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There is a Period during which Divorced Women remain in Their Homes Print E-mail

The Prophet was addressed first in this Ayah, to honor him, even though his Ummah is also being addressed in Allah's statement,

﴿يأيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ﴾

(O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their `Iddah) Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar divorced his wife, during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger , while she was menstruating. `Umar bin Al-Khattab mentioned that to Allah's Messenger . Allah's Messenger became angry and said,

«لِيُرَاجِعْهَا ثُمَّ يُمْسِكْهَا حَتْى تَطْهُرَ، ثُمَّ تَحِيضَ فَتَطْهُرَ، فَإِنْ بَدَا لَهُ أَنْ يُطَلِّقَهَا، فَلْيُطَلِّقْهَا طَاهِرًا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَمَسَّهَا، فَتِلْكَ الْعِدَّةُ الَّتِي أَمَرَ بِهَا اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَل»

(Order him to take her back and keep her until she is clean from her menses, and then to wait until she gets her next period and becomes clean again. Then, if he wishes to divorce her, he can divorce her when she is clean from her menses, before he has sexual intercourse with her. This is the `Iddah which Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has fixed.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith in several parts of his Sahih. Muslim collected this Hadith and his narration uses these words,

«فَتِلْكَ الْعِدَّةُ الَّتِي أَمَرَ اللهُ أَنْ يُطَلَّقَ لَهَا النِّسَاء»

(This is the `Iddah which Allah has fixed for the women being divorced.) In his Sahih, Muslim has recorded a Hadith which is a more appropriate version from a narration of Ibn Jurayj who said that Abu Az-Zubayr informed him that he heard `Abdur-Rahman bin Ayman, the freed slave of `Azzah, questioning `Abdullah bin `Umar. And Abu Az-Zubayr heard the question, "What about a man who divorces his wife while she is still on her menses'' `Abdullah answered, "During the time of Allah's Messenger , `Abdullah bin `Umar divorced his wife who was menstruating in the life time of Allah's Messenger . So Allah's Messenger said:


(Let him take her back.) so she returned and he said:

«إِذَا طَهُرَتْ فَلْيُطَلِّقْ أَوْ يُمْسِك»

(When she is pure, then either divorce or keep her.) `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "Allah's Messenger recited this Ayah: (ياأَيُّها النَّبِيُّ إِذا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّساءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ فِي قُبُلِ عِدَّتِهِنَّ) (O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their `Iddah) And `Abdullah (Ibn Mas`ud) commented on Allah's statement,

﴿فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ﴾

(divorce them at their `Iddah) He said, "Purity without intercourse.'' Similar was reported from Ibn `Umar, `Ata', Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Ibn Sirin, Qatadah, Maymun bin Mihran and Muqatil bin Hayyan. It is also reported from `Ikrimah and Ad-Dahhak.`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas about the Ayah;

﴿فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ﴾

(divorce them at their `Iddah), "He does not divorce her while she is on her menses nor while she is pure if he has had intercourse during that (purity). Rather, he leaves her until she has her menses and after the menses ends, then he divorces her once.'' And `Ikrimah said about

﴿فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ﴾

(divorce them at their `Iddah), "The `Iddah is made up of clean- liness and the menstrual period.'' So he divorces her while it is clear that she is pregnant, or he does not due to having sex, or since he does not know if she is pregnant or not. This is why the scholars said that there are two types of divorce, one that conforms to the Sunnah and another innovated. The divorce that conforms to the Sunnah is one where the husband pronounces one divorce to his wife when she is not having her menses and without having had sexual intercourse with her after the menses ended. One could divorce his wife when it is clear that she is pregnant. As for the innovated divorce, it occurs when one divorces his wife when she is having her menses, or after the menses ends, has sexual intercourse with her and then divorces her, even though he does not know if she became pregnant or not. There is a third type of divorce, which is neither a Sunnah nor an innovation where one divorces a young wife who has not begun to have menses, the wife who is beyond the age of having menses, and divorcing one's wife before the marriage was consummated. Allah said,

﴿وَأَحْصُواْ الْعِدَّةَ﴾

(and count their `Iddah.) meaning, count for it and know its beginning and end, so that the `Iddah does not become prolonged for the woman and she cannot get married again,

﴿وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ﴾

(And have Taqwa of Allah, your Lord.) in this matter.

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