When a man and a woman tie the knot, it is expected that they will live happily ever after. In most cases, it happens just like that. The married couple lives together till the last breath of either the wife or the husband. But sometimes things do not go smoothly and there appear disputes between the couple. They try to resolve the disputes but fail to do so. This is the point, where the couple is allowed to part ways. The couple can decide to do the separation. What do Quran and Hadith say about divorce, let`s have a look at it.
Types of Divorce According to Islam
There are two basic ways by which a couple can part ways; Tallaq i.e Divorce, and khula`a. Divorce can be given by man only. Women usually don`t have the right to divorce, until they are given this right at the time of the matrimonial agreement; called Nikah. If a woman is given this right, she can divorce her husband, if she wants to divorce. In this case, the husband is bound to pay Mehr to his ex-wife. Another way for a woman to get rid of an unwanted husband and unpleasant bond is Khula. In this case, a wife can leave her Mehr to get a divorce from her husband. This usually happens when the wife wants to take a divorce but the husband does not want to divorce. Islam does not bond a man or a woman to drag an unpleasant relationship. Instead, it emphasizes Talaq e Hasan, which means to divorce decently.
Allah Almighty said in Quran e Kareem.
“Divorce is twice. Then, either keep (her) in an acceptable manner or release (her) with good treatment. And it is not lawful for you to take anything of what you have given them unless both fear that they will not be able to keep within limits of Allah…..” (2, 239…)
Divorce in Quran
Quran gives clear teachings about domestic life. All aspects of matrimonial life are discussed in detail, in Quranic verses. There is a whole Surah named Sura tu Talaq, which is the 65th Sura of Quran e Kareem. It gives detailed information about Divorce in Quran. Similarly, Sura e Nisa also deals with Nikah and talaq.
“O Prophet peace be upon him! Instruct the believers when you intend to divorce women, then divorce them with concern for their waiting period and count it accurately and fear Allah, your Lord. Do not force them out of their homes, nor should they leave_ unless they commit blatant misconduct. These are the limits set by Allah and whoever transgresses Allah`s limits, has truly wronged his soul. You never know, perhaps Allah will bring about a change (of the heart) later. (65; 1)
These verses tell a man about the level of decency, one should maintain if talaq is inevitable between a couple. Iddat; waiting period is a period, in which a woman should stop herself from another marriage. She has to complete three menstrual periods if the divorced woman is a young menstruating woman. If the wife is too young or too old to menstruate, her waiting period is three months and if a woman is pregnant, her iddat is the birth of a child. A man is instructed to keep the divorced woman in his house during the waiting period. This period must be passed healthily and decently. The purpose of this period is to refrain from any ambiguity about the father of the child if the woman got pregnant after the divorce.
Similar orders are narrated in another verse, as follows.
“Let them live where you live during their waiting period according to your means. And do not harass them to make their stay unbearable. If they are pregnant then maintain until they deliver. And if they nurse your child, compensate them, and consult together courteously. But if you fail to reach an agreement, then another woman will nurse the child for the father.” (65, 6)
The above verses clearly describe the duties of a man to maintain a peaceful environment for the woman, after their divorce, and during the waiting period.
“Then when they have almost reached the end of their waiting period, either retain them honorably or separate from them honorably. And call two of your reliable men to witness either way and let the witness bear true testimony for the sake of Allah. This is enjoined on whoever has faith in Allah and the last day. And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make a way out for them.” (65, 2)
There are two more ways of divorce in Islam, Ila, and Zihaar. These are unusual conditions and have unusual orders regarding these situations. There are three stages of talaq according to Islam;
When a man divorces once, it is called Talaq e Raja`ee. In this case, the husband and wife can get together during the waiting period, without any difficulty. If a man divorces twice, it is called talaq e Ba`in. In this case, the man and the woman can perform nikah, once again, to get together to be husband and wife once again. But if a man divorces three times, it is called talaq e Mughalliza. In this case, husband and wife no more remain bonded in matrimonial bond. They got separated permanently. They cannot live like a couple once again.
Divorce in Hadith
Ahadith e Nabwi is the greatest source of Islamic laws and fiqh, after Quran e Kareem. There are detailed orders and procedures of divorce narrated in hadith. A complete chapter about divorce is included in sahah e Sitta: which means the seven most authentic books of Ahadith. Every hadith is a complete incident in itself. But a hadith Is very famous among the folks, though divorce is not forbidden in Islam, yet Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon Him said,
“The most detestable of lawful things before Allah is divorce.”
Though divorce is lawful and Allah Almighty allows every couple to part ways in case of any unpleasant situation, it is not an advisable and admirable thing in front of Allah Almighty.