A friend of mine got married in a family called “Ismaily family” (I hope you have heard about this family, a family of Agha khan) The man lived in USA and the girl used to live in Pakistan and man went to Pakistan and got married according to rules of Islam. The lady come to USA and started to live with her husband. After 5 months they had some problems and man divorced to my friend by saying in urdu three time in the presence of no one” I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you). It means (in Urdu): “Main tum ko talaq data hoon, main tum ko talaq data hoon, main tum ko talaq data hoon”
Now two months have passed. We are looking ahead for my cousin’s life.
My question is that has she got the divorce according to the rules of Islam and if so is there any possibilty for reunion?
I hope you understand the question. If you need any further information please let me know. Thanks
According to the Qur’an if a person, due to any reason, takes a decision of completely severing his relationship with his wife, he shall divorce his wife. After the declaration of his intention to divorce, he and his wife shall continue living in the same house for a period that covers three menstrual periods of the wife. This period is known as the “iddah“. It should be remembered that if during the iddah the woman is found out to be pregnant, the iddah shall then extend to the birth of the child. During the iddah the man shall be responsible for providing for the normal everyday expenses of the wife. Moreover, the man shall also have the right to review his decision of divorce during this period. In case the man decides on withdrawing his decision of divorce, the couple shall be allowed to live together as man and wife. On the other hand, if at the end of the iddah the man is still of the opinion that it is in the best interest of both the parties concerned to live a separate life, he shall then uphold his initial decision – the Qur’an advises the man that whatever decision he takes at the end of the iddah he should ask two just and honest persons to act as a witnesses to his decision. In case the initial decision of divorce is upheld at the end of the period the relationship of man and wife shall now be severed. The woman shall no longer be the wife of the man and vice versa. Both the man and the woman can now marry anyone of their respective choice and if the two want to reunite, they can do so by entering into a new nikah contract.
These directions, are the basic prescription of the Qur’an regarding divorce. However, there are certain extensions to this prescription also given in the Qur’an:
As stated earlier, if during the iddah the man decides on withdrawing his decision, the couple can carry on their lives as man and wife. Later on, if such circumstances arise once again where the man decides on divorcing his wife, the same directions shall apply (as explained above). If once again (after the second instance of divorce) the man decides (during the iddah) to withdraw his decision he shall be allowed to do so, and the two shall carry on living as man and wife. On the other hand, if the man decides on upholding his decision of divorce (at the end of the iddah) the two shall now be separated. Now, once again, if at some later time the man and the woman wish to reunite, they can do so by entering into a new nikah.
If a person, who due to any reason, had divorced his wife a second time and during the iddah of the second divorce had once again withdrawn his decision and then at a later time decides for the third time to sever his relationship with his wife, he shall once again be allowed to do so with the following alterations in the directions explained above:
He shall not be allowed to withdraw his decision during iddah; and
He shall not be allowed to remarry the woman after the expiry of iddah.
In this way, the Qur’an has practically closed all doors of reunion between the man and the wife after the third instance of divorce. There is only one exception to this rule: If (after the third instance of divorce) the woman marries another person and then due to any reason (other than to let the woman reunite with her first husband) that other person divorces the woman (or dies) the woman shall now be allowed to remarry her first husband. It must be kept in mind that after the second husband divorces the woman, all rules that were applicable to the divorce of the first husband shall apply to this divorce as well.
I have tried to explain the directions of the Qur’an regarding divorce in the above paragraphs. It should be quite clear from this explanation that after the first decision of divorce, the Qur’an has given two chances for a man and a woman to live as a family (man and wife). The reason for such an allowance is that the family should be given adequate chance of resolving its differences and its members should thus be allowed to realize and subsequently correct their mistakes. Moreover, these two chances of reunion also give the man and the woman a chance to avoid any sufferings that may result from a decision that has been taken in a state of high emotions and extreme anger. On the other hand, the Qur’an has restricted these chances to only two and has disallowed (almost) all possibility of reunion after the third instance of divorce. The reason for this restriction is to make people realize that divorce is not child play and any decision in this regard should be taken very seriously and only after giving it the consideration that it deserves. A person while taking this decision should be well aware that he has taken the first step in completely breaking a very sacred relationship. He should be well aware that he has taken a very grave step. He should keep in mind that if it is a wrong decision, he shall not be given unlimited chances of correcting his mistake.
If a person, disregarding the clear directions of the Qur’an in this respect, decides on forgoing all chances of reunion and consciously pronounces that he is using all three chances of divorcing his wife at the same time, he shall then not be allowed any chance of reuniting with his wife. It must be remembered that such an act is by no means recommended and shows clear disregard of the directions of the Shari`ah in this respect.
On the other hand, if a person pronounces three, four, five or a thousand divorces without any conscious intention of using up the three distinct chances given to him by the Shari`ah, it may be decided by the Islamic court that such a pronouncement be taken as one instance of divorce and subsequently the man may be given a chance to withdraw his decision during the iddah. The Prophet (PBUH) has also been reported to have taken such decisions. Once a person came to the Prophet and said that he had divorced his wife three times at once, and was very disturbed for having done so. The Prophet (PBUH) asked the person to declare under oath what exactly was his real intention while divorcing his wife. The person declared that he had actually intended only to use his first chance of divorcing his wife, but had repeated the pronouncement three times. The Prophet (PBUH) subsequently allowed the person to withdraw his decision, if he so desired, and to consider the instance as using up the first chance of divorce that was given to him by God.
In the light of the above explanation, your friend should decide for himself whether or not he has used up all three chances that were given to him by the Qur’an. It is not possible for me to give a specific decision on the basis of the data provided. If I were to give a specific opinion, I would have asked both the man and the wife for their separate statements (under oath) of the events that took place and also regarding the intention of the man while pronouncing his decision and the reason for repeating the stipulated words three times. After that I would have felt comfortable in giving a specific opinion and that too only if both the parties had expressed their agreement of accepting the opinion that I give. The reason for my saying so is quite simple. You see, as a student of Islam, I should restrict myself to informing people of the teachings of the Shari`ah. To give specific opinions or decisions in cases where the teachings of the Shari`ah have been disregarded is not my jurisdiction. It is the jurisdiction of the courts of law of the Muslim states of one’s residence. I should therefore only be willing to give such opinions if both parties to the particular matter make me an arbitrator and express their consent of accepting my decision as binding on them – whatever that decision may be.
29th March 1998