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Being Kind to the Divorced Wife Print E-mail

This is a command from Allah to men that when one of them divorces his wife with a reversible divorce, he should treat her kindly. So when her term of `Iddah (waiting period) nears its end, he either takes her back in a way that is better, including having witnesses that he has taken her back, and he lives with her with kindness. Or, he should release her after her `Iddah finishes and then kindly asks her to depart from his house, without disputing, fighting with her or using foul words. Allah then said:

﴿وَلاَ تُمْسِكُوهُنَّ ضِرَارًا لِّتَعْتَدُواْ﴾

(But do not take them back to hurt them,)

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Masruq, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that a man used to divorce his wife, and when her `Iddah came near its end, he would take her back to harm her and to stop her from marrying someone else. He then divorced her and she would begin her `Iddah and when her `Iddah term neared its end, he would take her back again, so that the term of `Iddah would be prolonged for her. After that, Allah prohibited this practice. Allah has also threatened those who indulge in such practices, when He said;

﴿وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ﴾

(...and whoever does that, then he has wronged himself.) meaning, by defying Allah's commandments. Allah then said:

﴿وَلاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ آيَـتِ اللَّهِ هُزُوًا﴾

(And treat not the verses (Laws) of Allah in a jest,)

Ibn Jarir said that Abu Musa (Al-Ash`ari) narrated that Allah's Messenger once became angry at the Ash`ari tribe. Abu Musa went to him and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Are you angry with the Ash`ariyyin'' The Prophet said:

«يَقُولُ أَحَدُكُمْ: قَدْ طَلَّقْتُ، قَدْ رَاجَعْتُ، لَيْسَ هَذَا طَلَاقُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ، طَلِّقُوا الْمَرْأَةَ فِي قُبُلِ عِدَّتِهَا»

(One of you says, `I divorced her' -then says- `I took her back!' This is not the appropriate way Muslims conduct divorce. Divorce the woman when she has fulfilled the term of the prescribed period.)

Masruq said that the Ayah refers to the man who harms his wife by divorcing her and then taking her back, so that the `Iddah term is prolonged for her. Al-Hasan, Qatadah, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Ar-Rabi` and Muqatil bin Hayyan said, "He is the man who divorces his wife and says, `I was joking.' Or he frees a servant or gets married and says, `I was only joking.' Allah revealed:

﴿وَلاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ آيَـتِ اللَّهِ هُزُوًا﴾

(And treat not the verses (Laws) of Allah in a jest,)

Then such men were made to bear the consequences of their actions.

Allah then said:

﴿وَاذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ﴾

(. ..but remember Allah's favors on you,) meaning, by His sending His Messenger with the right guidance and clear signs to you:

﴿وَمَآ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ﴾

(...and that which He has sent down to you of the Book (i.e., the Qur'an) and Al-Hikmah) meaning the Sunnah,

﴿يَعِظُكُمْ بِهِ﴾

(...whereby He instructs you.) meaning, commands you, forbids you and threatens you for transgressing His prohibitions. Allah said:

﴿وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ﴾

(And fear Allah) meaning, concerning what you perform and what you avoid,

﴿وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ﴾

(and know that Allah is All-Aware of everything.) none of your secret or public affairs ever escapes His knowledge, and He will treat you accordingly.

﴿وَإِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَبَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَلاَ تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ أَن يَنكِحْنَ أَزْوَجَهُنَّ إِذَا تَرَضَوْاْ بَيْنَهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ذلِكَ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ مِنكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ ذلِكُمْ أَزْكَى لَكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴾

(232. And when you have divorced women and they have fulfilled the term of their prescribed period, do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands, if they mutually agree on reasonable basis. This (instruction) is an admonition for him among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous and purer for you. Allah knows and you know not.)


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