- According to Islamic law, what must a Muslim husband do to be divorced from his wife?
The Quran says, “Such divorce may be pronounced twice; then, either retain them in a becoming manner or send them away with kindness.” (2:230) A husband must divorce his wife multiple times, with a required period of time in between each divorce where reconciliation is encouraged. “And when you divorce your wives and they approach the end of their appointed period, then either retain them in a becoming manner; or send them away in a becoming manner; but retain them not wrongfully so that you may transgress. And whoso does that, surely wrongs his own soul. And do not make a jest of the commandments of Allah” (2:232)
A woman can seek divorce from her husband for any reason. Sahih Bukhari narrates: “The wife of Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! I do not blame Thabit for any defects in his character or his religion, but I am afraid that I (being a Muslim) may become unthankful for Allah’s Blessings.” On that, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said (to her), ‘Will you return his garden to him?” She said, “Yes.” So she returned his garden to him and the Prophet (ﷺ) told him to divorce her.” (https://sunnah.com/bukhari/68/25) The wife did not have any objection to her husband, but Prophet Muhammad (sa) established her right to be granted divorce.
Although divorce is a right, using this right carelessly is discouraged for both men and women. Ibn Majah narrates, “The Messenger of Allah said: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce.”” (https://sunnah.com/urn/1320970)
Khan leaves out the fact that all a man need do in order to divorce his wife is say to her, “Taaleq,” that is “(You are) divorced.” If he says it once or twice, he can take her back simply if he decides to do so. But if he says it three times, he cannot take her back until she marries another man, consummates that marriage, and is divorced in turn by her new husband.
This is all based on the Qur’an: “Divorce is twice. Then, either keep her in an acceptable manner or release her with good treatment….And if he has divorced her for the third time, then she is not lawful to him afterward until she marries a husband other than him. And if the latter husband divorces her, there is no blame upon the woman and her former husband for returning to each other if they think that they can keep the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah, which He makes clear to a people who know.” (2:229-230)
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