By Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajidi
(Translated from Urdu by Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam)
May 14th, 2012
The graph of divorce is continuously rising in the Muslim community. It is a disturbing phenomenon. Marriages are not solemnised to end in divorce. Shariah takes it as a very important problem. It demands second thoughts and continuity and that is why Nikah is not taken only as a marriage but it has been given the status of a Sunnah and a prayer.
On the second had, divorce is permitted in unavoidable circumstances. But it has been called abghazul mobahat - the most disliked thing in the eyes of God among those that have been permitted. It shows Allah does not like Talaq (Divorce) at all. Using the right to divorce on every little excuse is like inviting God’s wrath. According to one Hadees, “solemnise Nikah, do not utter the word ‘Talaq’ as this utterance makes “Arsh” (the throne of God) tremble.” (Tafseer-ul-Qurtabi: 149/8)
Thus the worry of Islamic scholars on the rising graph of divorce is understandable. It is their responsibility to pay attention to it and tell the people how important conjugal life is in the eyes of Islam and what devastating effect divorce has for the concerned families and the community at large. It is a sorry state of affairs that Muslim community is forgetting and losing its values and traditions. Copying western civilisation has taken off the glow of our culture. Co education, mingling freely of the two sexes, cultural and economic problems, extreme nudity and misuse of TV and internet etc have created such an un-Islamic atmosphere where pious relations like Nikah have lost their value.
Shocking it is that girls have themselves started demanding divorce. Most of the time their demand is without any solid ground. Divorce or ‘Khula’ (divorce from the girl’s side) is demanded, mostly, because it is seen as a hurdle in their independent life. There are many men who divorce their ‘old wives’ only because they feel no more attraction left in them. They have easy access to a ‘keep’ or a second wife for satisfying their sexual urges. Financial problems are also one of the reasons of the rising graph of divorce. There are times when wives wish to have their own way because of financial hardships in the family and there are times when men think the best way of getting out of the problems is to get a divorce.
All in all Muslim community is enveloped in disquiet. This expression of angst is taking a form of scourge. Feelings of jealousy, anger and greed are spreading like an epidemic. These depraved feelings sometimes take a person to crime and finish a family life, conjugal life and a community life. It is very important to get this situation under control otherwise coming days will be even more bitter for a married life.
Someone divorced his wife by uttering, Talaq, Talaq, Talaq, three times in one sitting in a state of rage, somewhere in UP, India. Islamic scholars not fulfilling their Islamic Sharia duty of reforming the community, started demanding with the help of media from Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband and All India Muslim Personal Law Board to accept these three ‘Talaqs’ or triple Talaq in one sitting as having the force of only one Talaq.
These scholars of Islam should have spread in the community and taught people the rules and regulations of Islam in this regard. Not only that they did not perform their Islamic duties, they started demanding changes in Sharia laws. Can there be anything more shocking than this? It is like asking the government to let the criminals of rape, murder and dacoity go scot free as they have committed the crime in an inebriated condition. More shocking is that this demand has been made by Islamic scholars. Had it been done by common persons it would not have been so surprising.
It is better to discuss Islamic Sharia laws and the objectives of Nikah before throwing light on the topic under discussion, ‘divorce’.
Islam is a natural and very balanced religion. Of all the qualities the greatest quality of Islam is its being a very balanced religion. Hence, all its orders are suitable to the nature of human being. Let us take the example of ‘sexual urge’. Islam has not made it an objective of life but neither has it left its followers free to satisfy their urge in whatever way they wish nor has it underestimated this natural demand.
Islam has shown and provided the way which will not only satisfy this natural urge but it will also provide a pleasant homely life to its followers. By following the path shown by Islam one will be able to strengthen one’s community and social values. I see a glimpse of the above-mentioned discussion in this Ayah of Quran, “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy.” (Al-Room: 21)
Obviously there can be many ways of satisfying sexual urges but Islam banned all other sources except through Nikah. Islam encourages and motivates people for Nikah. Relations based on Nikah has love, affection and grace of God. Islamic scholars say that ‘love’ is connected with the young age and ‘grace and kindnesses with the old age. There can be no other way except Nikah which has ‘love’ in the beginning and ‘grace and kindness’ at the end. Grace and kindness also means pious and obedient offspring. (Tafseer Fatah-ul-Quadeer: 464/5) And one Hadees has “there is nothing like Nikah for two lovers” (Sanan Ibn Ma’aja:440/5, Raquam-ul-Hadees: 1837)
A deep study of Nikah in Islamic studies does let us know that it is not a source of satisfying one’s sexual urge only but God wishes to grant purity of character to men and women through it. Some of the main objectives of Nikah are to run the human race, to develop it and to bestow peace of mind and affection in the heart through mutual love so that one is able to fulfil one’s worldly duties in a much better way. Allama Shami writes, “Allah has created the relationship of Nikah keeping in view various objectives and one of them is that, God wishes His people to live on this earth for spreading Sharia laws for the benefit of human kind till the day of judgement does not come. These objectives can be achieved only when its foundation is strong and that strong foundation is ‘Nikah’. (Fatawi Shami: 4/Kitab-un-Nikah)
One cannot find so much motivation for Nikah in any other religion as in Islam. Quran-e-Kareem says, “Marry those that please you.” (Al-Nisa: 3)
Shah Bukhari Hafiz Ibn Hajr Asqulai writes: “This Ayah is in the form of ‘order’.” This is why Islamic scholars have placed Nikah in the category of ‘farz’ (duty) and ‘wajib’ (obligatory). As far as its being ‘recommended’ and ‘Sunnah’ is concerned, there can be no doubt about it.
There are numerous ‘traditions’ (Rewayat) which motivate Muslims to get married. In one tradition, it is described that once Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told a group of young people, “O’ young people, whoever among you is capable must solemnise marriage, because it guards both chastity and honour” (Sahih-ul-Bukhari: 498/15, Raquam ul Hadees: 4678) Nikah is Sunnah of Ambiya-e-Keram. (Tafseer-ul-Aaquam Zabdi: 42/2) Another tradition says, “Nikah is my Sunnah whoever refuses it is not on my way” (Muta Imam Mohammad: 427/2, Raqu-ul-Hadees: 523). These traditions show the importance of Nikah. Islam has a perfect system of Nikah. It is not that if it’s permitted one is allowed to do Nikah with whomever and wherever one wishes. It is guided by a number of rules, regulations and restrictions. The detailed description of every point in this chapter of Nikah reveals its significance and makes it one of the most important chapters.
The relationship invested with so much importance and motivation cannot be meant for breaking up. Islam’s view for this relation is to continue till the end of life. For the achievement of this objective Sharia has guided on every step. It has made each other’s rights and duties clear. It has prohibited men and women from violating each other’s rights. In the chapter of the ‘offspring’ also, their duties have been clearly defined. The role a husband and wife can play in keeping the family united has been well articulated. Practically all the above-mentioned duties and responsibilities can be fulfilled only if a husband and wife have a strong relationship.
Islam is there to guide even in a situation where it becomes impossible to carry on with the conjugal relationship despite all kinds of efforts to maintain it.
As was said before, Islam is a religion of nature. It is not that if one is married, tied in a conjugal relationship there is no way out, come what may. Islam gives a natural way out. In other ways of life, husband or wife or both revolt against the religions which take ‘marriage’ as a relationship ‘for life’ and those who do not have the courage of revolting against the religions, search for physical and mental peace outside their houses. Islam has shut all these ways by allowing divorce.
It is necessary to let one know that divorce is allowed only in unavoidable circumstances before going in its detail. Its misuse invites God’s wrath. People who misuse this privilege face God’s wrath in this world and hereafter.
The most important point to remember is that divorce does not have to be emotional or a step taken in haste. It has to be decided after lots of thinking and rethinking and with a cool and peaceful mind. This is one of the reasons that Islam has given this authority only to men. In the case of wife seeking Khula too, it is the responsibility of man to divorce.
Allama Shami writes, “One good aspect of divorce is that Islam has given this right to men only as women are comparatively lesser in wisdom and intellect. He thinks of the result before every step he takes and women do not as by nature they are emotionally driven.” (Rad-al-Mahtar: 316/4)
After giving the right to divorce to men, Sharia has tied them with its rules and regulations. Divorce has been categorised in two parts, (a) Talaq Ahsan (the best way of divorce) and Talaq Bida’i (ugly way of divorce). Men have been ordered to go for Talaq Ahsan if at all it is to be delivered and not Talaq Bida’i. Commentator of Quran Hazrat Maulana Mufti Mohammad Shafi Usmai (ra) writes, “Sharia does not have the system of breaking the agreement of Nikah as if it was a business agreement. If a business agreement is broken or declared null and void both the parties part their ways immediately and get free of each other’s bindings with a right of writing another agreement with another person at that very next moment. The Agreement of Nikah has three hurdles to be crossed and after that it has a restriction of Iddat (A period of three months and ten days after divorce or death of husband is called Iddat). (Tafseer Ma’arif-al-Quran: 557/1)
Alas! Muslims have made a plaything out of divorce. Some husbands threaten to divorce on every little instance and some of them practically do it when they should consult Islamic scholars before taking any such step. Differences my crop up between husband and wife and it may take an ugly turn as well but in any such situation these differences should be tried to be resolved mutually. If women are at fault they could be asked not to share bed. If this also does not work elders of both the families should be consulted to solve the problem and if this also does not work, divorce can be performed.
Men are advised to utter the word ‘divorce’ once during the period after menstruation in which there has been no sexual intercourse. Second and third Talaq should not be given at the same time. After the completion of ‘menstruation period’ Nikah will automatically get null and void. This is ‘Talaq Ahsan’ which is acceptable in Sharia. This is called ‘Talaq Raja’i (a way of divorce in which there is a way of getting husband and wife together before the end of Iddat i.e. before the start of next menstruation period, if they so wish). If before the completion of ‘menstruation period’ husband and wife wish and agree they can perform Nikah again. In this scenario ‘Halala’ is not needed. And if because of non-agreement second and third utterance of divorce is needed, second during the second period of physical piousness and third during the third, can be performed. Till the second ‘utterance of divorce’ a mutual agreement is possible without Halala after a new Nikah but after the third and final ‘utterance of divorce’ the possibility of mutual agreement ends. (Ghaetul Awtaar: 108/2)
Muslim community has got a misunderstanding that in any way it is only three Talaqs which is needed to end a Nikah. People have got this misunderstanding because they do not have the correct knowledge of Deen. The best Sharia way of delivering divorce is what has been described above.
Divorce is performed by uttering three ‘divorces’ at one go also but this is called ‘Talaq Bida’at (ugly way of divorce). This way of divorce is sinful and one should try to avoid it. This system of divorce will make his wife ‘Haram’ for him and he cannot have a mutually agreed agreement of Nikah again with his wife.
If for the sake of children or because of his own regrets husband wishes to remarry his wife, there is only one way, which Quran describes as, “And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. “ (Al-Baqura: 230) ”Fuquaha” have made it clear the divorced woman will first pass her ‘Iddat’ then will live with another man like husband and wife, after Nikah with him and if this husband divorces her willingly, she will again pass her ‘Iddat’ and remarry her previous husband. This is called ‘Halala’. To avoid this shameful act, Talaq Ahsan is considered the best way of divorce according to Sharia.
Muslim men divorce their wives, uttering the word ‘Talaq’ thrice in a fit of rage and sometimes they have to go through ‘the shameful act’ of Halala. This is why certain section of Muslims are demanding triple Talaq in one sitting to be considered ‘one Talaq’. There are various schools of thought in this regard but Islamic scholars take this as ‘three Talaqs’, even if uttered in one sitting.
Among Fuquaha Sahaba-e-Karam (ra) Hazrat Umar Farooque (ra), Hazrat Usman Ghani (ra), Hazrat Ali (ra), Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas (ra), Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra), Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Masood (ra) were of the opinion that ‘three utterances of Talaq’ in one sitting will be taken as three Talaqs. Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa (ra), Imam Maalik (ra) Imam Shaafai (ra) and Imam Ahmad bin Hambul (ra) also have unanimous decision that it will be taken as ‘three Talaqs’. Hence the section which says that Imam Maalik (ra) was of the opinion that it be considered as ‘one Talaq’ are wrong. This is what is being practiced for the last 1400 years.
There were several incidents of ‘three Talaqs’ in one sitting during the age of Hazrat Umar Farooque (ra) and all Sahaba (ra) have decided it to be ‘three Talaqs’. There is no proof of any difference between Sahaba Keram (ra) from any (Rawayat) tradition. Hafiz Ibn Abu Bakr Hassas (ra) writes in ‘Ahkam-ul-Quran’, It has been proved from Kitab (Quran), Sunnah and Ummah that ‘three Talaqs’ uttered in one sitting will be taken as ‘three Talaqs’, although it is a sinful practice. (Ahkam-ul-Quran: 459/1)
This matter had come under discussion in ‘Bait-ul-Kubbar-ul-Ulama” in Saudi Arabia in 1393 H. There were some seventeen great Ulama and Fuquaha in this congregation. All these Islamic scholars decided that ‘three Talaqs’ in one sitting also will be taken as three Talaqs. Full description of this discussion has got published in ‘Tajweez-e-Mujalla-al-Jaus-ul-Islamia’ (Issue 1397H). This discussion is spread upon some one hundred and fifty pages.
In conclusion I have only one request to make to Ulama-e-Keram and that is to make Muslims aware of the real Sharia laws and rules and regulations and not to make them indulge in misunderstandings through their media discussions. People should also not believe in media discussions. Instead they should gather right information and knowledge from the present Mufti Keram of Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband and other major madrasas. They should not make ‘divorce’ a child’s play. If they have to deliver divorce, let it be according to Sharia or bear the bitterness of conjugal life and be entitled to God’s reward.
Source: Akhbar-e-Mashrique, New Delhi, May 14th, 2012
URLfor Enmglish article: https://newageislam.com/islamic-ideology/islamic-fundamentalist-view-defence-triple/d/7361
URL for Urdu article: https://newageislam.com/urdu-section/rising-trend-divorce-muslim-society/d/7326
URL for Hindi article: https://newageislam.com/hindi-section/islamic-fundamentalist-view-defence-triple/d/7328