La Tahzan Wa La Khauf

Don't Be Sad My Friends

Divorce In Islam

Moreover the procedure of divorce in Islam is such as to encourage reconciliation where possible. After divorce the woman should wait three monthly cycles during which her husband remains responsible for her welfare and maintenance. He is not permitted to drive her out of the house during this period. She has been advised not to leave the house of the divorcing husband, in order to enhance the chances of reconciliation, as well as to protect her right of sustenance during the three months waiting period. The main purpose of this waiting period is to clarify whether the divorced wife is or is not expecting a child. Its second use is as a cooling-off period during which the relatives and other members of the family or of the community may try to help towards a reconciliation and better understanding between the partners. The Qur'an says:
"And if you fear a breach between the two, then appoint judge from his people and a judge from her people; if they both desire agreement, Allah will effect harmony between them, surely Allah is Knowing, Aware." (4:35).
If they are reconciled they may resume the marriage relations at any time within the waiting period, whereupon the divorce is automatically revoked. If further trouble arises and divorce is pronounced a second time, the same procedure is followed. Only if the matter reaches a third divorce does it become irrevocable. The wife is then to leave the house and is free after three monthly cycles to marry another man if she wishes. The first husband is not then permitted to remarry her unless she has in the meantime married another man and been divorced in usual legal manner.
This procedure is the normal one followed if the husband is the one seeking divorce or if the divorce is by mutual consent. If the wife seeks divorce against the wishes of the husband she may take her case to the court and obtain divorce.
An instance was reported at the time of the Prophet when a woman came to him saying that although her husband was a good man and she had no complaint against his treatment, she disliked him greatly and could not live with him. The Prophet directed that she should return to the husband a garden which he had given to her as her dowry, as the condition of her divorce. This procedure is sanctioned in the Qur'an where Allah says:
"And if you fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of Allah, then there is no sin for either of them, if the woman redeems herself with that" (2:229).
One may observe that modern developments in marriage law in England and other Western countries are tending towards the Islamic pattern, albeit unconsciously, in many ways, stressing guidance and counselling before divorce, privacy of divorce proceedings and speeding of the process of divorce once it has been established that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
The law of Islam does not therefore compel unhappy couples to stay together, but its procedures help them to find a basis on which they can be reconciled with each other. If reconciliation is impossible the law does not impose any unnecessary delay or obstacle in the way of either partner's remarriage.
Right to Inheritance
Another right of the Muslim woman which is a part of Islamic law is the right to inherit property. The method of division of inheritance is clearly laid down in the Qur'an and the general rule is that man gets double. This may if taken in isolation from other legislation appear to be unfair; however, it must be remembered that in accordance with the verse of the Qur'an quoted earlier, men are charged with the maintenance of all the women and children in their family, and therefore their necessary obligations of expenditure are far higher than those of women. The half-share that a woman inherits may therefore be considered a generous one since it is for herself alone. Any such money or property which a woman owns or any business which she runs is entirely her own and her husband has no right to any of it.


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