My wife originally was from Pakistan who died of breast cancer in December 2001.
Leaving behind 5 kids aged 4, 8, 9, 14, and 15 respectively. I live in Las Vegas USA. I was suddenly in a situation with 5 children and no help. My parents living in Pakistan suggested that I get married asap so that I can have a woman in the house to look after the kids and household. Reluctantly I agreed. My parents found a female in our neighborhood in Pakistan who we were told has never been married before was willing to marry me and was prepared to take care of the children. I came to Pakistan with my children and we were married. Shortly, I applied for a visa for her and we all including myself, 5 children and the new wife went back to USA. I had thought that my worries are over as my family is back together again. But in a short period of time this started to create problems. She was not happy with the situation with the pretext of me giving more attention to kids. I tried my best to make things pleasing to her. She was also jealous of my deceased wife and was so jealous that she took out her belongings pictures and anything that she can lay her hand on destroyed it and trashed it. I always thought being out of the country for the first time was hard for her. But her attitude and mood swings did not stop. So much so that we had 2 incidents in which she called the police and made false accusations of me beating her up. Anyways that was disproved and the matter was hushed. I thought the burden of 5 kids is too much so I took the kids back to Pakistan to my parents last year and came back to live alone with her. I was sure that this will make her at ease. But her attitude became worse. Fighting, and cursing and foul language on her part was a routine. In the mean time my mother got seriously ill and it became very hard for her to take care of my kids. I was told to come back ASAP. I had little choice so the wife and I came back. I had this thought in my mind that the environment in Pakistan will do good to her and she will change. Not known to me was that my family had made up their mind that they will get rid of her as soon as we returned. I was put under immense pressure to an extreme. I had everyone telling me to get rid of her right away. I was unable to convince anyone that I needed more time. Buy my pleas fell on deaf ears. 3 days after our arrival I was told to divorce her or it will be a very bad thing that no one will be able to help me afterwards. Constant phone calls several times a day and pressure from my parents pushed me to a state of total madness. I was so sick and tired of this that I decided to go along and finish this affair once for all. I called my wife’s mother and younger sister and one neighbor of ours and told the mother that it was impossible for me to live with their daughter and that I was divorcing her. I said the divorce word 3 times. This started a big mess and has made me to this day unable to think straight and make any rational decision. I have extreme guilt that I did some thing that was wrong on my part irrespective of my wife’s behavior. I should have given her a chance to live here for at least 4 – 6 months and then decided upon what to do. Presence of her family and my family here could have made things a bit more acceptable and made things and differences to be sorted out. At least I would have tried as per Allah’s instructions. I did not want to say it 3 times but I did in one instance, I was in extreme rage and anger and never realized what I was doing is not the right way to do it.
Does this make talaq become effective? Secondly after we arrived in USA we went to the court house and got ourselves a new marriage license. Do I need to do a second talak to nullify the marriage license part?
Please guide me as to how this whole mess can be sorted out. Whether the talaq is valid and what is the fatwa/order from Koran and Hadith. Personally I never came back to Pakistan with the intention of divorcing my wife. But I was placed in a situation where I had little say and I did not stand up and said no.
Please advise me in detail. May Allah have mercy and Bless us all.
Another question is that since this talaq matter we have found out that my wife was previously married and divorced twice, though no divorce papers have been provided. Does this make the nikah valid or invalid? Also please advise if there is any possibility of taking her back as my wife. I have extreme feeling of guilt as to I did not follow the exact method as ordained by Allah of one talaq and wait, and then 2nd talaq and wait and then 3rd talaq.
I commiserate with you for what has happened in your life. Things really get pretty tough sometimes in a person’s life so as to make him resort to unseemly ways to get over with the perils of adverse circumstances.
I shall answer your question specifically in detail after I explain to you the divinely ordained procedure regarding divorce. A believer is obligated to follow it in case he finally decides to divorce his wife. This procedure has been expounded upon by the Almighty in the following verses of the Surah Talaq:
O Prophet, when you people decide to divorce your wives, divorce them according to the period of ‘Iddat. And count accurately this period. Neither should you turn them out of your houses nor shall they themselves leave. Except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness. These are the limits set by Allah. Anyone who transgresses the limits set by Allah does surely wrong his own soul. You know not if perchance Allah will bring about thereafter some new situation. Thus when the period of ‘Iddat reaches culmination, either take them back on equitable terms or part with them on equitable terms. And take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice, and establish the evidence (as) before Allah. Such is the admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out and provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: Surely, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion. Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the period of ‘Iddat, if you have any doubt, is three months, and for those who have not yet experienced courses (it is the same). For those who carry (life within their wombs) their period is until they deliver their burdens. And for those who fear Allah, He will make things easy for them. That is the command of Allah, which He has sent down to you. And if anyone fears Allah, He will remove his ills from him, and will enlarge His reward. Let the woman live where you stay (during the period of ‘Iddat) providing them sustenance according to your means. Harm them not, so as to tease them. And if they carry (life in their wombs), then spend (your substance) on them until they deliver their burden. And if they suckle your (offspring), give them their recompense. And take mutual counsel together (to decide the payment) according to what is just and reasonable. And if you find yourselves in difficulties, let another woman suckle (the child). Let the man of means spend 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. After a difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief. (65:1-7)
The principles regarding divorce that may be construed from these verses have been summarized below:
A husband will divorce his wife according the period of ‘Iddat (the period in which a woman is supposed to refrain from marrying anyone else after being divorced or after the demise of her husband). That means it is proscribed to divorce your wife to immediately get rid of her. Since this condition has been so promulgated in order to ascertain whether the wife is pregnant, the husband will divorce her just after the period of menstruation is over without establishing conjugal contact with her.
A husband has a right to retain her as his wife if he changes his mind before the culmination of her period of ‘Iddat. He will not be asked to take a second marriage license if he exercises his right before the expiry of ‘Iddat.
If the husband does not exercise his right to retain his wife after divorcing her and the period of ‘Iddat is expired, an ultimate separation shall take place between them.
This is the procedure that is incumbent upon a believer to observe if he divorces his wife. As regards the period of ‘Iddat, it must be kept in mind that it is a period of three courses for a divorced woman (2:228). In this period, it is never appropriate for the husband to compel her leave his home nor is she allowed to leave on her own. The underlying reason is to save a family from being torn asunder since it is the institution of family that the structure of entire society is erected.
Now the question is whether a divorce in reality takes place if the husband delivers it out of pressures or a sudden wave of fury and rage. My answer to the question is in the negative. This is actually a mistake that we make under evil influences. No intention or plan works behind this divorce. It is because of non compliance with the Divine Law of Divorce that when it was reported to the Prophet (pbuh) that Abdullah Bin ‘Umar (ra) had divorced his wife during her menses, He angrily said:
Ibn ‘Umar must return her to his house and keep her as his wife till she becomes clean and then menstruates and becomes clean again, whereupon, if he wishes to divorce her, he may do so while she is still clean and before having any sexual relations with her, for that is the legally prescribed period for divorce as Allah has ordered. (Bukhari, No. 4850)
I therefore maintain that your first divorce did not take place at all not to mention the second and the third. The misconception of triple divorces has sadly crept into our Muslim circles across the world. A little deliberation on the Law of Divorce reveals that it is not that the Almighty has asked of the believers to divorce their wives three times or even more so. Actually it is just a relaxation and an attempt to save a family from being destroyed that the provision for the revocation of divorce up to three times has been allowed1.
As far as the matter of previous marriages of your wife is concerned, I daresay you and your family should have been careful in this matter before the marriage took place. Now, it has been formalized, you must try to live with her peacefully and comfortably without bothering yourself about her previous marriages. From your statement, I have a feeling that your wife is asserting that she has legally been divorced but somehow has misplaced the documents. I think you must trust her and take her to your home to live with you. However, if you are of the opinion that it is not possible to keep things calm in future, you are allowed to divorce her by following the procedure delineated above. I though personally feel that you both must give it a sincere try to live a comfortable and peaceful life.
April 7, 2003