven earths.) And in Sahih Al-Bukhari the wording is:
(…he will sink down to the seven earths.) In the beginning of my book, Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, I mentioned the various narrations for this Hadith when I narrated the story of the creation of the earth. All the thanks and praise is due to Allah. Those who explained this Hadith to mean the seven continents have brought an implausible explanation that contradicts the letter of the Qur’an and the Hadith without having proof.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat At-Talaq, all the thanks and praise is due to Allah.
The Status of Marriage and Divorce in Shari’ ah: The Wise Legal Framework
In Ma’ ariful Qur’ an, Volume , p 573, in Surah Al-Baqarah, full details of the subject under similar heading are given. The gist of the matter is that marriage and divorce in any given religion is not like a mutual transaction or contract similar to transactions in buying and selling or in loans and repayments, which the contracting parties may conclude as they wish. In all ages there has always been a consensus among followers of all religions that these contracts have a special sacred nature, for above ordinary contracts. Marriage and divorce must, of necessity, follow the sacred laws. The People of the Book, Jews and Christians, have a celestial religion and a heavenly book. Despite countless changes and distortions, they still retain the religious value of marriage, consider it sacrosanct and are unwilling to change its ceremonial rites. They maintain that traditional restrictions are binding. Idol-worshippers, who do not have any celestial book or religion, but do believe in the Supreme Being, like Hindus, Aryahs, Sikhs, Magi, Fire-worshippers and star-worshippers, all believe in the sacred nature of marriage and divorce and feel bound to fulfill their religious rites when getting married. All family laws are based on these principles of the various religions.
Only the atheistic group, which rejects outright the existence of God or does not see the need for religion, feel that marriage and divorce are like any other commercial transaction like ‘hiring contract’. The purpose of marriage is no more than gratification of one’ s carnal desires. Alas, this theory seems to be gaining momentum throughout the world nowadays, which has made man to join the beastly queue. To Allah we belong and to Him we direct our complaint!
The sacred law of Islam is a complete and chaste system of life. Islam has not treated marriage as a civil contract only, but has endowed it with the status of a kind of worship. The institution thus not only allows the satisfaction of carnal desires of husband and wife in a chaste manner, with which they are naturally endued, but it also hinds them in a wise and just system of mutual rights and obligations essential to the proper functioning of family life and solving the sociological problems like preserving the human race and upbringing of the children.
Since the proper functioning of human race depends on the proper maintenance of marital relationship, Islam has focused attention on family issues most exhaustively. By a careful analysis of the Holy Qur’ an we notice that commercial contracts like sale, partnership, hiring and so on are though among the most important socio-economic problems, the Holy Qur’ an has restricted itself to setting down their basic principles, and the bye-laws are rarely ever touched upon in matters of marriage and divorce, on the other hand, not only the fundamental principles have been laid down, but their detailed laws have also been directly revealed by Allah in the Qur’ an and entrenched.
These laws have been scattered in various Chapters, and Surah An-Nisa’ deals with them more elaborately. The current Surah, known as Surah An-Nisa’ As-Sughra or the Short Surah An-Nisa’ [Qurtubi with reference to Bukhari]
According to the drift of Islamic teachings, when a man and a woman contract marriage, it should establish a permanent relationship for the whole lifetime. This will maintain stability of husband and wife in mundane, as well as, in religious affairs, and also in the up-bringing of the children born to this wedlock, so that their moral conduct is proper and upright. Therefore, Islam at every step of the way, guides marriage partners to avoid bitterness in their marital relationship, and even if it does arise, utmost efforts are made to remove it and to patch up differences and reconcile. However, despite all these attempts, it is possible in some cases that there remains no way out for the welfare of the estranged parties except to terminate this relationship. Religions that do not allow divorce cause hardship for their followers when faced with such complicated situations and lead to serious consequences. For that reason, Islam has, like the laws of marriage, laid down principles and rules for divorce as well. However, it has at the same time declared to its followers the guiding principle that, out of all permissible acts, divorce is the most detested one in the sight of Allah. [narrated by Sayyidna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar ؓ], meaning that people should avoid it as far as possible. They should use this provision only as a last resort, only when they are compelled to do it. Sayyidna ‘Ali ؓ has narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said تزوّجوا ولا تطلقوا فانّ الطّلاق یھتزّ منہ عرش الرّحمٰن Marry; do not divorce because divorce causes the Throne of the All-Merciful to shudder.) Sayyidna Abu Musa Ash’ ari ؓ narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “ Do not divorce women without their committing the evil act, because Allah does not love men who merely wish to experience the taste of sex, nor does He loves women who merely wish to experience the taste of sex.” [Qurtubi vide Thalabi]
Sayyidna Mua’ dh Ibn Jabal ؓ narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “ Allah has created nothing on the face of the earth dearer to Him than emancipation of slaves, and Allah has created nothing on the face of earth more hateful to Him than divorce.” [Qurtubi]
Nevertheless, Islam has though discouraged divorce and has advised its followers to avoid it as far as possible, it has allowed it in cases of necessity under special rules and regulations which require that if termination of marital relationship becomes necessary, it should be done in a fair and dignified manner. Divorce should not be taken as a means of satisfying anger and revenge.
This Surah opens with the vocative expression يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ ( O Prophet), which according to Imam Qurtubi, is generally used where the rule declared after that is intended to apply to the entire body of the believers. Where the injunction is exclusively meant for the person of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، he is addressed as يَا أَيُّهَا رسُولُ ( O Messenger).
In this context, the vocative expression يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ Ya-ayyuhan-Nabiyu is singular and as such it required that the verb should be singular as well to comply with the Arabic grammatical rule of concordance, but we notice that the verb used is the second person plural thus إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ ( O prophet, when you people divorce women).
In terms of literary usage and rules of eloquence, there are two types of plural: plural of number and honorific plural. Plural of number applies to three or more persons, but often the plural may refer to one person only in which case it expresses respect or honour and is called honorific plural. In the light of this rule, the plural verb addresses the ‘prophet’ directly as a mark of respect and honour, and at the same time it indicates that the injunctions not restricted to him exclusively, but it applies to the entire body of believers.
Some scholars, however, are of the view that a sentence is understood here in the following way: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُل لِّلمُؤمِنِینَ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ which means: O prophet, say to the believers that when they divorce their wives, they should observe the following:
فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ (…divorce them at a time when the period of ‘iddah means to ‘count’ and in the terminology of Shri’ ah the term ‘iddah means to ‘count’ and in the terminology of Shari’ ah the term ‘iddah means the waiting period prescribed for a divorced woman before she can marry another man. There are two ways in which a woman’ s marriage may be terminated.  When her husband dies, in which case the period of waiting is four months and ten days.  Her marriage ends when the husband divorces her. In the case of a divorcee that is not pregnant, ‘iddah is three periods of menstruation according to Imam Abu Hanifah and other leading authorities. According to Imam Shafi’ i and other scholars, the waiting period for a divorcee is three tuhrs (i.e. three periods of purity after menses). However, there are no days or months fixed for her. Whenever her three menstrual cycles or clean cycles complete, her waiting period of divorce will be over. Women who do not menstruate, because they have not yet attained puberty, or because they have attained menopausal age, rule about them is forthcoming. Likewise, the rule for pregnant women is also forthcoming, in which case the waiting period for death and divorce is the same. The verse indicates that divorce should be given during tuhr (when woman is not in her menstruation period), so that ‘iddah may start from her immediate menstruation period. Conversely, if she is divorced during menses, ‘iddah will start from the next menses period, and she will have to wait for a longer time before her ‘iddah may start.
Sahih of Bukhari and Muslim record that Sayyidna Ibn ‘umar ؓ divorced his wife while she was menstruating. When Sayyidna ‘Umar ؓ mentioned this to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، he became very indignant and said:
لیراجعھا ثم یمسکھا حتّی تطھر ثم تحیض فتطھر ، فان بدا لہ فلیطلقھا طاھرًاقبل ان یمسّھا ، فتلک العدّہ الّتی امرھا اللہ تعالیٰ ان یطلّق بھا النّساء۔
“ He must take her back and keep her till she is purified, then has another menstrual cycle and is purified. If it then seems proper for him to pronounce another divorce to her, he may do so when she is pure from the menstrual discharge before having conjugal relations with her, for that is the ‘iddah that Allah has commanded for the divorce of women.” [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim as quoted by Mazhari].
This Hadith clarifies several points.  It is forbidden to divorce a woman while she is menstruating.  If a person does this, it is necessary for him to retract the divorce, provided that it is revocable as was in the case of Sayyidna Ibn ‘Umar ؓ .  If a husband wishes to divorce his wife during the clean-period, he must not have had conjugal relations with her. And  This is the interpretation of verse  of this Surah: فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ.
From what is cited above the meaning of the verse is explained, in that if a husband wishes to pronounce divorce on his wife, he must do so before her waiting period can commence. Since, according to Imam Abu Hanifah, the waiting period will start with the menstrual cycle that follows the divorce, the meaning of the verse would be that in the clean period in which divorce is intended to be pronounced, no intercourse should take place, and that it should be pronounced towards the last part of the clean period before the start of the menstrual cycle. But since according to Imam Shafi’ i, the waiting-period starts with the clean-period, the phrase لِقِبَلِ عِدَّتُهُنَّ (before their waiting-period) implies: ‘Divorce them at the start of the clean-period’. This difference of opinion hinges on the differential interpretation of the word quru’ occurring in verse ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ  of Surah Baqarah. The details are available in Volume  of Ma’ ariful Qur’ an under [2:228]
In sum: The first rule as derived from the verse under comments is that, according to unanimity of the Ummah, it is forbidden to pronounce divorce during the monthly courses. It should be pronounced in the interval between two monthly courses during which the husband and wife should not have had sexual intercourse. If they had intercourse during the interval, it is forbidden to pronounce the divorce. The reason for the prohibition in both cases is that the waiting-period of the wife will be unnecessarily prolonged and will cause her undue hardship. If she is divorced during her monthly course, it will not be counted. She will have to complete her days of menstruation and, according to the Hanafi school, the next clean-period or interval will not be counted either. When the second monthly course commences, her ‘iddah will start. This will obviously lengthen her period greatly. According to the Shafi’ i school, at least the rest of the menstrual days, which passed before the waiting-period, will be increased.
This very first rule about divorce ensures that divorce is not a source of satisfying a fit to anger or revenge. It is rather an arrangement adopted as a last resort for the comfort of both the parties. It is necessary, therefore, to keep in mind from the very outset that the wife should not be unduly harmed by prolonging her waiting period.
This procedure applies in the case of the women whose ‘iddah is calculated by menstrual cycles or clean cycles. It does not apply to women for whom waiting-period is not compulsory, as in the case of a woman who did not have privacy with her husband. If a man and a woman got married but they did not get together in privacy, ‘iddah is not necessary for her at all when she is divorced. Therefore, it is permissible to divorce such women during their monthly courses. Likewise, ‘iddah for a woman who does not menstruate on account of minority of age, or because she had attained menopausal age, is computed on monthly basis. Their ‘iddah is three months. Their menstrual or pure cycles are not taken into account. It is permissible to divorce them in any state, and even after having intercourse with them, as the forthcoming verses will clarify. [Mazhari] paraphrased
وَ اَحصُوا العِدَّۃَ (And count the period of ‘iddah…1) The word Ihsa’ means ‘to count’. The verse purports to say that the believers, men and women, should keep a careful count of the passing days of the waiting period, lest they forget the exact days and feel, before time, that the waiting-period is over. The responsibility of keeping count of the days has been imposed on both men and women, although only masculine form has been used here. Generally, when the Qur’ an imposes injunctions on men and women, it uses the masculine form but it includes women as well. Another reason for using masculine gender here may be that women are generally more heedless, and therefore, the responsibility has been put directly on the shoulders of men.
لَا تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِن بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخْرُجْنَ (Do not expel them from their houses, nor should they go out…65:1). The construction in this verse contains the phrase بُيُوتِهِنَّ ‘their houses’, and implies that, so far as the residence of divorced women is due on men, they have a rightful claim in the home of their former husbands. Letting them reside there is no favour to them, but it is one of the basic rights of a wife that has been imposed upon the husband as an obligation. This verse shows that this right of her does not end with divorce, but continues till the completion of waiting-period. Expelling a woman from her house before the completion of the waiting-period is unjust and forbidden. Likewise, it is forbidden for women to leave their houses on their own, even though the husband may permit her to leave, because spending the waiting-period in their houses is not only the husband’ s right, but also the Divine right, in that Allah has imposed on a woman in her period of ‘iddah. This is the rule according to the Hanafi school.
إِلَّا أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ (…unless they come up with a clearly shameless act…65:1). It is forbidden to expel divorcees from their homes when they are passing their period of ‘iddah. However, an exception is made in this part of the verse. The exception applies to a situation when they come up with a clearly shameless act, in which case they may be expelled. What is meant by ‘a clearly shameless act’? There are three views regarding this question:
The first view is that ‘leaving husband’ s home on her own’ is in itself an act of committing an outright indecency. In this interpretation, the ‘exception’ is not meant as a real exception. It does not purport to allow women to leave the homes, but to emphasize its prohibition with greater force. Its example is as follows: ‘None shall do such-and-such certain work “ unless” he has lost his human quality’, or ‘Do not use obscene language against your mother “ unless” you wish to become out-and-out disobedient to your mother’. The first example of ‘exception’ does not purport to legalize the act, nor does the second example purport to legitimate it. Both examples eloquently emphasize prohibition of the acts. In brief, the injuction in the verse sets down that divorcees are not permitted to leave their husband’ s homes, unless they have reached the ultimate point of indecency and run away. Thus it does not allow to run away, but stresses its shamelessness and confirms its prohibition. This interpretation of ‘clearly shameless act’ is ascribed to Sayyidna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar ؓ ، Suddi, Ibn-us-Sa’ ib, an-Nakha’ i and others. Imam Abu Hanifah (رح) has also preferred this interpretation. [Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani]
The second interpretation of the phrase فَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ ‘a clearly shameless act’ is that it refers to ‘adultery’ in which case the use of ‘exception’ would be in its normal sense. If a divorced woman commits adultery and it is proved that she is guilty of the crime, she will have to be taken away from her home to implement the prescribed punishment of adultery. This interpretation is attributed to Qatadah, Hasan al-Basri, Sha’ bi, Zaid Ibn Aslam, Dahhak, ‘Ikrimah and others. Imam Abu Yusuf has preferred this interpretation.
The third view about the phrase ‘a clearly shameless act’ is that it refers to the ‘use of abusive language’ or ‘quarreling’. The sense is that if the woman uses abusive language or its quarrelsome, it is permissible to evict her from her home of ‘iddah. This interpretation of the phrase is ascribed to Sayyidna Ibn ‘Abbas ؓ on the authority of several chains of transmitters. According to Sayyidna ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ ud ؓ and Ubayy Ibn Ka’ b ؓ ، the exceptive phase is read thus اِلَّا اَن یَفحَشَ. The apparent maning of this reading is ‘indecent speech’. This reading confirms the third interpretation. [Ruh]. In this case as well, the ‘exception’ is employed inits primary sense – in that if a divorced woman is obscene in words and actions, she can be evicted from her home of waiting-period.
Thus far four rules of divorcing procedure have been set down. More rules are forthcoming, but between them there are a few sentences to stress upon the strict adherence to these rules and to exhort people to carefully refrain from their violation. It is a unique style of the Qur’ an that after every command or injunction, its violation is prevented by instilling Allah’ s awful reverence in the hearts, and by invoking concern about the Hereafter. Especially the relationship between husband and wife is so delicate that their mutual rights cannot be fulfilled merely by legislation. The only thing that can prevent spouses from violation of the rules in the fear of Allah and the Hereafter.
وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّـهِ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ ۚ لَا تَدْرِي لَعَلَّ اللَّـهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرًا
(And these are the limits prescribed by Allah. And whoever exceeds the limits prescribed by Allah wrongs his own self. You do not know [what will happen in future]; it may be that Allah brings about a new situation thereafter…65:1)
The phrase حُدُودَ اللَّـهِ (the limits prescribed by Allah) refers to the sacred laws set down by the Shari’ ah of Islam. The phrase وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ (And whoever exceeds the limits prescribed by Allah) implies ‘whoever violates the sacred laws’. The phrase فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ (wrongs his own self) implies that he has not damaged Allah’ s sacred laws or the Shari’ ah. In fact, he has caused loss to himself. The loss could be religious, or it could be mundane. The religious loss means that he has sinned by violating the sacred laws, in consequence of which he will suffer in the Hereafter. The mundane loss means that any person who pronounces divorce in violation of the rules prescribed by the Shari’ ah will most probably end up with three pronouncements of divorce, after which it cannot be revoked and even a fresh marriage is not possible. Such a person regrets bitterly and suffers tremendous hardship in this very world, especially if he has children. Many people divorce their wives with the intention of causing harm to them. It may cause some harm to the wives but such cruel husbands will be liable to double punishment: firstly for breaking the sacred laws of Allah, and secondly for the cruelty exercised against women. Such a situation has been so eloquently versified by a Persian poet:
پنداشت ستمگر جفا بر ما کرد بر گردن وے بماند و برما بگذشت
The oppressor thinks that he has caused misery for us
However, our misery comes to an end, but the liability of oppressor for good.
لَا تَدْرِي لَعَلَّ اللَّـهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرًا (You do not know; it may be that Allah brings about a new situation thereafter…65:1). These words signify that after estranged relations between the espouses, Allah may create a situation where the husband may recall the comforts he enjoyed in his wife’ s company, and realize the services offered by her in taking care of children and the home. On realizing this, he may be remorseful on what he did, retract the divorce and retain her as his wife. This is possible only if at the time of divorcing the limits prescribed by the Shari’ ah is kept in view and instead of making the divorce ba’ in, a revocable divorce is pronounced, in which case the husband has the right to retract it and retain the wife. Irrevocable divorce should not be resorted to unnecessarily because it terminates the marriage at once. Nor should three divorces should be pronounced, because after the third pronouncement, the husband does not have the right to retract, nor is it possible to renew the marriage contract, even if the divorced parties agree mutually.
[65:2] So, when they (the divorced women) have (almost) reached their term, then either retain them with fairness, or part with them with fairness. And make two just men from among you witnesses (of your either decision). And ( O witnesses,) keep your testimony upright for the sake of Allah. That is what anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day is exhorted to do. And whoever fears Allah, for him Allah brings forth a way out,
فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ (So, when they [the divorced women] have [almost] reached their term, then either retain them with fairness, or part with them with fairness…65:2). The word ajal means ‘term of ‘iddah and ‘reaching the term’ means ‘nearing the end of the ‘iddah’. The fifth rule laid down by this verse is that when a divorced woman’ s term of ‘iddah is approaching the end, the time has almost come for a absolute termination of the marriage. By now the temporary impulse or momentary fit of anger should have dissipated, and it is the time to make the major decision with a cool and calm head whether it is better to retain the wife, or to terminate the marriage with her finally. If the decision is to retain the wife, then she should be retained in all fairness with dignity and courtesy, the masnun procedure of which is indicated in the forthcoming verse and in Prophetic Traditions: utter verbally that ‘I have revoked the divorce I pronounced to you’ and call two upright men as witnesses. If, however, the decision is to end the marriage, the woman should be released with fairness, dignity and courtesy. That is, the ‘iddah should be allowed to expire, and once it expires, she is free to contract marriage with someone else.
At the end of term, whether it is decided to retain the wife or release her, the Qur’ an has restricted either of the decisions with the word ma’ ruf. Literally, the word ma’ ruf means ‘a recognized way’ nd it implies that the Muslims are required to implement the approved procedure of Shari’ ah, as recognized by Islam. If the decision is to revoke the divorce and retain the wife, she should not be hurt in future verbally or physically, nor should this be shown as a favour to her. The husband should resolve to bear her weakness that led to divorce in the past, so that it may not cause bitterness to arise again. If, on the other hand, the decision is to release her, then the recognized procedure is as follows: Do not evict her in disrespectful manner, but release her in a courteous manner. When she is made to leave the house, it is at least mustahab [rewardable] in some cases to give her a suit of clothes, and in other cases it is wajib [compulsory] to do so, as other verse of the Qur’ an show. The details are available in books of jurisprudence.
The seventh rule is derived directly from the above verse that gives the husband two options of retaining the wife or parting with her in fairness, and also indirectly from the preceding verse that says لَعَلَّ اللَّـهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرًا “…it may be that Allah brings about a new situation thereafter.” Both these verses indicate that if the husband is forced into a situation of divorcing, it is the Divine will that he should keep the option of revoking the divorce open. The approved method of divorce is that he should pronounce the divorce only once in express or clear words. The pronouncement of divorce should not contain any word or phrase expressive of anger that might denote absolute termination of marriage tie, as for instance be might say ‘I pronounce severe divorce on you’, or say ‘No relationship exists between me and you’. When such expressions are uttered as part of the pronouncement of express divorce, or these expressions are uttered with the intention of divorce, the divorce becomes effective at once, and he loses the right of revocation. This in the terminology of Shari’ ah is known as Talaq Ba’ in or irrevocable divorce. Even worse situation is when the husband pronounces three divorces upon his wife after which the husband not only loses his right of revocation, but they [husband and wife] also lose their right to enter into a fresh marriage, even if they mutually agree as we have seen in Surah Al-Baqarah: فَإِن طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا تَحِلُّ لَهُ مِن بَعْدُ حَتَّىٰ تَنكِحَ زَوْجًا غَيْرَهُ فَإِن طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا تَحِلُّ لَهُ مِن بَعْدُ حَتَّىٰ تَنكِحَ زَوْجًا غَيْرَهُ (Therefter, if he divorces her, she shall no longer remain lawful for him unless she marries a man other than him. [2:230]
Three Simultaneous Divorces: Unlawful but Effective
Nowadays, total indifference to religion and heedlessness of its injunctions is widespread, in the society. Not only the illiterate and ignoramus, but also the literate people, like pleaders think that a divorce pronounced or written less than three times is no divorce at all. It is noticed daily that people who pronounce three simultaneous divorces regret bitterly and re in search of legal loopholes, so that they do not lose their wives.
Imam Nasa’ i reports, on the authority of Sayyidna Mahmud Ibn Labid ؓ ، in an authentic Tradition that the Holy Prophet ﷺ was informed about a person who had pronounced three divorcds on the spur of the moment to his wife. The Holy Prophet ﷺ having heard this became angry. Therefore, pronouncing three divorces simultaneously, by consensus of Ummah, is prohibited. Even if a person pronounces three divorces separately in three different clean periods, that too is reprehensible by consensus of the Ummah. Qur’ anic verses themselves confirm this by indication. The only disagreement lies in whether or not this procedure of divorce is as prohibited and counted as bid’ ah as divorcing three times simultaneously. Imam Malik holds this procedure as prohibited. In fact, they view it s an approved [Sunnah] procedure of divorce, but an abominable act nonetheless. Please see Ma’ arifulQur’ an, Vol. , PP 578-590 for detailed injunctions regarding three simultaneous divorces.
But just as the Ummah holds by consensus that pronouncing three divorces simultaneously is prohibited, it is also a point of consensus among the entire Ummah that despite being prohibited, if a person pronounces three simultaneous divorces, all the three divorces become effective, and fresh marriage between them, in future, would not be possible. The only people that disagree with the consensus of the four major schools are some of the followers of the Ah-ul-Hadith group and the Shi’ ite group. The four major schools argue that if something is abominable or unlawful, it does not necessarily imply that its legal consequences will not follow. For instance, if a person kills an innocent victim, the latter would die as a result of killing, despite the act of killing being unlawful. Likewise, despite three simultaneous divorces being unlawful, they necessarily take effect. On this issue, not only the four major schools agree unanimously, but there is also overwhelming consensus of the noble Companions. Please see Ma’ ariful Qur’ an, Vol. , PP 586-590 for a detailed discussion on the action taken by Sayyidna ‘Umar Al-Faruq ؓ on the issue of three simultaneous divorces.
وَأَشْهِدُوا ذَوَيْ عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ لِلَّـهِ (And make two just men from among you witnesses [of your either decision]. And ( O witnesses,) keep your testimony upright for the sake of Allah…65:2) This verse purports to say that towards the end of the period of ‘iddah, when a decision is made either to revoke the divorce and retain the wife, or to release her, it is commendable in both cases to call two upright persons to witness the decision. This procedure of having two witnesses is, according to most to most jurists, a commendable (mustahabb) practice, and not mandatory. Therefore, revocation of divorce is not contingent upon appointment of witnesses. The underlying wisdom of such appointment is to resolve the possible dispute that may arise later. In case the husband decides to revoke the divorce, it is possible that the wife may deny it, whereupon the witnesses may prove revocation. And in case he decides termination of marriage, a conflict can still arise where the husband himself may make mischief and, being overcome by the wife’ s love, claim that he had revoked the divorce before the expiration of ‘iddah. The witnesses then may prove that he had decided to release the wife.
The adjectival phrase ذَوَيْ عَدْلٍ (…two just men) refers to reliable witnesses in term of Shari’ ah. If the witnesses are not reliable in terms of Shari’ ah that is, if they are not morally upright, pious and truthful, the Qadi would not be able to pass judgment on the basis of such unreliable impious and untruthful witnesses.
أَقِيمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ لِلَّـهِ (…keep your testimony upright for the sake of Allah…65:2). The verse addresses all Muslims in general that should they be required by a court to bear witness in a disputed case of revocation of divorce or complete termination of marriage, they should be unbiased in their testimony.
ذَٰلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ (That is what anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day is exhorted to do…65:2). This verse particularly mentions the Hereafter because the mutual rights and obligations of husband and wife cannot be fulfilled without God-consciousness and the thought of the Herefter.
The Wise and Educative style of the Qur’ an in the laws of Crime and Punishment
The system of punishment for crimes and compiling their laws is in place among the states of the world since ancient times. Obviously, the Qur’ an is also the Book that explains the divine laws, man is made conscious of Allah and the Hereafter, so that he may follow the law, not for fear of police or inspector or, but for fear of Allah, irrespective of whether anyone else sees him, not. In all situations, whether in private or in public, he finds the laws binding. This is reason why even the harshest law was not difficult to implement among those who have proper faith in the Qur’ an. There was no need for a network of police and its special or secret services.
This unique Qur’ anic style is used in all laws, but it has been especially applied to the laws relating to the marital relations and their mutual rights and obligations, because due to the delicate nature of these relations, it is not possible to secure evidence for every shortcoming on either side, nor is it possible for the judicial system to investigate and estimate the full extent of the shortcomings in the relationship. Proper fulfillment of mutual rights depends only on the inner qualities of the couple and their actions and deeds. Therefore, the Masnun Khutbah or approved sermon that is recited at marriage contains three verses of the Qur’ an, and each one of them begins with laying stress on taqwa and ends with laying stress on taqwa to indicate that the marrying parties must appreciate that Allah is fully aware of all their covert and overt actions, whether or not they are seen by someone else. Rather, He is well-aware of the innermost thoughts hidden in their minds or hearts. If they fall short of fulfilling the mutual rights and obligations or hurt each other, they will be answerable to the Knower of secrets. In the same strain, a few injunctions have been laid down in Surah At-Talaq. Immediately after the first injunction the believers are exhorted: وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ رَبَّکُم ( ‘And fear Allah, your Lord’). After this exhortation, four more injunctions are set down and then they are admonished that anyone who oversteps Allah’ s limits will be wronging himself and will have to bear the disastrous consequences thus وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّـهِ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ. Four more indirect injunctions are set down after that, and the admonition is repeated, thus: ذَٰلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ( ‘That is what anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day is exhorted to do…65:2). Followed by this is a verse in which the merits of taqwa are mentioned, describing its religious and mundane blessings and benefits. Towards the end of the same verse the blessings and benefits of trust in Allah have been described. Thereafter a few more injunctions pertaining to waiting-period are set down. Then in two more verses additional benefits and blessings of taqwa are described. This is followed by injunctions pertaining to marriage, divorce, the wife’ s maintenance, the mention of the Hereafter, the virtue of taqwa, and the blessings of trust in Allah are interspersed repeatedly. This Qur’ anic style of alternating injunctions with the virtues of taqwa apparently seems disjointed, but having grasped the wisdom of the prudent style of the Qur’ an, the close linkage becomes clear.
Now have a look at the interpretation of the foregoing verses:
(And whoever fears Allah, for him Allah brings forth a way out, and gives him provision (of his needs) from where he does not even imagine…2/3). The word taqwa primarily and literally means ‘to guard’ or ‘to refrain’. In Islamic terminology it signifies ‘to guard against sins’. When the word is related to Allah, it is translated as ‘to fear Allah’ and implies ‘to avoid disobedience of Allah and guard against sins’.
There are two benefits of تقوٰی taqwa mentioned in this verse:  By exercising taqwa, Allah creates a way out to guard oneself. The question is ‘Guard against what?’ The correct answer is that it is general, ‘against all mundane difficulties and hardships as well as all hardships and difficulties of the Hereafter’ and the verse implies that for a God-fearing person Allah paves the way to salvage him from the difficulties and hardships of this world as well as from the horrors of the next world.  By exercising taqwa, Allah will provide for the God-fearing person rizq [literally ‘provision’] from where he does not expect. The rizq in this context refers to anything one needs, whether any mundane need or any need of the Hereafter. Allah has promised the righteous believers in this verse that He will ease every difficulty of theirs and provide for them all their needs from resources they never expected or thought about. [Ruh]
In keeping with the present context, some of the commentators interpret the verse thus: The divorcing husband or the divorced wife, both or whoever of them is God-fearing, Allah will give them salvation from the horrors of divorce or termination of marriage experienced at the time of its happening. In other words, the man will be given a compatible wife and the woman will be given a compatible husband. Obviously the primary meaning of the verse comprehends all kinds of adversities and needs, including the horrors and needs of the husband and wife. [Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani]
The Cause of Revelation of the above verse
Sayyidna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas ؓ reports that ‘Auf Ibn Malik Ashja’ i ؓ came up to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and said that the enemies had arrested and kidnapped his son Salim. His mother is very anxious and he wanted to know what he should do. The Holy Prophet ﷺ ordered him and his wife to recite لَاحولَ وَلَا قُوَّۃَ اِلَّا بِاللہِ (There is neither strength nor power but with Allah) abundantly. The husband and wife complied with the order. They recited the formula abundantly. It produced its desired effect. One day the enemies became unmindful, and the boy somehow managed to escape and drove a herd of goats that belonged to them to his father. According to other narratives, he found one of their camels and he mounted it and drove the other camels to his father. The father reported the incident to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ . Another narration has it that he enquired from the Prophet ﷺ whether the goats and camels the son brought with him were lawful for them. On that occasion, the verse وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ (And whoever fears Allah, for him Allah brings forth a way out, and gives him provision from where he does not even imagine…2/3)
According to other versions of the report, when Sayyidna ‘Auf Ibn Malik Ashja’ i ؓ and his wife became very restless and anxious because of separation from the son, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ advised them to exercise taqwa and recite abundantly لَاحولَ وَلَا قُوَّۃَ اِلَّا بِاللہِ (There is no strength nor power but with Allah). [All these narratives are cited in Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani from Ibn Marduyah through the chain of al-Kalbi from Ibn ‘Abbas]
This occasion of revelation indicates that this verse, though related to divorcing situation in this context, has general application for all circumstances.
This Tradition proves that when a Muslim is captured by the non-believers, the captive takes their property and returns home, such a property would be treated as booty, and as such their use would be lawful. It is a general rule of spoils to give 1/5th [khums] to the public treasury, because in the narration reported above, the khums of the property was not exacted from them. The jurists have ruled that if a Muslim secretly goes away to the Domain of War without seeking permission from them, snatch their property and somehow bring it into the Domain of Islam, the above ruling will apply. However, if he official sought permission to enter territory [as it happens nowadays by obtaining a visa] and entered their country, then it is not permissible for him to take their property without their consent. Likewise, if a person is captured and taken into the non-Muslim territory, and a non-Muslim deposits with him an article for safe custody, it is not permissible for him to take it away to the Domain of Islam. In the first case, it is not permissible because by seeking official permission a pact is entered into between them, and he has no authority to dispose of their property without their prior consent. If he does, it would be a breach of the pact. In the second case, there is a practical pact with the depositor, in that whenever he demands his deposited article back, it should be returned.
Failure to return his deposited item is tantamount to breach of contract that is unlawful in Shari` ah. [Mazhari]
Before the Holy Prophet ﷺ migrated, many non-believers used to keep their deposits with him. At the time of migration, he still had with him some of these deposits. As long as he was in Makkah, he kept them himself, but when he was migrating, he committed them to the care of Sayyidna ` Ali ؓ and did not take them with him to Madinah. In fact, Sayyidna ` Ali ؓ was left behind for the sole reason of returning the deposits to the rightful people.
A Proven Prescription to avert calamities and achieve the objectives
According to the above Tradition, Sayyidna ` Auf Ibn Malik Ashja` i ؓ and his wife were advised to recite لَا حَولَ وَلَا قُوَّۃَ اِلَّا بِاللہِ (There is no strength nor power but with Allah) abundantly to avert afflictions and obtain benefits. Mujaddid Alf Thani (رح) says that abundant recitation of this formula is a proven prescription to avert all kinds of religious and mundane afflictions and to obtain all religious and mundane objectives and benefits. According to him, its proper way is to recite five hundred times لَا حَولَ وَلَا قُوَّۃَ اِلَّا بِاللہِ , and to recite Salah (durud) one hundred times before, and one hundred times after the formula, and then to supplicate to Allah for one’s need. [Tafsir [Mazhari] Imam Ahmad, Hakim [grading the chain as sahib], Baihaqi, Abu Natim and others have transmitted on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Dharr that one day the Messenger of Allah ﷺ continuously recited the verse 3; وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا ﴿2﴾ وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ (‘And whoever fears Allah, for him Allah brings forth a way out, and gives him provision from where he does not even imagine…2/3) until the reporter started feeling sleepy. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said: “Abu Dharr! if all people choose only this verse, it would be sufficient for them all.” [Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani] ‘Sufficient’ in this statement means it would be sufficient for all people to accomplish their religious and mundane objectives, if they practice it.
[65:3] and gives him provision (of his needs) from where he does not even imagine. And whoever places his trust in Allah, He is sufficient for him. Surely Allah is to accomplish His purpose. Allah has set a measure for everything.
وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّـهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا whoever places his trust in Allah, He is sufficient for him. Surely Allah is to accomplish His purpose. Allah has set a measure for everything….65:3) ۔ In this verse Allah promises those who put their trust in Him that He shall suffice for them against all odds, because Allah will execute His decisions that He made for them, in whatever way He wills and chooses. Allah set a measure for all things. It is in accordance with this set measure that He decrees all acts. Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah record from Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said:
لو اَنّکم توکّلتم علی اللہ حقّ توکّلہٖ لرزقکم کما یرزق الطّیر تغدوا خماصاً وتروح
“If you trust in Allah as He ought to be trusted, He will provide for you in the same way as He provides for the birds. They leave their nests while hungry in the mornings, but come back in the evenings with their bellies full.”
Sahihs of Bukhari and Muslim transmit on the authority of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said: “Seventy-thousand of my followers will be admitted to Paradise without account.” Among their other qualities, they will be characterised by having trust in Allah.” [Mazhari]
Tawakkul (Trust in Allah) does not mean to forsake the causes and means Allah has created for us to acquire things. One should utilise the means at our disposal. However, instead of relying solely on them, one should rather put his trust in Allah, in that no task shall be accomplished unless Allah wills it. After describing the virtues and blessings of taqwa and Twakkul, the next verses lay down some more rules about divorce and “iddah.
[65:4] And those women from among you who have despaired of (further) menstruation, if you are in doubt, their ‘iddah is three months, as well as of those who have not yet menstruated. As for those having pregnancy, their term (of ‘iddah) is that they give birth to their child. And whoever fears Allah, He brings about ease for him in his affair.
وَاللَّائِي يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلَاثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللَّائِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ ۚ وَأُولَاتُ الْأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ (And those women from among you who have despaired of [further] menstruation, if you are in doubt, their “iddah is three months, as well as of those who have not yet menstruated. As for those having pregnancy, their term [of “iddah] is that they give birth to their child…65:4)
This verse deals with additional rules pertaining to the waiting-period of divorced women. It subdivides divorced women and their waiting-periods into three different categories. Under normal circumstances, the waiting-period of a divorced woman is three menstrual cycles as mentioned in Surah Al-Baqarah. In the case of women who have stopped menstruating for good on account of advanced age, or due to some disease etc. their “iddah is three months instead of three menstrual cycles. The same is the “iddah of young women who have not yet started menstruating on account of being under age. The “iddah for women who are pregnant at the time of divorce continues until they give birth to their child irrespective of the length of the period.
The words o (if you are in doubt) refer to the doubt or confusion such women may have because the real “iddah is counted on the basis of menstruation, but these women’s menstruation has ceased, so they are doubtful about how to count their ‘iddah.
وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْرًا (And whoever fears Allah, He brings about ease for him in his affair….65:4) The verse further speaks of the virtues and blessings of taqwa in that whoever has taqwa, Allah will make matters easy for him in this world as well as in the next world.
[65:5] This is the command of Allah that He has send down to you. And whoever fears Allah, He will write off his evil deeds, and will give him a huge reward.
Then the verse emphasises strict adherence to the above laws pertaining to divorce and waiting-period, thus: ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرُ اللَّـهِ أَنزَلَهُ إِلَيْكُمْ (This is the command of Allah that He has sent down to you…5) After this, the verse again draws attention to another virtue of taqwa. وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ يُكَفِّرْ عَنْهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِ وَيُعْظِمْ لَهُ أَجْرًا (Arid whoever fears Allah, He will write off his evil deeds, and will give him a huge reward…65:5)
Five Blessings of taqwa
The merits and blessings of taqwa mentioned in the above verses may be summarised in five things:  He who has taqwa will be given a way out of difficulties and adversities;  He will be provided with all his needs from resources that he does not anticipate or expect;  Allah will make matters and tasks easy for him;  Allah will expiate his sins; and  He will grant him an immense reward.
Another blessing of taqwa mentioned by the Holy Qur’an at another place is that a God-fearing person finds it easier to distinguish between right and wrong, thus:إِن تَتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّكُمْ فُرْقَانًا you fear Allah, He will provide you with a criterion to distinguish between right and wrong…8:29]
[65:6] Provide them (the divorced women) residence from where you reside according to your means, and do not hurt them to straighten (life) for them. And if they are pregnant, spend on them till they give birth to their child. Then if they suckle the child for you, give them their fees, and consult each other (for determining the fee) with fairness, and if you have a deadlock between you, then another woman will suckle him.
The next verses deal with further rules about the waiting period and maintenance of the divorced women and their other rights.
أَسْكِنُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ سَكَنتُم مِّن وُجْدِكُمْ وَلَا تُضَارُّوهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ (Provide to them [the divorced women] residence where you reside according to your means…65:6) This injunction is related to Rule  above which states that divorced women must not be expelled from their homes. This verse states the positive aspect of the injunction, in that the husbands, according to their means, should let their divorced wives live in some portion of the residence where they themselves live. If the wife is given a revocable divorce, there is no need for any hijab or veil. However, if she is given an irrevocable divorce, whether of minor degree [ba’in] or of major degree by pronouncing divorce thrice, then marriage tie stands broken. She is required to be in hijab in the presence of her former husband. Therefore, the arrangement in the residence should be made in such a way that she lives in the same residence with full observance of the rules of hijab.
Rule : Do not Hurt Divorced Women during their “iddah
لَا تُضَارُّوهُنَّ (…and do not hurt them to straighten [life] for them…65:6) This verse sets down that all the possible needs of a divorced woman must not be harassed by taunts or by curtailing her needful things, so that she is compelled to leave the home.
Rule : Maintenance of Divorcees during their “iddah
وَإِن كُنَّ أُولَاتِ حَمْلٍ فَأَنفِقُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ (…And if they are pregnant, spend on them till they give birth to their child…65:6) This verse lays down the rule that if a divorcee is pregnant at the time of divorce, her maintenance is obligatory on the husband. On the basis of this verse, there is a complete consensus of the Ummah on this point. Similarly, if she is not pregnant, and the divorce given to her is revocable, her maintenance too is compulsory on the husband till the expiry of her “iddah. This point too is agreed upon by all the jurists of the Ummah. However, if a wife is given irrevocable divorce, whether a ba’in divorce or the divorce pronounced three times, or if a woman has got her marriage terminated by way of khul’ [got herself separated from the husband for a compensation], will not have to be maintained by the husband according to Imams Shafi` i (رح) ، Ahmad and others. However, according to Imam Abu Hanifah, her maintenance is also incumbent upon the husband. He argues that just as she is entitled to residence during the term of “iddah as is provided in verse 6, she is entitled to sustenance too. The husbands are obligated to provide them with these necessities of life during “iddah. This is further supported by those Traditions in which it has been reported that when Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ heard the report of Fatimah bint Qais who claimed that her husband was not obligated to maintain her after divorce, he said: “We cannot abandon the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ ، on the basis of this narration. [Muslim]
The Book of Allah’ apparently refers to this verse (6). According to Sayyidna Umar ؓ ، the verse includes maintenance. ‘Sunnah’ refers to the Tradition reported by Sayyidna Umar ؓ himself and transmitted by Tahawi, Darqutni and Tabarani. Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ reports that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say that women divorced by three pronouncements are also entitled to maintenance and lodging. The details are available in Tafsir [Mazhari].
Rule : Fees for Suckling the Child
فَإِنْ أَرْضَعْنَ لَكُمْ فَآتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ (…Then if they suckle the child for you, give them their fees…65:6). In other words, divorcees who are pregnant, their term of ` iddah ends with the birth of the child. Consequently, their maintenance is not incumbent upon the husband. However, if they are suckling the baby, it is permissible for the mother to claim a fee for suckling the baby from her former husband, and it is incumbent on him to pay it to her, if she claims it. The principle is that as long as the marriage between the parents of the baby is intact, it is the responsibility of the mothers to suckle the children as the Qur’an states (And the mothers suckle their children… 2:233) One cannot receive a fee for an act that is obligatory on him or her, because it amounts to rishwah (bribery) which in itself is unlawful to give or take. The period of “iddah is akin to the marriage in this respect, because the husband is obligated to maintain her, and therefore she cannot claim a fee for suckling a child during this period too. But once she has delivered the baby, her term of “iddah is over and she is absolutely released from the tie of marriage. Consequently, it is not incumbent upon the former husband to maintain her. In this instance, if she suckles the baby, the verse under comment permits giving and taking a payment for the service.
وَأْتَمِرُوا بَيْنَكُم بِمَعْرُوفٍ (…and consult each other [for determining the fee] with fairness…65:6) The word I’timar means ‘to consult each other’ and ‘to accept each other’s suggestion’. The verse directs the spouses to avoid any conflict in determining the fee for suckling. The divorced wife should not demand more than the normal rate, nor should the former husband of the divorcee refuse to pay the normal fee. They are advised to settle the issue with mutual understanding and tolerance.
وَإِن تَعَاسَرْتُمْ فَسَتُرْضِعُ لَهُ أُخْرَىٰ (…And if you have a deadlock between you, then another woman will suckle him…65:6) In other words, if the husband and wife cannot agree on the fee of suckling with mutual consent, or the wife refuses to suckle the child even for a remuneration, then the mother cannot be forced by a court for the service of suckling. Normally, the mother has the most compassion for the child. Despite this, if she is refusing to suckle him, she probably has a genuine reason for that. If she has no genuine reason, and she is refusing merely on account of anger and displeasure, she is a sinner in the sight of Allah, but an Islamic court cannot force her to do the suckling. Likewise, if the husband, on account of abject poverty, is unable to pay the fee for suckling and a wet-nurse is willing to suckle the child without remuneration or for a lesser fee than what the divorcee mother is demanding, he cannot be forced to agree to the demand of the mother and get her to do the suckling. In fact, in either of the cases it is possible to have the child suckled by the wet-nurse. However, if the fee the mother is demanding is the same as the wet-nurse’s remuneration, preference would be given to the mother rather than the wet-nurse. This is a point of consensus between all the Muslim jurists.
If it is agreed that the wet-nurse would do the suckling, it is incumbent that the wet-nurse should do the suckling while the child is in the custody of the mother. It is not lawful to separate the mother and the baby, because the custody of the child is the right of the mother according to the law of Hidanah as stated in the authentic Traditions. It is not permissible to usurp this right from her. [Tafsir [Mazhari].
[65:7] A man of vast means should spend according to his vast means. And anyone whose sustenance is limited should spend from whatever Allah has given to him. Allah makes no one liable beyond what He has given to him. Allah will soon bring ease after a difficulty.
Rule : Quantum of Divorcee’s Maintenance
لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ ۖ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّا آتَاهُ اللَّـهُ (A man of vast means should spend according to his vast means. And anyone whose sustenance is limited should spend from whatever Allah has given to him…65:7) In other words, in determining the quantum of the divorced wife’s maintenance the financial position of the husband will be taken into account. If the husband is wealthy, he should spend on his divorcee according to his affluence; and if he is indigent, he should spend according to his limited resources – even if the wife is wealthy. This is the ruling of Imam Abu Hanifah (رح) . Other schools of jurisprudence hold differing views. [Tafsir Mazhari]
لا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّـهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا آتَاهَا ۚ سَيَجْعَلُ اللَّـهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍ يُسْرًا (Allah makes no one liable beyond what He has given to him. Allah will soon bring ease after a difficulty….65:7) This is an elaboration of the preceding statement, in that Allah does not demand from anyone more than what he can afford. Therefore, if the husband is indigent, it is incumbent upon him to provide for her according to his level of indigence at that time. The wife, on the other hand, is advised to be content, for the time being, with the amount of sustenance her indigent husband is able to provide. She should not think that the present state of indigence will last for all times to come, because ease and difficulty are in the hands of Allah, and as such He can change indigence into affluence.
The verse under comment bears an indication that Allah will create a condition of ease for husbands who try to provide for their wives the obligatory amount of sustenance to the best of their ability, and are not in the habit of keeping their wives under straitened circumstances. [Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani] And Allah knows best!
[65:8] And how many a township rebelled against the command of their Lord, and against His messengers, so We called them to a severe account, and punished them with an evil punishment.
فَحَاسَبْنَاهَا حِسَابًا شَدِيدًا وَعَذَّبْنَاهَا عَذَابًا نُّكْرًا (so We called them to a severe account, and punished them with an evil punishment…65:8). The severe account and evil punishment of nations mentioned in this verse refers to what will happen in the Hereafter. However, the past tense has been employed presumably to indicate the occurrence of these events is as certain as if it has already been materialised. [Ruh]. The other possibility is that the hisab or ‘account’ in this context does not refer to interrogation, but to the determination of punishment, (in which case it may refer to the punishment faced by the infidels right here in this world.) Another possibility is that the ‘severe account’ will though take place in the Hereafter, it has already been recorded and is being recorded on daily basis in the ledger of deeds and is therefore described as ‘called them to a severe account’. In this interpretation, the ‘punishment’ refers to the past nations who were destroyed by Divine punishment in this world because they defied Allah’s and His Messengers’ commandments. In this case, only the next statement أَعَدَّ اللَّـهُ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا (Allah has prepared for them a severe punishment…10) would refer to the terrible punishment of the Hereafter.
[65:9] Thus they tasted the evil consequence of their acts, and the end of their conduct was loss.
[65:10] Allah has prepared for them a severe punishment; so fear Allah 0 men of understanding who have believed! Allah has sent down to you a Reminder,
قَدْ أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ إِلَيْكُمْ ذِكْرًا رَّسُولًا (Allah has sent down to you a Reminder, a messenger…65:10-11). The verb arsala ‘sent’ needs to be understood preceding the object rasulan ‘a messenger’ which appears at the commencement of verse . The simplest way in which these verses can be interpreted is to translate them thus: ‘Allah has sent down to you a Reminder, (the Qur’an and He has also sent to you) a messenger…65:11) Other commentators have preferred other interpretations. For instance some say that the word dhikr (‘Reminder’ ) refers to the Holy Prophet ﷺ himself, and the word ‘messenger’ is an explanatory complement to the word ‘dhikr’, because abundance of his remembering Allah made him a personified Remembrance of Allah. [Ruh] 1
 This explanation is based on the premise that ‘dhikr’ in this verse means ‘Allah’s remembrance’. However, it also means ‘reminder’. Taken in this sense, the word ‘messenger’ in the verse can be easily interpreted as an explanatory complement to the word ‘dhikr’, because the Holy Prophet is a ‘Reminder’ to the entire mankind. Our translation in the text is based on this connotation. (Muhammad Taqi Usmani)
[65:11] a messenger who recites to you the verses of Allah, making (the truth) clear, so that He may bring forth those who believe and do righteous deeds from the layers of darkness into the light. And whoever believes in Allah, and acts righteously, He will admit him to the gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein such people will live forever. Allah has made for him a good provision.
[65:12] Allah is the One who has created seven skies, and their like from earth. The Command descends among them, so that you may know that Allah is powerful over everything, and that Allah has encompassed everything in knowledge.
Where are the Seven Earths and in at Form?
اللَّـهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ وَمِنَ الْأَرْضِ مِثْلَهُنَّ (Allah is the One who has created seven skies, and their like from earth…65:12). This verse indicates that there are seven earths as there are seven heavens, but the question is where these earths are and in what shape or form. Are they in the form of seven layers one above the other, or each earth is separate from the other. If they form layers one above the other, is there a distance between two earths, just as there is a distance between two heavens? Are there separate creatures living on each earth, just as separate types of angels are residing in every heaven? Is there air, wind, atmosphere and so forth on each earth? Or, are these layers of earth joined and compact with each other? The Qur’an is silent on these questions. There are Traditions reported on these questions, but the leading authorities of Traditions disagree about their authenticity. Some scholars have authenticated them and others have graded them as ‘fabricated’. Rationally all findings are possible, and none of our religious or mundane needs are dependent on resolving these issues, nor will we be questioned about them in the grave or at Resurrection, so that we need to do research about the seven earths, their locale or their inhabitants. The safest position is to believe that there are seven earths as there are seven skies. Allah has created them with His Supreme Creative Power. Qur’an has mentioned this much only. If the Qur’an did not find it necessary to give a detailed account of it, there is no need for us to think about it or research it. This was the attitude of our pious predecessors. They formulated the following policy ابھموا ما ابھمہ اللہ ـ” Leave unexplained what Allah has left unexplained” as long as it does not contain any injunction for us to follow, nor does it concern our religious or mundane need. This commentary has been written for the common readers. Purely academic issues have not been included here which might not be needed for them.
يَتَنَزَّلُ الْأَمْرُ بَيْنَهُنَّ (The Command descend among them…65:12) The verse purports to say that Divine commands and decrees are revealed and work in the seven heavens and in the seven earths. The Divine commands or decrees operate in two ways:  Tashri` i; and  Takwini. Tashri’ i command refers to laws Divinely prescribed for people who are legally obligated to observe them. The Divinely legislated laws are revealed through the angels to the Prophets (علیہم السلام) to be passed on to the humans and jinns. These laws pertain to articles of faith, worship, good morals, transactions and way of living. Adherence to them attracts reward and flouting them entails punishment. Takwini laws pertain to the Divine decrees in connection with the creation of the universe or bringing it into existence from the realm of non-existence, its gradual growth and development, its phenomena of depletion and replenishment, and the phenomena of life and death. These decrees encompass the entire Divine creation. Therefore, if it be proved that between two earths there is atmosphere and distance, and that some kind of creatures inhabits it, even if that kind of creature is not legally bound by the Shari` ah laws, the description يَتَنَزَّلُ الْأَمْرُ ‘The Command descend among them…65:12) will still apply, because Allah’s Takwini decrees encompass them as well. And Allah, the Pure and Exalted, knows best!
The Commentary on
65. Surah At Talaq (Divorce)
At-Talaq is not only the name of this Surah but also the title of its subject matter, for it contains commandments about Talaq (divorce) itself. Hadrat `Abdullah bin Mas`ud has described it as Surah an-Nisa al-qusra also, i.e. the shorter Surah an-Nisa.
Period of Revelation
Hadrat Abdullah bin Masud has Pointed out, and the internal evidence of the subject matter of the Surah confirms the same, that it must have been sent down after those verses of surah Al-Baqarah in which commandments concerning divorce were given for the first time. Although it is difficult to determine precisely what is its exact date of revelation, yet the traditions in any case indicate that when the people started making errors in understanding the commandments of Surah Al-Baqarah, and practically also they began to commit mistakes, Allah sent down these instructions for their correction.
Theme and Subject Matter
In order to understand the commandments of this Surah, it would be useful to refresh one’s memory about the instructions which have been given in the Qur’an concerning divorce and the waiting period (Iddat) above.
“Divorce may be pronounced twice; then the wife may either be kept back in fairness or allowed to separate in fairness.” (Al Baqarah 229)
“And the divorced women (after the pronouncement of the divorce) must wait for three monthly courses… and their husbands are fully entitled to take them back (as their wives) during this waiting period, if they desire reconciliation.” (Al Baqarah 228)
“Then, if the husband divorces his wife (for the third time), she shall not remain lawful for him after this divorce, unless she marries another husband…” (Al-Baqarah : 230)
“When you marry the believing women, and then divorce them before you have touched them, they do not have to fulfill a waiting period, the completion of which you may demand of them.” (Al-Ahzab : 49)
“And if those of you who die, leave wives behind, the women should abstain (from marriage) for four months and ten days.” (Al-Baqarah 234)
The rules prescribed in these verses were as follows:
A man can pronounce at the most three divorces on his wife.
In case the husband has pronounced one or two divorces he is entitled to keep the woman back as wife within the waiting period and if after the expiry of the waiting period the two desire to re-marry, they can re- marry there is no condition of legalization (tahlil). But if the husband has pronounced three divorces, he forfeits his right to keep her as his wife within the waiting. period, and they cannot re-marry unless the woman re-marries another husband and he subsequently divorces her of his own free will.
The waiting period of the woman, who menstruates and marriage with whom has been consummated, is that she should pass three monthly courses. The waiting period in case of one or two divorces is that the woman is still the legal wife of the husband and he can keep her back as his wife within the waiting period. But if the husband has pronounced three divorces, this waiting period cannot be taken advantage of for the purpose of reconciliation, but it is only meant to restrain the woman from re-marrying another person before it comes to an end.
There is no waiting. period for the woman, marriage with whom has not been consummated, and who is divorced even before she is touched. She can re-marry, if she likes, immediately after the divorce.
The waiting period of the woman whose husband dies, is four months and ten days.
Here, one should understand well that Surah At-Talaq was not sent down to annul any of these rules or amend it, but it was sent down for two purposes;
First, that the man who has been given the right to pronounce divorce should be taught such judicious methods of using this right as do not lead to separation, as far as possible however, if separation does take place, it should only be in case all possibilities of mutual reconciliation have been exhausted. For in the Divine Law provision for divorce has been made only as an unavoidable necessity; otherwise Allah does not approve that the marriage relationship that has been established between a man and a woman should ever break. The Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) has said “Allah has not made lawful anything more hateful in His sight than divorce.” (Abu Daud). And: “Of all the things permitted by the Law, the most hateful in the sight of Allah is the divorce, (Abu Daud)
The second object was to complement this section of the family law of Islam by supplying answers to the questions that had remained after the revelation of the commandments in Surah Al-Baqarah. So, answers have been supplied to the following questions:What would be the waiting period of the women, marriage with whom has been consummated and who no longer menstruate, or those who have not yet menstruated, in case they are divorced? What would be the waiting period of the woman, who is pregnant, or the woman whose husband dies, if she is divorced?And what arrangements would be made for the maintenance and lodging of the different categories of divorced women, and for the fosterage of the child whose parents have separated on account of a divorce?
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1-7 Laws of divorce and Iddat (waiting period) before the divorce take effect and Iddat (waiting period) is three menstruation periods or three months and delivery in case of pregnancy
(65:1) O Prophet, when you divorce women, divorce them for their waiting-period,1 and compute the waiting period accurately,2 and hold Allah, your Lord, in awe. Do not turn them out of their homes (during the waiting period) – nor should they go away (from their homes)3– unless they have committed a manifestly evil deed.4 Such are the bounds set by Allah; and he who transgresses the bounds set by Allah commits a wrong against himself. You do not know: maybe Allah will cause something to happen to pave the way (for reconciliation).5 (65:2) And when they reach the end of their term (of waiting), then either honourably retain them (in the bond of wedlock) or honourably part with them,6 and call two persons of known probity as witnesses from among yourselves,7 and (let these witnesses) give upright testimony for the sake of Allah. That is to what all those that believe in Allah and the Last Day are exhorted.8 Allah will find a way out for him who fears Allah,9 (65:3) and will provide him sustenance from whence he never even imagined.10 Whoever puts his trust in Allah, He shall suffice him. Surely Allah brings about what He decrees;11 Allah has set a measure for everything. (65:4) The waiting period of those of your women who have lost all expectation of menstruation shall be three months12 in case you entertain any doubt; and the same shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated.13 As for pregnant women, their waiting period shall be until the delivery of their burden.14 Allah will create ease for him who fears Allah. (65:5) This is the commandment of Allah that He has revealed to you. Whoever fears Allah, He will expunge his evil deeds and will richly reward him.15 (65:6) (During the waiting period) lodge them according to your means wherever you dwell, and do not harass them to make them miserable.16 And if they are pregnant, provide for them maintenance until they have delivered their burden.17 And if they suckle your offspring whom they bore you, then give them due recompense, and graciously settle the question of compensation between yourselves by mutual understanding.18 But if you experience difficulty (in determining the compensation for suckling) then let another woman suckle the child.19 (65:7) Whoever has abundant means, let him spend according to his means; and he whose means are straitened, let him spend out of what Allah has given him. Allah does not burden any human being beyond the means that He has bestowed upon him. Possibly Allah will grant ease after hardship.
1. That is, O believers, you should not make undue haste in the matter of pronouncing divorce: your minor family quarrels should not so incite you that you should pronounce the final divorce in a fit of anger and there remains no chance for reconciliation. However When you have to divorce your wives, you should divorce them for their prescribed waiting period. Pronouncing divorce for the waiting period has two meanings and both are implied here.
First, that you should divorce them at a time when their waiting period can begin. This thing has already been prescribed in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 228). The waiting period of the married woman who menstruates is three monthly courses after the pronouncement of divorce. If this commandment is kept in view the only appropriate time of pronouncing divorce that the waiting period may duly begin is when she is not in her courses, for the waiting period cannot begin from the course during which she may have been divorced, and divorcing her in that state would mean that, contrary to the divine command, her waiting period should extend to four courses instead of three courses. Furthermore, this commandment also demands that the woman should not be divorced in the period of purity during which the husband may have had sexual intercourse with her. For in this case, at the time divorce is pronounced, neither the husband nor the wife can know whether she has conceived in consequence of the intercourse or not. Because of this neither the waiting period can begin on the hypothesis that this would be reckoned in view of the succeeding monthly courses nor on the hypothesis that this would be the waiting period of a pregnant woman. So, this commandment lays down two rules simultaneously. First, that divorce should not be pronounced during menstruation. Second, that divorce may be pronounced either in the period of purity during which there was no sexual intercourse with the woman, or in the state when the woman’s being pregnant was known. A little consideration of the matter will show that the restrictions imposed on the pronouncement of divorce are for good reasons. The reason for imposing the restriction on the pronouncement of divorce during menstruation is that in this state the husband and the wife are somewhat estranged from each other because of the prohibition of sexual intercourse in this state and also from the medical viewpoint it is confirmed that the woman is not temperamentally normal during the courses. Therefore, if a quarrel starts between them in this state, both the husband and the wife would be helpless to an extent to put an end to it, and if the matter is deferred till the woman is free from her courses, there is the possibility that the woman also may return to her normal temperamental state and the mutual attraction that nature has placed between them also may work and reunite them. Likewise, the reason for prohibiting the pronouncement of divorce during the purity period in which sexual intercourse may have taken place, is that if in consequence of it conception takes place, it can neither be known to the husband nor to the wife. Therefore, it cannot be a suitable time for pronouncing the divorce. If the man comes to know that conception has taken place, he would think a hundred times before deciding finally whether he should pronounce divorce or not on the woman who carries his child in her womb. The woman also in view of the future of her child would try her best to remove the causes of her husband’s displeasure. But if a decision is taken blindly, in undue haste, and then it is known that conception had taken place, both will regret it later.
This is the first meaning of divorcing for the prescribed waiting period, which applies only to those women marriage with whom has been consummated, who menstruate and may possibly conceive. As for its second meaning it is this: If you have to divorce your wives, you should divorce them till the expiry of their waiting period. That is, do not pronounce three divorces all at once leading to permanent separation, but pronounce one, or at the most two divorces, and wait till the end of the waiting period, so that there remains some chance for reconciliation for you at any time during this period. According to this meaning; this commandment is also useful in respect of those woman marriage with whom has been consummated and who menstruate as well as of those who no longer menstruate, or those who have not yet menstruated, or those whose pregnancy at the time of the pronouncement of divorce is known. If this divine command is rightly followed, no one will regret after having pronounced divorce, for if divorce is pronounced in this way, there remains room for reconciliation within the waiting period, and even after the expiry of the waiting period the possibility remains that the separated husband and wife may remarry if they wish reconciliation.
This same meaning of talliqu-hunna li-iddati hinna (divorce them for their prescribed waiting-period) has been given by the earliest commentators. Ibn Abbas has given this commentary of it: One should not pronounce divorce during menstruation nor in the period of purity (tahr) during which the husband may have had sexual intercourse. But one should leave the wife alone till she attains purity after the course; then one may pronounce a single divorce on her. In this case even if there is no reconciliation and the waiting period expires, she would be separated by the single divorce. (Ibn Jarir).
Abdullah bin Masud says:
Divorce for the waiting period means that one should pronounce the divorce in the woman‘s state of purity without having had an intercourse with her. The same commentary has been reported from Abdullah bin Umar, Ata, Mujahid, Maimun bin Mahran, Muqatil bin Hayyan, and Dahhak, Ibn Kathir. Ikrimah has explained it thus: One may pronounce the divorce in the state when the woman’s being pregnant is known, and not when one has had sexual intercourse with her and it is not known whether she has conceived or not. (Ibn Kathir). Both Hasan Basri and lbn Sirin say: Divorce should be pronounced during the state of purity without having had sexual intercourse or when the woman’s being pregnant becomes known. (Ibn Jarir).
The intention of this verse was best explained by the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself on the occasion when Abdullah bin Umar had divorced his wife while she was discharging the menses. The details of this incident have been reported in almost all collections of Hadith and the same, in fact, are the source of the law in this connection. It so happened that when Abdullah divorced his wife while she was menstruating, Umar came before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and mentioned it to him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) expressed great displeasure and said: command him to take her back and keep her as his wife till she is purified, that she again menstruates and is again purified: then if he so desires he may divorce her in her state of purity without having any sexual intercourse with her. This is the waiting period which Allah Almighty has prescribed for the divorce of women. In a tradition the words are to the effect: Either one may pronounce the divorce in the woman’s state of purity without having a sexual intercourse, or in the state when her being pregnant becomes fully known.
The intention of this verse is further explained by a few other Ahadith which have been reported from the prophet (peace be upon him) and some of the major companions. Nasai has related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed that a person had pronounced three divorces on his wife in one sitting. He stood up in anger and said: Are the people playing with the Book of Allah, although I am present among you? Seeing the Prophet’s extreme anger on this occasion, a person asked: Should I not go and kill the man?
Abdur Razzaq has reported about Ubadah bin as-Samit that his father pronounced one thousand divorces on his wife. He went before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked his ruling on it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: By the three divorces the woman stood separated from him along with Allah’s disobedience, and 997 pronouncement remained as acts of injustice and sin, for which Allah might punish him if He so willed and forgive him if He so willed.
In the details of the incident concerning Hadrat Abdullah bin Umar, which have been related in Daraqutni and Ibn Abi Shaibah, another thing also is that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded Abdullah bin Umar to take his wife back, he asked: Had I pronounced three divorces on her, could I have taken her back even then? The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: No, she would have stood separated from you, and this would have been an act of sin. In another tradition the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) words are to the effect: Had you done this, you would have committed disobedience of your Lord while your wife would have been separated from you.
The legal rulings reported from the companions in this regard are also in complete conformity with the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) injunctions. According to a tradition in Muwatta, a person came to Abdullah bin Masud and said: I have pronounced eight divorces on my wife. Ibn Masud asked: What legal opinion have you been given in this regard? He said: I have been told that the woman stands separated from me. Ibn Masud said: The people have said the right thing: the legal position is the same as they have told you.
Abdur Razzaq has related from Alqamah that a person said to Ibn Masud: I have pronounced 99 divorces on my wife. He said: Three divorces separate her from you; the rest are (acts of sin) excesses.
Waki bin al-Jarrah in his sunah has reported this very viewpoint of both Uthman and Ali. A person came to Uthman and said: I have pronounced a thousand divorces on my wife. He replied: She stood separated from you by three divorces. When a similar problem was presented before Ali he replied; By three divorces she stood separated from you. You may distribute the rest of your pronouncements on the rest of your wives if you so like.
Abu Daud and Ibn Jarir have related, with a little variation in wording, a tradition from Mujahid, saying: While I was sitting with Ibn Abbas, a person came and said: I have pronounced three divorces on my wife. Ibn Abbas heard it but kept silent for so long that I thought he was perhaps going to return his wife to him. Then he said: One of you first commits the folly of pronouncing the divorces; then he comes and says: O lbn Abbas, O Ibn Abbas! whereas Allah has said that whoever fears Him in whatever he does, He will open a way for him out of the difficulties. You did not fear Allah; now I do not find any way for you: you have disobeyed your Lord, and your wife stands separated from you.
Another tradition, which also has been reported from Mujahid and related with a little variation in wording in muwatta and Tafsir by Ibn Jarir, says: A person pronounced a hundred divorces on his wife; then he asked Ibn Abbas for his opinion. He replied: By three divorces she stood separated from you. With the other 97 you made a jest of the revelations of Allah! This is according to Muwatta. According to Ibn Jarir the words of Ibn Abbas were to the effect: You disobeyed your Lord, and your wife stood separated from you, and you did not fear Allah that He might open a way for you out of the difficulty.
Imam Tahavi has related that a man came to Ibn Abbas and said: My uncle has pronounced three divorces on his wife. He replied: Your uncle has disobeyed Allah and committed a sin and followed Satan. Now, Allah has left no way open for him out of the difficulty.
According to a tradition in Muwatta and Abu Daud, a man pronounced three divorces on his wife before the consummation of marriage; then desired to remarry her, and came out to know the legal aspect of the matter. The reporter of the Hadith, Muhammad bin lyas bin Bukair, says: I accompanied him to Ibn Abbas and Abu Hurairah. The reply each one gave was: You have let slip from your hand whatever opportunity was there for you. Zamakhshari has stated in al-Kashshaf that Umar used to beat the man who would pronounce three divorces on his wife (at one and the same time) and then would enforce his divorces.
Saeed bin Mansur has related this very thing from Anas on sound authority. In this connection, the general opinion of the companions which Ibn Abi Shaibah and Imam Muhammad have related from Ibrahim Nakhai was: The companions approved of this method that one may pronounce a single divorce on the wife and leave her alone till she completes three monthly courses. These are the words of Ibn Abi Shaibah. The words of Imam Muhammad are to the effect: The approved method with them was that in the matter of divorce one should not exceed one divorce till the waiting period is completed.
The detailed law that the jurists of Islam have compiled with the help of these Ahadith and traditions in the light of the above mentioned Quranic verse, is as follows:
(1) The Hanafis regard divorce as of three kinds: Ahsan, hasan, and bidi. The ahsan form of divorce is that one may pronounce only one divorce on his wife during a tahr (purity) period in which one must refrain from sexual intercourse and leave the wife to complete her waiting period. The hasan form of divorce is that one may pronounce one divorce in each period of purity: in this case pronouncement of three divorces, one each in three periods of purity, is also not against the Shariah, although the best approved method is to pronounce only one divorce and leave the wife to complete her waiting period. The bidi form of divorce is that one must pronounce three divorces in a single sitting, or pronounce three divorces at different times during the same period of purity, or pronounce divorce during menstruation, or pronounce it in the period of purity during which he has had a sexual intercourse. Of these whichever course one may adopt one will be guilty a sin. This is the law in respect of the woman marriage with whom has been consummated and who has regular courses. As for the woman marriage with whom has not been consummated, she can be divorced both in the state of purity and during menstruation, and this is according to the sunnah. And if the woman is such a one marriage with whom has been consummated who no longer menstruates, or the one who has not yet menstruated, she can be divorced even after the sexual intercourse for there is no chance of her being pregnant. And if the woman is pregnant, she also can be divorced after the sexual intercourse, for her pregnancy is already established. But the method of pronouncing divorce on these women according to the sunnah, is that the divorce may be pronounced at the interval of one month in each case. However, the ahsan method is that only one divorce may be pronounced and the woman left to complete her waiting period. (Hedayah, fath al-Qadir, Ahkam al-Quran Al- Jassas, Umdat al-Qari).
According to Imam Malik divorce is also of three kinds. sunni, bidi makruh and bidi haram. The divorce according to the sunnah is that a single divorce be pronounced on the woman marriage with whom has been consummated and who menstruates, during her state of purity without having had sexual intercourse, and the woman be left to complete her waiting period. The bidi makruh form is that divorce be pronounced in the period of purity during which one may have had sexual intercourse, or more divorces than one be pronounced in the period of purity while there was no sexual intercourse, or three divorces be pronounced, one each in separate periods of purity within the waitingperiod, or three divorces be pronounced all at once. And bidi haram is that divorce be pronounced during menstruation. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi alal-Sharh-al-Kabir Ibn aI- Arabi, Ahkam al-Quran).
The authentic viewpoint of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal which is generally agreed upon by the Hanbalis is: The approved method (i.e. the one according to the sunnah) of divorcing a wife with whom marriage has been consummated and who menstruates is that a single divorce be pronounced on her in her period of purity without having had sexual intercourse with her, and then she be left to complete her waiting period. But if she is giver three divorces, one each in three separate periods of purity or three divorces in one and the same period of purity, or divorced thrice at once, or divorced during the courses, or divorced in the period of purity during which the husband has had sexual intercourse and her being pregnant is not known, all these would be disapproved and forbidden forms of divorce. But if the woman is such that marriage with her has been consummated but who no longer menstruates, or such who has not yet menstruated, or is pregnant, in her case there is neither any difference of approved and disapproved with regard to time nor with regard to the number of divorces pronounced. (Al-Insaf fi Marifat-ar-Rajih min al-Khilaf ala Madhhab Ahmad bin Hanbal).
According to Imam Shafei, in the matter of divorce the difference between the approved (i.e. according to the sunnah) and the reprehensible (i.e. against the sunnah) forms of divorce is only with regard to time and not with regard to number, That is, to pronounce divorce on a woman marriage with whom has been consummated and who menstruates, during menstruation or to pronounce divorce on a ovarian, who can conceive, during such a period of purity in which the husband has had sexual intercourse with her and the woman’s pregnancy is unknown, is disapproved and forbidden. As for the number, whether three divorces are pronounced at one time, or pronounced in the same period of purity, or pronounced in separate periods of purity, they are not against the sunnah in any case. In case the woman is such that marriage with her has not been consummated, or the one who no longer menstruates, or the one who has not yet menstruated, or the one whose being pregnant is known, there is no difference between the approved and the disapproved forms of divorce. (Mughni al-Muhtaj).
(2) A divorce being irregular, reprehensible, forbidden, or sinful with the four Imams does not mean that it does not have effect. According to all the four Sunni Schools, whether a divorce is pronounced during menstruation, or thrice at once, or pronounced in the period of purity during which the husband has had sexual intercourse and the woman’s being pregnant is unknown, or pronounced in a manner disapproved by an Imam, in any case it does become effective, although the pronouncer commits an act of sin. But some other scholars differ in this regard from the four Imams.
Sai bin al-Musayyab and some other immediate followers of the companions say that the divorce of the person who pronounces it during menstruation, or pronounces it thrice at one time, does not take place at all. The same is the opinion of the Imamiah sect of the Shias. The basis of this opinion is that since this form of divorce is forbidden and utterly irregular, it is ineffective, whereas the Ahadith that we have cited above, clearly show that when Abdullah bin Umar divorced his wife during menstruation, the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded him to take her back; had the divorce not taken effect at all, the command to take the wife back would have been meaningless. And this also confirmed by many Ahadith that the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the major companions considered the pronouncement of more divorces than one at one time sinful but did not regard his divorce as ineffective.
Taus and Ikrimah say that only one divorce takes place if divorce is pronounced thrice at once, and this very view has been adopted by Imam Ibn Taimiyyah. The source of his this opinion is that Abu as-Sahba asked Ibn Abbas: Don’t you know that in the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr and in the early period of Umar a triple divorce was considered a single divorce? He replied: Yes. (Bukhari, Muslim). And in Muslim, Abu Daud and Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Abbas’s this statement has been cited: In the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr and during the first two years of the caliphate of Umar a triple divorce was considered a single divorce. Then Umar expressed the view: As the people have started acting hasty in a matter in which they had been advised to act judiciously and prudently, why should we not enforce this practice? So, he enforced it.
But this view is not acceptable for several reasons. In the first place, according to several traditions lbn Abbas’s own ruling was against it, as we have explained above. Secondly, it is contrary to those Ahadith also, which have been reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the major companions, in which the ruling given about the pronouncement of a three-fold divorce at one time is that all his three divorces become effective. These Ahadith have also been cited above. Thirdly, from Ibn Abbas’s own tradition itself it becomes evident that Umar had publicly enforced the triple divorce in the assembly of the companions, but neither then nor after it these companions ever expressed any difference of opinion. Now, can it be conceived that Umar could decide an issue against the Sunnah? And could the companions also accept his decision without protest? Furthermore, in the story concerning Rukanah bin Abdi Yazib, a tradition has been related by Abu Daud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Imam Shafei, Darimi and Hakim, saying that when Rukanah pronounced three divorces on his wife in one and the same sitting, the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him to state on oath whether his intention was to pronounce one divorce only, (That is, the two subsequent divorces were pronounced only to lay emphasis on the first divorce; the triple divorce was not intended to create separation permanently). And when he stated this on oath, the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave him the right to take his wife back. This brings out the truth of the matter as to what kind of divorces were considered a single divorce in the earliest period of Islam. On this very basis, the interpreters of the Hadith have explained the tradition of Ibn Abbas thus: As in the early period of Islam deceit and fraud in religious matters was almost unknown among the people, the statement of the pronouncer of a triple divorce was admitted that his real intention was to pronounce only a single divorce, and the two subsequent divorces had been pronounced only for the sake of emphasis. But when Umar saw that the people first pronounced three divorces in haste and then presented the excuse of pronouncing them only for the sake of emphasis, he refused to accept this excuse. Imam Nawawi and Imam Subki regard this as the best interpretation of the tradition from Ibn Abbas, Finally, there is disagreement in the traditions of Abu as-Sahba himself, which he has related concerning the saying of Ibn Abbas. Muslim, Abu Daud and Nasai have related from this same Abu as-Sahba another tradition; saying that on an inquiry by him. Ibn Abbas said: When a person pronounced a three-fold divorce on his wife before consummation of marriage, it was considered a single divorce in the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr and in the early period of Umar, Thus, one and the same reporter has reported from Ibn Abbas traditions containing two divergent themes and this diversity weakens both the traditions.
(3) As the Prophet (peace be upon him) had commanded the pronouncer of the divorce during menstruation to take his wife back, the dispute has arisen among the jurists as to what is the exact sense of this command. Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Shafei, Imam Ahmad, Imam Auzai, Ibn Abi Laila, Ishaq bin Rahawaih and Abu Thaur say that such a person would be commanded to take his wife back, but would not be compelled to do so. (Umdat al-Qari). The Hanafi viewpoint as stated in Hedayah is that in this case taking the wife back is not only preferable but also obligatory. In Mughni al-Muhtaj the Shafei viewpoint has been stated to be that the approved (i.e. one according to Sunnah) method for the one who has pronounced divorces during menstruation, but has not pronounced a triple divorce, is that he should take his wife back, and should refrain from pronouncing divorce in the following period of purity, but should pronounce it, if he so likes, in the period of purity when the wife has become free from her next menstrual course and attained purity, so that his revocation of the divorce pronounced during menstruation is not taken in jest. The Hanbali viewpoint as presented in Al-Insaf is that in this state it is preferable for the pronouncer of divorce to take his wife back. But Imam Malik and his companions say that pronouncement of divorce during menstruation is a cognizable offense. Whether the woman makes a demand or not, it is in any case the duty of the ruler that if such an act of some one is brought to his notice, he must compel the person to take his wife back and should continue to press him till the end of the waiting-period; and if he refuses to take her back, he should imprison him; if he still refuses, he should beat him; and if he still does not accede, the ruler should give his own decision, saying: I return your wife to you. And the ruler’s this decision would be effective after which it would be lawful for the man to have sexual intercourse with the woman, whether he intends to take her back or not, for the ruler’s intention represents his intention. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi). The Malikis also say that if the person, who has taken his wife back willingly or unwillingly, after divorcing her during menstruation, has made up his mind to repudiate her, the preferable method for him is that he should refrain from divorcing her in the period of purity following the menstruation during which he divorced her, but should divorce her in the period of purity following the next menstruation. The prohibition to pronounce divorce in the period of purity following the menstruation in which divorce was pronounced, has been enjoined so that the return of the pronouncer during menstruation does not remain merely oral, but he should have sexual intercourse with the woman during the period of purity. Then, since the pronouncement of divorce in the period of purity in which sexual intercourse has taken place is prohibited, the right time for pronouncing it is the following period of purity only. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi).
(4) As to the question: Till when has the pronouncer of one revocable divorce the power to take his wife back? Difference of opinion has arisen among the jurists and this difference has occurred on the question: What do the words thalathata quru-in of( Surah AI-Baqarah, Ayat 228) imply: three menstruation or three periods of purity? According to Imam Shafei and Malik, qara implies a period of purity, and this view is held on the authority of Aishah, Ibn Umar and Zaid bin Thabit. The Hanafi viewpoint is that qara implies menstruation and the same is the authentic viewpoint of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal too. This view is based on the authority of all the four rightly-guided Caliphs, Abdullah bin Masud, Abdullah bin Abbas, Ubayy bin Kab, Muadh bin Jabal, Abu ad-Darda, Ubadah bin as- Samit and Abu Musa al-Ashari. Imam Muhammad in his Muwatta has cited a saying of Shabi, saying that he met thirteen of the Prophet’s companions and they all held this same opinion, and this very view was adopted by many of the immediate followers of the companions also.
On account of this difference of opinion, according to the Shafeis and the Malikis, the waiting period of the woman comes to an end as soon as she enters the third menstruation, and the man’s power to take her back is terminated. And if the divorce has been pronounced during menstruation, this menstruation will not be counted towards the waiting-period but the waiting-period will come to an end as soon as the woman enters the fourth menstruation. (Mughni al-Muhtaj; Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi). The Hanafis viewpoint is that if the menstrual discharge in the third menstruation stops after ten days, the waitingperiod of the woman will come to an end with it whether she takes purification bath or not; and if the discharge ceases within less than ten days, the waiting-period will not come to an end until the woman has taken her purification bath, or until a prayer time has passed. In case water is not available, according to Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Abu Yusuf, the man’s right to return to her will be terminated, when she has performed her prayer with tayammum (purification with dust), and, according to Imam Muhammad, as soon as she has performed tayammwn itself. (Hedayah). Imam Ahmad’s authentic viewpoint which is held by the majority of the Hanbalis is that as long as the woman does not have her purification bath after the third menstruation, the man’s right to return to her will remain. (Al-Insaf).
(5) As for the question that is the method of taking the wife back? The jurists agree that the person, who has pronounced a revocable divorce on his wife, can return to her whenever he likes before the expiration of the waitingperiod, whether the woman is desirous of this or not, for the Quran says: Their husbands are best entitled to take them back as their wives during this waiting-period. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 228). From this it can automatically be concluded that until the expiry of the waiting-period, the marriage tie remains intact and the husbands can take them back before they are separated absolutely and finally. In other words, taking the wife back does not mean renewal of marriage for which the woman’s consent may be necessary. After being unanimous so far, the jurists have different opinions about the method of taking the wife back.
According to the Shafeis, return can take place only by the oral word, not by conduct. If the husband does not say with the tongue that he has taken the wife back, no act of intercourse or intimacy, even if performed with the intention of resuming marital relationship, will be considered resumption of the relationship. Rather in this case seeking of any kind of enjoyment from the woman is unlawful even if it is without lust. But there is no ban on having sexual intercourse with the woman, who has been divorced revocably, for the scholars have not agreed on its being unlawful. However, the one who believes in its being unlawful will be punishable. Furthermore, according to the Shafei viewpoint, it is in any case, incumbent to pay a proper or customary dower (mahr mithal) in case the husband has intercourse with the wife whom he had divorced revocably, whether after it he takes her back orally or not. (Mughni a-Muhtaj).
The Malikis say that return can be effected both orally and by conduct. If for the purpose of resumption by word of mouth the husband uses express words, the resumption will take place whether he intended it or not; even if he uttered express words of resumption in jest, these words would amount to return and resumption. But if the words are not express, they would be considered resumption of relationship only in case they were pronounced with the intention of resumption. As for resumption by conduct, no act whether it is an act of intimacy or sexual intercourse, can be considered resumption as long as it has not been performed with the intention of the resumption of marital relation. (Hashiyah adDusuqi; Ibn Arabi; Ahkam al- Quran).
As for resumption of relationship by the word of mouth, the Hanafi and the Hanbali viewpoint is the same as the Maliki. As for resumption by conduct, the ruling of both the Schools, contrary to the Malikis, is that if the husband performs sexual intercourse with the woman whom he has divorced revocably within the waiting-period, it would by itself amount to resumption whether there was the intention of resumption or not. However, the difference between the viewpoints of the two Schools is that according to the Hanafis every act of intimacy amounts to resumption even if it is of a lesser degree than sexual intercourse; whereas the Hanbalis do not regard a mere act of intimacy as resumption of marital relationship. (Hedayah, Fath al- Qadir, Umdat al-Qari Al-Insaf).
(6) As for the consequences of talaq as-sunnah (regular form of divorce according to the sunnah) and talaq al-bidi (irregular form of divorce) the difference is this: In case one or two divorces have been pronounced, the divorced woman and her former husband can re-marry by mutual consent even if the waiting-period has expired. But if a man has pronounced three divorces, resumption of marital relation is neither possible within the waiting-period, nor after the expiry of the waiting period, unless, however, the woman marries another person, the marriage is duly contracted and consummated, and then either the second husband divorces her or dies; then if the woman and her former husband wish to re-marry by mutual consent, they can do so. In most collections of the Ahadith, a tradition has been reported on sound authority, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked: A man pronounced three divorces on his wife, then the woman married another man and the two had privacy but there was no intercourse; then he divorced her. Now, can this woman re-marry her former husband? The Prophet replied: No, unless her second husband has enjoyed her just as her first husband had enjoyed her. As for the prearranged marriage (tahlil) which is meant to legalize the woman for her former husband, so that she would marry another man, who would divorce her after having had sexual intercourse with her, this is invalid according to Imam Abu Yusuf, and according to Imam Abu Hanifah, the woman would become lawful for her former husband by this ceremony but such a thing is reprehensible to the extent of being unlawful. Abdullah bin Masud has reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: AIIah has cursed both, the legaliser (muhallil) and the one for whom legalization is performed (muhallil-lahu). (Tirmidhi, Nasai). Uqbah bin Amir says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked his companions: Should I not tell you as to who is a hired bull? The companions said that he should. He said: It is he who performs tahlil (legalization of marriage). Allah’s curse falls both on the muhalil (legalizer) and on the muhallal-lahu (the one for whose sake marriage is legalized). (Ibn Majah, Daraqutni).
2. This command is addressed to the men as well as the women and the people of their families. It means: Do not treat divorce lightly; it is a grave matter, which gives birth to many legal questions for the man, the woman, their children and the people of their house. Therefore, when divorce is pronounced, its time and date should be remembered and also the state in which divorce was pronounced on the woman; one should keep an accurate account of when the waiting period started and when it would expire. On this reckoning will depend the determination of the following questions: Till when the husband has the power to take the wife back? Till when he has to keep her in the house? Till when is he bound to maintain her? Till when will he inherit the woman and the woman him? When will the woman be separated from him finally and obtain the right to remarry? And if this matter takes the shape of a law-suit, the court also in order to arrive at the correct decision, will need to know the correct date and time of pronouncing the divorce and the woman’s state at the time, for without this information, it cannot give the right decision on the questions arising from the divorce in respect of the women who have been enjoyed, or not, pregnant, or not, who menstruate, or no longer menstruate, and who have been divorced revocably or irrevocably.
3. That is, neither should the man turn out the woman in anger, nor the woman herself should leave the house in anger and haste. The house is hers during the waitingperiod, and both the man and the wife should live together so that advantage may be taken if there is any chance of reconciliation. If the divorce is revocable, the husband may at any time be inclined towards the wife, and the wife also may try to win the husband’s pleasure by removing the causes of dispute and difference. If both stay together in the same house, there may appear many an occasion for reconciliation during the three months or the three menstrual periods, or till child birth in case of pregnancy. But if the man turns her out in angry haste, or the woman returns to her parents imprudently, chances of reconciliation diminish, and the divorce generally leads to permanent separation. That is why the jurists have even suggested that in case of a revocable divorce the woman should adorn herself during her waiting-period so as to attract the husband. (Hedayah; Al-Insaf).
The jurists agree that the revocably divorced woman has a right to lodging and maintenance during the waitingperiod, and it is not lawful for the woman to leave the house without the husband’s permission, nor is it lawful for the husband to turn her out of the house. If the husband turns her out, he will be guilty of an act of sin and if the woman leaves of her own accord, she will not only commit a sin but will also forfeit her right to lodging and maintenance.
4. Several meanings of this have been given by different jurists. Hasan Basri, Amir Shabi, Zaid bin Aslam, Dahhak, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ibn Zaid, Hammed and Laith say that it implies adultery. Ibn Abbas says that it implies abusive language that the woman may continue to use against the husband and the people of his house even after the divorce, during the waiting-period. Qatadah says that it implies the woman’s disobedient to her husband. That is, if the wife has been divorced because of her disobedience, she may continue to be disobedient to her husband even during the waiting-period. Abdullah bin Umar, Suddi, Ibn as-Saib and Ibrahim Nakhai say that this implies the woman’s leaving the house of herself. That is, in their opinion the woman’s leaving the house in the waiting-period by itself amounts to committing an open indecency, and the command: Nor should they themselves leave the house except in case they commit an open indecency, is an admonition of this nature: Do not abuse others except in case you wish to be known as a discourteous person. According to the first three of these four viewpoints, “except in case” is related with “Do not turn them out of their houses,” and the sentence means that if they are guilty of immorality or of using invectives or of disobedience, it would he lawful to turn them out of the houses. And according to the fourth view, it is related with “nor should they themselves leave their houses,” and it means that if they leave their houses they would be guilty of open indecency.
5. Both these sentences refute the viewpoint of those who hold that divorce does not take place at all if it is pronounced during menstruation or thrice at once, and also the view of those who think that a triple divorce amounts to a single divorce. The question arises: If an irregular (bidi) divorce does not take place, or a triple divorce amounts to a single revocable divorce, what then is the need of saying: Whoever transgresses the bounds set by Allah (i.e. the method taught by the Sunnah), would wrong his own self; and you do not know Allah may after this bring about a situation of reconciliation? These two things would be meaningful only in case pronouncement of divorce against the method taught by the Sunnah should be harmful for which one may have to regret later, and the pronouncement of a triple divorce at once may not leave any room for reconciliation; otherwise, obviously by pronouncing a divorce which does not take effect at all one does not transgress the bounds set by Allah, which may be regarded as wronging one’s own self, and after a divorce which is in any case only revocable there does remain room for reconciliation; thus, there would be no need to say: Allah may after this bring about a situation of re-conciliation.
Here, one should again understand well the mutual relationship between (verses 228-230 of Surah Al-Baqarah) and (these verses of Surah At-Talaq). In Surah Al-Baqarah the number of divorces laid down is three of which after pronouncing the first two one retains the right to take his wife back and the right to re-marry her in case the wailingperiod has expired, without resort to legalization (tahlil), and if divorce is pronounced for the third time, the husband forfeits both these rights. These verses of Surah At-Talaq were not sent down to amend or cancel this rule but to teach the people how to use wisely the powers that they have been given to divorce their wives, which if used rightly could save homes from ruin, could protect the husband from remorse if he had pronounced a divorce. could provide him maximum opportunities for reconciliation, and even if separation had taken place, could show him a way to reunite in marriage as a last resort if the couple so desired. But if a person happens to use these powers unwisely, in a wrong way, he could only be wronging his own self and wasting all opportunities for making amends. It is just like a father’s giving three hundred rupees in his son’s possession and telling him to spend the amount as he may like; then advising him to the effect: Spend the money given to you carefully, at the right place, and piece meal, so that you may benefit by it fully. Otherwise, if you spend it unwisely and carelessly in wrong places, or spend the whole of it at once, you will incur losses, and then I would not give you any more. This advice would be meaningless it the father did not give the amount in the son’s possession at all, so that if he had wanted to spend it in a wrong place, he should be powerless to spend it, or if he had wanted to spend the whole amount, he could only take out a part of it while the rest lay safe with him in any case. If the condition be such, there could obviously be no need for this kind of advice.
6. That is, in case you have pronounced one or two revocable divorces, you should take a decision before the expiry of the waiting-period whether you would keep the wife in wedlock or send her away. If you decide to keep her, then you should keep her with honor and dignity and not with a view to tormenting and harassing her and getting another opportunity to prolong her waiting-period by divorcing her once again; and if you decide to part with her, then you should part with her gracefully, without indulging in any quarrel or vilification. If you still owe her the dower, or a part of it, pay it off, and give her something in addition also at her departure according to your means, as has been enjoined in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 241). (For further explanation, see (E.N. 86 of Surah Al-Ahzab).
7. Ibn Abbas says that this implies calling to witness two men both at divorce and at reconciliation. (Ibn Jarir). Imran bin Husain was asked: A man divorced his wife and then took her back, but he neither called anybody to witness pronouncement of the divorce nor resumption of the relation. He replied: You pronounced the divorce against the sunnah and you took your wife back against the sunnah. You should call to witness men both at divorce and at resumption of relation, and you should not commit this mistake again. (Abu Daud, Iba Majah). But the four Sunni Imams agree that to call men to witness the divorce and the resumption and separation is no condition for these acts to be valid, so that if there was no witness, neither divorce should take place nor resumption should be valid nor separation. But this condition has been enjoined so that the parties may not deny any of the facts later and in case there was a dispute the matter might be settled easily and any suspicions and doubts might also be removed. This command is just like the command: Have witnesses in case of commercial transactions. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 282). This does not mean that it is obligatory to have witnesses at business transactions, and if there was no witness, the transaction would be invalid; but this is a wise instruction which has been given to prevent disputes and it is good to follow it. Likewise, in the case of divorce and resumption also although a person’s act and conduct would be legally valid even without the witnesses yet caution demands that whatever is done, it should be witnessed, simultaneously or later, by two just men.
8. These words clearly show that the instructions given above are in the nature of advice and not law. If a man pronounces divorce against the approved method as explained above, or fails to reckon the waiting-period accurately, or expels the wife from the house without a good reason, or returns to her at the end of the waitingperiod only to harass her, or sends her away after a quarrel, or fails to call the men to witness the divorce, reconciliation, or separation, if will not affect the legal effects of divorce or reconciliation or separation at all. However, his acting against Allah’s advice would be a proof that his heart was devoid of the taste faith in Allah and the Last Day. That is why he adopted a course which a true believer would never adopt.
9. The context itself shows that here “fearing Allah in whatever one does” means to pronounce divorce in accordance with the approved method taught by the Sunnah, to reckon the waiting-period accurately, to avoid turning the wife out of the house, to take the wife back if one decides to keep her at the expiry of the waiting-period with the intention of keeping her equitably and to send her away in a fair manner if one decides to part with her, and to call two just men to witness the divorce, reconciliation or separation, as the case may be. In respect of this, Allah says that whoever acts in fear of Him, He will open for him a way out of the difficulties. This automatically gives the meaning that whoever does not fear Allah in these matters, will create for himself such complications and difficulties from which he will find no way out.
A study of these words clearly shows that the view of those who hold that the irregular (bidi) form of divorce does not take place at all and of those who regard a triple divorce pronounced at once or during the same period of purity as a single divorce, is not correct. For if an irregular form of divorce does not take place at all, it does not create any complication from which one may have to find a way out; and if only a single divorce takes place when one has pronounced three divorces at once, then also there arises no need for a person to seek a way out of a difficulty or complication.
10. It means: keeping the divorced wife in the house during the waiting period, to maintain her and to pay her the dower, or something in addition at departure certainly burdens a man financially. To spend on a woman whom one has already decided to send away because of strained relations will surely be irksome, and if the man is also poor, this expenditure will further pinch him. But a man, who fears Allah, should endure all this gracefully. Allah is not niggardly as the people are. If a person spends his wealth in accordance with His law, He will provide for him in a manner beyond all expectations.
11. That is, there is no power that can prevent Allah’s decree from enforcement.
12. This is in respect of the women who no longer menstruation and have reached menopause because of age. Their waiting-period will be reckoned from the day divorce was pronounced on them and three months imply three lunar months. If divorce was pronounced at the commencement of the lunar month, it is agreed that the waiting-period will be reckoned with regard to the sighting of the new moon; and if it was pronounced somewhere in the middle of the month, according to Imam Abu Hanifah, three months will have to be completed reckoning each month of 30 days. (Badaias-Sami).
As for the women whose courses are irregular due to some reason, the jurists have held different opinions:
Saeed bin al-Musayyab says that Umar ruled: If the woman who has been divorced stops having menses after having them once or twice after the divorce, she will wait for 9 months. If signs of pregnancy appear, well and good, otherwise after the passage of 9 months, she should observe the waiting-period of three additional months. Then she would be lawful for marriage to another person.
Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and Ikrimah say that the waitingperiod of the woman who has not menstruated for a year is three months.
Taus says that the waiting-period of the woman who menstruates once in a year, is three menstruations. This very opinion has been reported from Uthman, Ali and Zaid bin Thabit.
Imam Malik relates that a person by the name Habban divorced his wife during the period when she was suckling her child. A year passed on it, but she did not have the menses. Then the man died. The divorced wife laid claim to inheritance. The case came before Uthman. He consulted with AIi and Zaid bin Thabit, and gave the decision that the woman was an heiress. The argument given was that the woman was neither of those women a who might have despaired of menstruation, nor of those girls who may not have menstruated yet: therefore, up till the husband’s death she was on the menses she had discharged last, and had still to pass her waiting-period.
The Hanafis say that the waiting-period of the woman, who no longer menstruates, which may not be on account of menopause so that there may be no hope of her having it later will either be reckoned from the menstruation if she has it in the future, or in accordance with the age at which women generally reach menopause, and after attaining that age she will pass three months of the waiting period in order to be released from the marriage bond. The same opinion is held by Imam Shafei, Imam Thauri and Imam Laith, and the same also is the view of Umar, Uthman and Zaid bin Thabit. Imam Malik has adopted the view of Umar and Abdullah bin Abbas and it is this: The woman will first pass nine months. If she does not have her menses during this period, she will pass three months of the waiting-period like the woman who has despaired of menstruation. Ibn al-Qasim explaining the viewpoint of Imam Malik says: The period of nine months will be reckoned from the day she became free from the previous menstrual discharge and not from the day divorce was pronounced on her. (All these have been taken from al-Jassas, Ahkam al-Quran and al-Kasani, Badai as-Sanai).
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal says that if the woman whose waiting-period started from menstruation despairs of menstruation during the waiting-period, she will be required to pass the waiting-period of the menopausal woman and not of the women who menstruate regularly. And if she stops menstruating and the cause of the cessation is unknown, she will first pass nine months in the doubt of pregnancy, and then will have to complete three months of the waiting-period, And if the cause of the cessation of the menses becomes known, e.g. a disease, or suckling, or some other cause, she will lie in the waiting-period till the time that either she starts having the menses again so that the waiting-period may be reckoned in accordance with the courses, or she reaches menopause and may pass the waiting-period of the menopausal woman. (Al-Insaf).
13. They may not have menstruated as yet either because of young age, or delayed menstrual discharge as it happens in the case of some women, or because of no discharge at all throughout life which, though rare, may also be the case. In any case, the waiting-period of such a woman is the same as of the woman, who has stopped menstruation. That is three months from the time divorce was pronounced.
Here, one should bear in mind the fact that according to the explanations given in the Quran the question of the waiting period arises in respect of the women with whom marriage may have been consummated, for there is no waitingperiod in case divorce is pronounced before the consummation of marriage. (Surah Al-Ahzab Ayat 49). Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for the girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl in marriage at this age but it is also permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Quran has held as permissible.
The girl who is divorced in the state when she has not yet menstruated and then she starts having the menses during the waiting-period, will reckon her waiting-period from the same menstruation and her waiting-period will be reckoned just like the woman who menstruates regularly.
14. The consensus of scholarly opinion is that the waiting period of the pregnant divorced woman is till child birth. But a difference of opinion has occurred about whether the same also applies to the woman whose husband may die during her pregnancy. The dispute has arisen because in (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 234) the waiting-period of the woman whose husband dies has been laid down as four months and ten days, and there is no mention whatever whether this injunction applies to all widows generally or only to those who are not pregnant.
Ali and Abdullah bin Abbas, reading both these verses together, have drawn the rule that the waiting-period of the pregnant divorced woman is till child-birth, but that of the pregnant widow is the longer of the two periods, whether it be of the divorced woman or of the pregnant woman. For example, if delivery takes place before four months and ten days, she will have to observe a waiting period of four months and ten days, and if it does not take place till then, her waiting period will come to an end at delivery. The same is the viewpoint of the Imamiah sect of the Shias.
Abdullah bin Masud says that this verse of Surrah At- Talaq was sent down after the verse of Surah Al-Baqarah; therefore, the later injunction has made the earlier injunction particularly applicable to the non pregnant widow, and has laid down the waiting-period of every pregnant woman as till child birth, whether she is divorced or widowed. Accordingly, whether delivery takes place immediately after the husband’s death, or takes longer than four months and ten days, the woman’s waiting period in any case will come to an end at the birth of the child. This view is supported by this tradition of Ubayy bin Kaab. He says: When this verse of Surah At-Talaq came down, I asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): Is it both for the divorced woman and for the widow? The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: Yes. In another tradition the Prophet (peace be upon him) further explained it thus: The waiting period of every pregnant woman is till child-birth. (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abu Hatim). Ibn Hajar says that although its reliability is questionable, yet as it has been related through several chains of transmitters, one has to admit that it has some basis. More than that, it is further confirmed by the incident concerning Subaiah-i Aslamiyyah which occurred in the sacred time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself. She became a widow during her pregnancy and a few days after her husband’s death (according to some traditions 20 days, (according to others 23 days, 25 days, 35 days or 40 days) she delivered her burden. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked for his ruling concerning her and he permitted her to remarry. This incident has been related by Bukhari and Muslim in different ways on the authority of Umm Salamah. This same incident has been related by Bukhari Muslim, Imam Ahmed, Abu Daud, Nasai and Ibn Majah with different chains of transmitters on the authority of Miswar bin Makhramah also. Muslim has cited this statement of Subaiah-i Aslamiyyah herself: I was the wife of Saed bin Khawalah. He died during the Farewell Pilgrimage when I was pregnant. A few days after his death I gave birth to a child. A man told me that I could not remarry before the expiry of four months and ten days. I went and asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he gave the verdict: You have become lawful as soon as you gave birth to the child: you can re-marry if you so like. This tradition has been related briefly by Bukhari also.
This same viewpoint has been reported from a large number of the companions. Imam Malik, Imam Shafei, Abdur Razzaq, Ibn Abi Shaibah and Ibn al-Mundhir have related that when Abdullah bin Umar was asked concerning the pregnant widow, he replied that her waiting-period is till childbirth. At this a man from among the Ansar confirmed, saying: Umar had said that even if the deceased husband had not yet been buried, and his body still lay on bed in the house and his wife gave birth to a child, she would become pure and lawful for remarriage. The same opinion was held by Abu Hurairah, Abu Mansur Badri and Aishah, and the same has been adopted by the four Sunni Imams and the other early jurists.
The Shafeis say that if the pregnant woman has more children than one in her womb, her waiting-period will come to an end at the birth of the last child; even if it is still born, the waiting-period will expire at its birth. In case of abortion, if the mid-wives, on the basis of their knowledge and experience, state that it was not merely a piece of flesh but had human form, or that it was not a tumor but a human embryo, their statement will be admitted and the waiting period will expire. (Mughni, al-Muhtaj). The viewpoint of the Hanbalis and the Hanafis is also very close to it. But in case of abortion, their viewpoint is that unless the human form is clearly visible, the mid-wives’ statement that it is human embryo, will not be admitted and this will not bring the waiting-period to an end. (Bade ias-Sanei; Al- Insaf). But in the modern times by means of medical investigation it can be easily ascertained whether what has been expelled from the womb was actually something of the nature of human fetus or a kind of tumor or congealed blood. Therefore, whenever it is possible to obtain expert medical opinion, it can be easily decided whether what is described as abortion, was really abortion or not, and whether it has brought the waiting-period to an end or not. However, in cases when such medical investigation is not possible, the viewpoint of the Hanbalis and the Hanafis itself is preferable and it is not fit to rely on the ignorant mid-wives.
15. Although this is a general exhortation which applies to all matters and conditions of human life, yet in this particular context the object is to warn the Muslims to follow the commands mentioned above in fear of God, no matter what responsibilities they may have to shoulder in consequence thereof, for as a reward for this Allah will remove their ills and will forgive their sins and will enhance their rewards in the Hereafter. Obviously, the waitingperiod of the divorced woman whose term has been prescribed as three months will be longer than that of the woman whose term has been appointed as three menstruation, and the term of the pregnant woman may be several months longer. To shoulder the responsibility of the maintenance and lodging of the woman whom a man may have decided to give up, during this whole period, will be an unbearable burden for the people, but Allah’s promise is that He will lighten the burden that is borne in fear of Him and in following His command, by His special bounty and grace, and will reward the person much more generously and richly in comparison to the small burden borne by him in the world.
16. The jurists agree that if the woman has been divorced revocable, the husband is responsible for her lodging and maintenance. They also agree that if the woman is pregnant, the husband will bear the responsibility of her lodging and maintenance till child-birth whether she has been divorced revocable or irrevocably. However, the difference of opinion has arisen about whether the non pregnant woman who has been divorced irrevocably is entitled to both lodging and maintenance, or only to lodging, or to neither.
One group says that she is entitled to both lodging and maintenance. This is the opinion of Umar, Abdullah bin Masud, Ali bin Husain (Imam Zain al-Abidin), Qadi Shuraih and Ibrahim Nakhai. The same has been adopted by the Hanafis, and the same is also the viewpoint of Imam Sufyan Thauri and Hasan bin Saleh. This is supported by the Hadith of Daraqutni in which Abdullah bin Jabir reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The woman who has been divorced thrice has a right to lodging and maintenance during the waiting-period. This is further supported by those traditions in which it has been reported that Umar had rejected the Hadith of Fatimah bint-Qais, saying: We cannot abandon the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of our Prophet (peace be upon him) on the word of a woman. This shows that the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the knowledge of Umar must be that such a woman is entitled to both maintenance and lodging. Furthermore in a tradition from Ibrahim Nakhai there is the explanation that Umar rejecting the Hadith of Fatimah bint-Qais, had said: I have heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say that such a woman has a right to lodging as well as to maintenance. The first argument that Imam Abu Bakr al Jassas has given in his discussion of this question in his Ahkam al-Quran is that Allah has explicitly said: Divorce them for their prescribed waiting periods. This divine command also applies to that person who might have taken his wife back after divorcing her twice in the first instance, and now he is left with only one divorce to pronounce. His second argument is: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught this method of pronouncing divorce that one should either pronounce divorce in such a period of purity in which one may not have had sexual intercourse, or in a state when the signs of a woman’s being pregnant might have appeared. In this he did not make any distinction between the first, second, or final divorce. Therefore, the divine command: Lodge them (in the waiting period) where you yourselves live, will be regarded as relevant to every form of divorce. His third argument is: The maintenance and lodging of the pregnant woman, whether divorced revocable or irrevocably, is binding on the husband, and in respective the non-pregnant revocably divorced woman also both these rights are binding. This shows that the maintenance and lodging have not been made incumbent on the basis of pregnancy but because both are legally bound to stay in the husband’s house. Now, if the same injunction be applicable to the irrevocably divorced non-pregnant woman also, there can be no reason why her lodging and maintenance should not be incumbent on the man divorcing her.
The second group says that the irrevocably divorce woman has a right to lodging but not to maintenance. This is the viewpoint of Saed bin al-Musayyab, Suleman bin Yasar, Ata, Shabi, Auzai, Laith and Abu Ubaid, and Imam Shafei and Imam Malik also have adopted the same. But in Mughni al-Muhtaj a different viewpoint of Imam Shafei has been stated as will be explained below.
The third group say that the irrevocably divorced woman is neither entitled to lodging nor to maintenance. This is the viewpoint of Hasan Basri, Hammad Ibn Laila, Amr bin Dinar, Taus, Ishaq bin Rahawaih and Abu Thaw. Ibn Jarir has cited this very viewpoint as of Ibn Abbas, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and the Imamiah sect of the Shias also have adopted the same, and in Mughni al-Muhtaj the viewpoint of the Shafeis also has been stated to be this: The woman who is passing her waiting-period on the basis of divorce has an obligatory right to lodging, whether she is pregnant or not, but for the woman who has been irrevocably divorced, it is not obligatory. And for the nonpregnant irrevocably divorced woman there is neither maintenance nor clothing. This viewpoint in the first place is based on this verse of the Quran: You do not know: Allah may after this bring about a situation (of reconciliation). From this they conclude that this could be correct only about a revocably divorced woman, and not about an irrevocably divorced one. Therefore, the command of lodging the divorced woman in the house is specifically applicable only to the revocably divorced woman. Their second reasoning is from the Hadith of Fatimah bint-Qais, which has been reported in the collections of Hadith through many authentic channels.
This Fatimah bint-Qais al-Fihriyyah was one of the earliest emigrants. She was esteemed for her wisdom and sagacity, and the consultative body of the companions on the occasion of Umar’s martyrdom had met together at her house. She was first married to Abu Amr bin Hafs bin al- Mughirah al-Makhzumi. After she was separated by him by three divorces, the Prophet (peace be upon him) married her to Usamah bin Zaid. According to reports, her husband, Abu Amr had pronounced two divorces on her. Then, when he was sent to Yemen along with Ali, he also sent from there the third and final divorce. According to some, lodge her in the house during the waiting-period and maintain her. According to some others, she herself had laid claim to maintenance and lodging. Whatever be the case, the husband’s relatives refused to concede her claim. Thereupon she took her case to the Prophet (peace be upon him), and he gave the decision that she was neither entitled to maintenance nor to lodging. According to a tradition, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The husband is under obligation to provide maintenance and lodging to the woman only in case he had a right to return to her, but when he had no such right, she was neither entitled to maintenance nor to lodging. (Musnad Ahmad). Tabarani and Nasai have also related almost the same tradition, the concluding words of which are to the effect: But when she is not lawful for him until she marries another man than him, there is neither maintenance for her nor lodging. After giving this decision the Prophet (peace be upon him) first commanded her to pass her waiting period in the house of Umm Sharik and then told her to stay in the house of Ibn Umm Muktum.
However, the arguments of those who have not accepted this Hadith are as follows:
In the first place, she had been commanded to leave the house of her husband’s relatives because she was rude of tongue and they were fed up with her ill-temper. Saed bin al-Musayyab says: This lady by reporting her Hadith has misguided the people. The truth is that she was rude and impudent, that is why she was lodged in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum. (Abu Daud). In another tradition Saed bin al Musayyab is reported to have said: She had been impudent and rude to her husband’s relatives; that is why she was commanded to shift from that house. (Al-Jassas). Suleman bin Yasar says: Her expulsion from the house was because of her ill-temper. (Abu Daud).
Secondly, her tradition was repudiated by Umar at a time when many of the companions were still living, and the matter could be fully investigated. Ibrahim Nakhai says: When this Hadtih of Fatimah reached Umar, he said: We cannot abandon a verse of the Book of Allah and a saying of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) because of the saying of a woman who seems to be conjecturing. I have myself heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say that the woman who has been divorced irrevocably is entitled to both lodging and maintenance. (AI-Jassas). Abu Ishaq says: I was sitting with Aswad bin Yazid in the mosque of Kufah, when Shabi made mention of the Hadith of Fatimah bint-Qais. Aswad thereupon threw pebbles at Shabi and said: When in the time of Umar this tradition of Fatimah was brought to his notice, he said: We cannot cast off the Book of our Lord and the Sunnah of our Prophet (peace be upon him) on the strength of the tradition of a woman. Maybe she has forgotten. The woman has a right to maintenance as well as to lodging, for Allah says: Do not turn them out of their houses. This tradition has been reported in Muslim, Abu Daud, Tirmidhi and Nasai with some variation in wording.
Thirdly, during the reign of Marwan when a dispute arose in respect of the irrevocably divorced woman, Aishah had subjected the tradition of Fatimah bint-Qais to severe criticism. Qasim bin Muhammad says: I asked Aishah: Don’t you know the incident concerning Fatimah? She replied: Better not mention the Hadith of Fatimah. (Bukhari), The words of Aishah in the other tradition related by Bukhari are to the effect: What has happened to Fatimah? Is she not afraid of God? In the third tradition Urwah bin Zubair says that Aishah said: There is no good for Fatimah in reporting this hadith. In still another tradition Urwah says that Aishah expressed great indignation against Fatimah and said: She in fact was in an empty house, where she had no sympathizer; therefore, for the sake of her convenience the Prophet (peace be upon him) instructed her to change her house.
Fourthly, this lady was later married to Usamah bin Zaid, and Muhammad bin Usamah says: Whenever Fatimah made mention of this Hadith, my father would throw at her whatever fell in his hand. (AI-Jassas). Obviously, had not Usamah known that the Sunnah was contrary to what Fatimah said, he could not have felt so annoyed at the mention of this Hadith.
17. There is complete consensus that whether the woman has been divorced revocably or irrevocably, her husband is responsible for her lodging and maintenance till child-birth if she is pregnant. However, a difference of opinion has arisen in case the husband of the pregnant woman may have died, irrespective of whether he may have died after pronouncing the divorce, or may not have pronounced any divorce and the woman may have been widowed during pregnancy. In this regard, the jurists have expressed the following views:
(1) Ali and Abdullah bin Masud hold that she has an obligatory right to maintenance in the husband’s undivided legacy. The same has also been cited as the view of Abdullah bin Umar, Qadi Shuraih, Abul Aliyah, Shabi and Ibrahim Nakhai, and a saying of Abdullah bin Abbas also supports the same. (Alusi, Al-Jassas).
(2) Ibn Jarir has cited another view of Abdullah bin Abbas to the effect: If the deceased person has left some inheritance, expenditure should be made on her from the share of the child of her womb; and if he has left no inheritance, the heirs of the deceased should spend on her, for Allah says: And the same responsibility for the maintenance of the mother devolves upon the heir. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 233).
(3) Jabir bin Abdullah, Abdullah bin Zubair, Hasan Basri, Hadrat Saed bin al-Musayyab and Ata bin Abi Rabah say that there is no maintenance for her in the inheritance of the deceased husband. A third saying from Abdullah bin Abbas also has been cited to be the same. (Al-Jassas). This means that she can meet her expenses from the share of inheritance that she may receive from the husband’s legacy, but she has no right of inheritance on the husband’s combined legacy, which may burden the other heirs.
(4) Ibn Abi Laila says: Her maintenance in the deceased husband’s legacy is as obligatory as is somebody’s debt obligatory in his legacy. (Al-Jassas). That is, just as a debt has to be paid out of a combined legacy, so also should her maintenance be paid out of it.
(5) Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Abu Yusuf, Imam Muhammad and Imam Zufar say: She has neither any right to lodging in the deceased husband’s legacy nor to maintenance, for nothing belongs to the deceased after death: whatever remains after him belongs to the heirs. The widowed pregnant woman, therefore, cannot have any maintenance in their property. (Hedayah, Al-Jassas). The same is the viewpoint of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Al- Insaf).
(6) Imam Shafei says: There is no maintenance for her; but she has a right to lodging (Mughni al-Muhtaj). His reasoning is based on the incident concerning Furaiah bint- Malik, sister of Abu Saed Khudri: when her husband was put to death, the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded her to pass her waiting-period in the house of her husband. (Abu Daud, Nasai, Timtidhi). Furthermore, they deduce their view from the tradition of Daraqutni: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: there is no maintenance for the widowed pregnant woman. The same is the view of Imam Malik also. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi).
18. This divine command teaches several important things:
(1) That the woman is the owner of her milk; otherwise, obviously she could not be authorized to receive wages for it.
(2) That as soon as she becomes free from the marriage bond with her previous husband at child-birth, she is not legally bound to nurse her child; but if the father desires that she nurse it, and she also is willing for it, she would suckle it and would be entitled to receive the wages.
(3) that the father also is not legally bound to have the child suckled only by its mother;
(4) that the maintenance of the child is the responsibility of the father.
(5) that the mother is best entitled to suckle the child, and the other woman can be employed for suckling only in case the mother herself is not willing for it, or demands too high a wage for the father to pay. The sixth rule that automatically follows is that if the other woman also demands the same wages as the mother, then the mother’s right is superior.
The following are the opinions of the jurists in this regard:
Dahhak says: The child’s mother is best entitled to suckle it, but she has the option to suckle it or not. However, if the child does not take to the new nurse-maid, the mother will be compelled to suckle it. A similar opinion is held by Qatadah, Ibrahim Nakhai and Sufyan Thauri. ibrahim Nakhai adds: In case another woman is not available for nursing the child, the mother will be compelled to nurse it. (Ibn Jarir). According to Hedayah: If at the separation of the parents the child has not yet been weaned, it is not obligatory that the mother alone should suckle it. However, if another woman is not available, the mother would be compelled to suckle the child. And if the father says: I shall employ another woman to suckle the child on wages instead of having it suckled by the mother on wages, and if the mother demands the same wages as the other woman, or is willing to perform the service gratis, the mother’s right will be regarded as superior. And if the child’s mother demands higher wages, the father will not be compelled to accede to her demand.
19. This contains a severe rebuke both for the father and for the mother. The style clearly shows that if the two do not settle the question of the child’s suckling amicably, overlooking the previous bitterness that led to divorce, it is not approved by Allah, The woman has been warned to the effect: If you demand too high a wage only in order to embarrass the man, the fosterage of the child is not dependent on you alone: some other woman will muse it. And the man has also been warned as if to say: It would be unfair if you pressed the mother unjustly only because she was the mother. In this connection, also see (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayat 233) for details.
8-12 Rebellion against Allah’s commandment may bring stern reckoning or exemplary punishment, so fear Allah and adhere to His laws
(65:8) How many towns20 rebelled against the commandment of their Lord and His Messengers. Then We called them to a stern accounting, and subjected them to a harrowing chastisement. (65:9) So they tasted the evil fruit of their deeds; and the fruit of their deeds was utter loss. (65:10) Allah has laid in store for them a grievous chastisement. So fear Allah, O people of understanding who have attained to faith. Allah has sent down to you an Exhortation, (65:11) a Messenger21 who rehearses to you Allah’s verses that clearly expound the Guidance so that He may bring out those that believe and act righteously, from every kind of darkness into light.22 He will admit whosoever believes in Allah and acts righteously to Gardens beneath which rivers flow. They shall abide in them forever. For such has Allah made an excellent provision. (65:12) Allah it is He Who created seven heavens, and, like them, the earth.23 His commandment descends among them. (All this is being stated so that you know) that Allah has power over everything, and that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge.
20. Now, the Muslims are being warned of the fate they would meet in this world and in the Hereafter is they disobeyed the commands they have been given through the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah and His Book and the rewards they would receive if they adopted obedience.
21. Some of the commentators opine that admonition here implies the Quran and Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Some others say that admonition implies the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself, because he was admonition for the people through and through. We are of the opinion that this second interpretation is more correct, for according to the first commentary the sentence would read: We have sent down to you an ddmonition and sent such a Messenger. Obviously, there is no need for such an interpolation in the Quranic passage when it is perfectly meaningful, even more so, without it.
22. Out of darknesses into light: out of the darknesses of ignorance into the light of knowledge. The full significance of this divine saying becomes obvious only when one studies the other ancient and modern family laws of the world pertaining to divorce, waiting-period and provision of maintenance. This comparative study will show that in spite of the un-ending alterations, modifications and continual legislation no nation has been able so far to build for itself such a rational, natural and socially useful law as had been given by this Book and the Messenger (peace be upon him) who brought it 1500 wears ago. It has never stood in need of revision nor it ever will. There is no occasion here for a detailed comparative study of it; we have, however, given a brief specimen of it in the concluding portion of our book Huquq az-Zaujain; the scholars who are interested in the subject can for themselves compare the world’s religious and secular laws with this law of the Quran and Sunnah.
23. “The like of them” does not mean that He created as many earths as the heavens, but it means that He has also created several earths as He has created several heavens. “Of the earth” means that just as this earth which is inhabited by man is serving as bed and cradle for the creatures living on it, so has Allah made and set other earths also in the universe. which serve as beds and cradles for the creatures living on them. Moreover, there are clear pointers in the Qur’an to the effect that living creatures are not found only on the earth but also in the heavens. (For instance, see (Surah Ash-Shura: 29 and E.N. 50) on it. In other words! the countless stars and planets seen in the sky are not all lying desolate, but like the earth there are many among them which are inhabited.
From among the earliest commentators Ibn Abbas is the one, who had expressed this truth in the period when man was not even prepared to imagine that in the universe there are other habitats also, apart from the earth, where rational creatures live. Even the scientists of today are yet in doubt about this being a reality, nothing to say of the people living 1500 years ago, That is why Ibn Abbas felt hesitant about whether he should say such a thing before the common people are not, because he feared it might affect their faith. Mujahid says that when he was asked the meaning of this verse, he said: “If I give you the commentary of this verse, you will turn disbelievers, and your disbelief will be that you will deny it.” Almost the same thing has been related from Sa’id bin Jubair, saying; Ibn Abbas said: what can be the guarantee that if I tell you its meaning, you would not turn disbelievers?” (lbn Jarir, ‘Abd bin Humaid). However, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Hakim and Baihaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman and Kitab al-Asma’ was Sifat have cited, on the authority of Abud-Doha, this commentary from Ibn Abbas in different words: “In each of those earths there is a Prophet like your Prophet, an Adam like your Adam, a Noah like your Noah, an Abraham like your Abraham, and a Jesus like your Jesus.” This tradition has been related by Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bat and by Ibn Kathir in his Commentary, and Imam Dhahbi says: “It has been reported authentically, but in my knowledge none apart from Abud-Doha has related it; therefore, it is an uncommon and rare tradition.” Some other scholars regard it as a falsehood and Mulla ‘AIi; Qari, in his Maudu at Kabir (p. 19), has described it as a fabrication, and written: `Even if it is a tradition from Ibn ‘Abbas, it is based on Israelite traditions.” But the truth is that the actual reason why the people have rejected it is their regarding it as remote from reason and beyond understanding; otherwise there is nothing in it which may by itself be opposed to reason. Thus, Allama Alusi in his discussion of it in his commentary writes: “There is neither any intellectual barrier to taking it as correct nor religious. It only means that in every earth there is a creation which turns to its origin just as mankind in our earth turns to Adam (peace be upon him). and in every earth there are individuals, who are distinguished among others just as the Prophets Noah and Abraham (peace be upon them) are distinguished among us. ” A little below the Allama writes: “The earths may be more than seven, and likewise the heavens also may not be only seven. To rest content with the number seven, which is an indivisible integer, does not necessarily negate the higher numbers.” Then, about the distances between one heaven and another, which have been stated as five hundred years or so in some Ahadith. the ‘Allama says: “This is not meant to give the exact measurement of the distances, but to express the truth in a manner easily comprehensible to the people.”