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My husband divorced me 3 times all at once!  Am I really divorced?  Also, how can a woman divorce her husband?

The sections of this article are:

1-  How is the divorce determined?
2-  The same verdict was made in Pakistan few years ago.
3-  Muslims must follow the Verdicts of their Islamic Scholars.
4-  How was divorce dealt with during the times of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and his Disciples after him?
5-  When does the divorce count?  What determines the quantity of anger from the husband that would nullify the divorce?
6-  If the woman is menstruating, then the divorce doesn't count.
7-  How can a woman divorce herself from her husband?  Child support and alimony covered here.
8-  Conclusion.

This issue is a very serious and controversial one.  Some Muslim scholars believe that if the husband says to his wife: "I divorce you, I divorce, I divorce you", or "you are divorced thrice", then the divorce is considered 3 divorces.   Other Muslim scholars believe that the divorce will only count as one divorce only.

According to the Noble Quran, Allah Almighty made it clear in Noble Verses 2:229-230 that when a man divorces his wife three times, then he can't remarry her until she had married another man, and got divorced from him.

Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said in numerous Sayings that the new husband of the woman must have intercourse with her, if she were to get divorced from him to be able to remarry her first husband.  Let us look at one of those Sayings from our beloved Prophet peace be upon him:

Narrated 'Aisha: "Rifa'a Al-Qurazi divorced his wife irrevocably (i.e. that divorce was the final). Later on 'Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubair married her after him. She came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! I was Rifa'a's wife and he divorced me thrice, and then I was married to 'Abdur-Rahman bin AzZubair, who, by Allah has nothing with him except something like this fringe, O Allah's Apostle," showing a fringe she had taken from her covering sheet. Abu Bakr was sitting with the Prophet while Khalid Ibn Said bin Al-As was sitting at the gate of the room waiting for admission. Khalid started calling Abu Bakr, "O Abu Bakr! Why don't you reprove this lady from what she is openly saying before Allah's Apostle?" Allah's Apostle did nothing except smiling, and then said (to the lady), "Perhaps you want to go back to Rifa'a? No, (it is not possible), unless and until you enjoy the sexual relation with him ('Abdur Rahman), and he enjoys the sexual relation with you."   (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab) Volume 8, Book 73, Number 107)"

However, the question is, how is the divorce determined?



1-  How is the divorce determined?

The following verdict that I am about to share with you from the Al-Azhar Islamic Scholarship Organization was from the Arabic A.R.T. TV station that I watched.

I, Osama Abdallah, testify that I am telling nothing but the truth in this story and I am not making any lie or story up.

I saw the following Islamic Verdict on A.R.T. TV Channel on Saturday April 28, 2001 on the "Fatawa Alal-Hawa", which means "Verdicts on the air" by the Egyptian Al-Azhar Ministers:

A lady called and gave the following story:

Question: My husband came to me and divorced me once.  Five minutes later, he came and beat me up, and divorced me three times.  He latter in the day, came to me and told me that he was angry and didn't know what he was saying.  I still live with him, and I shared our bed with him (meaning that she had intercourse with him. This is how we say it in Arabic).

Answer: The Al-Azhar Minister (Sheikh) responded by saying that in Islam, when a man divorces his wife out of big anger, where he is not aware of what he is saying, then the divorce does not count in anyway.   However, in this case here, the man seems that he was aware of what he was saying.   He came and divorced his wife once at first, and then 5 minutes later, he came and beat her up, and divorced her thrice.  He knew what he was doing.  According to the laws of Muhammad peace be upon him, the divorce is considered ONE DIVORCE.

This is what the Minister said on T.V., and Allah Almighty is a Witness on my words.



2-  The same verdict was made in Pakistan few years ago:

The following was sent to me by brother Umer Ali; may Allah Almighty always be pleased with him.

"Salaam Alaikum,

At a discussion in Pakistan a few years back by Mr. Ghamdi, he said that whether a person says divorce to his wife one time or a hundred times, it will count as only one after which she will spend the prescribed days of Idda't.   If during this time they reconcile, well and good, but if they don't, then the marriage will be annulled. He said, that this can happen only three times, meaning, that if this scenario has played itself three times, then the marriage will be annulled for sure on the third time.  This is what I heard a long time ago."



3-  Muslims must follow the Verdicts of their Islamic Scholars:

Since the Al-Azhar Islamic organization is the most popular in the Islamic world, then Muslims not only in the Middle East, but also, throughout the Muslim world have the right to follow their verdicts.

Allah Almighty said: "O ye who believe! Obey God, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Apostle, if ye do believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.  (The Noble Quran, 4:59)"

"When there comes to them some matter touching (Public) safety or fear, they divulge it. If they had only referred it to the Apostle, or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have Tested it from them (direct). Were it not for the Grace and Mercy of God unto you, all but a few of you would have fallen into the clutches of Satan.  (The Noble Quran, 4:83)"

It is quite clear from the Noble Verses above, that the Verdict of the Al-Azhar in Egypt is valid and MUST be applied for those who follow their verdicts.  I personally follow their verdicts.



4-  How was divorce dealt with during the times of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and his Disciples after him?

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: "Tawus said: AbusSahba' said to Ibn Abbas: Do you know that a divorce by three pronouncements was made a single one during the time of the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him), and of AbuBakr and in the early days of the caliphate of Umar? He replied: Yes.  (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 12, Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq), Number 2194)"

So according to this narration, we clearly see that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and his Disciples (Caliphs) AbuBakr and Umar may Allah Almighty be pleased with them clearly considered the divorce in thrice as a single one. 

Important Note: It appears that this law by our beloved Prophet peace be upon him was the latest one during his time regarding the issue of divorce, because it not only was practiced by him, but also by his disciples after him.



5-  When does the divorce count?  What determines the quantity of anger from the husband that would nullify the divorce?

Many debate about the issue on whether an angry husband's divorce counts or not.   Allah Almighty made it clear in the Noble Quran that divorces caused by anger do not count!   Let us look at the following from the Noble Quran:

"God will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.  For those who take an oath for abstention from their wives, a waiting for four months is ordained; if then they return, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.  But if their intention is firm for divorce, God heareth and knoweth all things.  (The Noble Quran, 2:225-227)"

Here in these Noble Verses, we clearly see that Allah Almighty doesn't take into account thoughtless oaths.  A divorce as clearly shown in the Noble Verses is considered an oath.  It is the intentions that He the Almighty cares about.   Anger is certainly something that Allah Almighty doesn't count against us, and He would forgive us for whatever we declare during it.  He is the "Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing."

I personally believe that if the husband is angry, and he is arguing with his wife and they end up fighting verbally by yelling at each others, and he divorces his wife, then HIS DIVORCE DOES NOT COUNT!

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: "Muhammad ibn Ubayd ibn AbuSalih who lived in Ayliya said: I went out with Adi ibn Adi al-Kindi till we came to Mecca. He sent me to Safiyyah daughter of Shaybah who remembered a tradition (that she had heard) from Aisha. She said: I heard Aisha say: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: There is no divorce or emancipation in case of constraint or duress (ghalaq).  (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 12, Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq), Number 2188)"

I believe that the husband's anger and the wife's pressure on his temper (I am not suggesting that the wife would always be wrong) is the constraint or duress that is being applied on the husband.  Think about it, if he wouldn't divorce her during his normal times, and only divorced her when he was angry, do you honestly believe that he really meant to divorce her?

And Allah Almighty knows best.



6-  If the woman is menstruating, then the divorce doesn't count:

Let us look at the following narration from Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:  "AbdurRahman ibn Ayman, the client of Urwah, asked Ibn Umar and AbuzZubayr was was listening: What do you think if a man divorces his wife while she is menstruating? He said: Abdullah ibn Umar divorced his wife while she was menstruating during the time of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him).So Umar asked the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) saying: Abdullah ibn Umar divorced his wife while she was menstruating. Abdullah said: He returned her to me and did not count it (the pronouncement) anything. He said: When she is purified, he may divorce her or keep her with him. Ibn Umar said: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) recited the Qur'anic verse: O Prophet, when you divorce women, divorce them in the beginning of their waiting period.(Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq), Book 12, Number 2180)"

The Noble Verse reads as follows: 

"O Prophet! When ye do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and count (accurately), their prescribed periods: And fear God your Lord: and turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness, those are limits set by God: and any who transgresses the limits of God, does verily wrong his (own) soul: thou knowest not if perchance God will bring about thereafter some new situation.  (The Noble Quran, 65:1)"

"At the end of the (prescribed) period, either hold back your women (in wedlock) lawfully, according to the well-known (prescribed) manner, or make the divorce final in accordance with the well known (prescribed) way. Take two of your fair minded (and respected) men as your witnesses. (Oh witnesses)! Bear the witness truthfully for the sake of Allah! Those who believe in Allah, and the life-to-come, are hereby being asked to heed. Allah will provide a way out for the one who fears Him!  (The Noble Quran, 65:2)"

So in other words, if a woman is in her monthly period, and her husband says to her I divorce you, whether he says it once or a thousand times, the divorce would still doesn't count.  The woman's monthly period is the shield that invalidates any divorce done by the man.

Also, please visit: Muta marriage is forbidden according also to the Shia sources themselves!



7-  How can a woman divorce herself from her husband?

There is an Islamic law called the "Khulu'" (removing something from one's self), which allows for the woman to get a divorce through the Islamic court or an Islamic Minister.  This law was established from Noble Verse 2:231 "....either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms..."

The difference between a man divorcing his wife and a woman seeking "Kala'" is as follows:

1-  If the man divorces his wife, then he must pay her the dowry of divorce.   This is a amount of money that both parties agree on and determine in the marriage contract.

2-  If the woman seeks khulu' or khala', then she does not automatically get that dowry, unless they both agree on it.

3-  As far as the wife's maintenance and child support and child custody, everything remains:  "For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) On a reasonable (scale).  This is a duty On the righteous.  (The Noble Quran, 2:241)"


From www.answering-christianity.com/quran_moral_code.htm:

236 Husbands are higher in authority than the wives.  The husband is also the lord of his wife:

ولهن مثل الذي عليهن بالمعروف وللرجال عليهن درجة

[002:228] ....And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them وللرجال عليهن درجة....

واستبقا الباب وقدت قميصه من دبر والفيا سيدها لدى الباب

[012:025] So they both raced each other to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back: they both found her lord سيدها near the door....

The Al-Azeez was her husband (12:30).  Here Allah Almighty called him "her lord".

The wife is also expected to be obedient to her husband:

[004:034] ....Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient فالصالحات قانتات, and guard in (the husband's) absence what God would have them guard.....

But men must treat their women with kindness, and to never abuse them, and to also never pressure them to give up from their wealth.  A husband can not pressure or force his wife to give him money.  See Noble Verses 30:21, 2:228-232, 2:236-237, 2:240-241, 2:233, 4:128, 4:19, 4:4, 4:25, 65:7, 4:34.

However, in countries where the wife automatically has access to her husband's properties, and she gets half of his wealth in case of divorce, then this Islamic Law about the husband can not demand from his wife to give him money may not be applicable.  In the Islamic Law, what belongs to the the individual (man or woman) remains with him or her.  No 50-50 split.  Allah Almighty allowed the Muslims to nullify Islamic Laws if the situation is exceptional:

فمن اضطر غير باغ ولاعاد فلا اثم عليه

[002:173] ....But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits,- then is he guiltless....

See also Noble Verses 6:145, 16:115.  In the West, where Islamic Sharia Laws don't apply, the Muslims are not obligated to follow all of Islam's Laws, especially the ones that are directly at odds with the country's laws.

The general rule between the husband and the wife in Islam is that the husband works and provides, - and he is responsible for all of the financial obligations, - and the wife is obedient and remains home and takes care of her home and the children, and guards her home in the absence of her husband:

‏الرجال قوامون على النساء بما فضل الله بعضهم على بعض وبما انفقوا من اموالهم فالصالحات قانتات حافظات للغيب بما حفظ الله واللاتي تخافون نشوزهن فعظوهن واهجروهن في المضاجع واضربوهن فان اطعنكم فلاتبغوا عليهن سبيلا ان الله كان عليا كبيرا

[004:034] Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient فالصالحات قانتات, and guard in (the husband's) absence what God would have them guard حافظات للغيب بما حفظ الله.....

The man under the Islamic Sharia Law is also responsible for the child support and alimony (allowance and maintenance) payments in case of divorce:

[002:241] For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) on a reasonable (scale) متاع بالمعروف. This is a duty on the righteous.

[002:236] It is no crime in you if ye divorce your women ere you have yet touched them, or settled for them a settlement. But provide maintenance for them ومتعوهن; the wealthy according to his power, and the straitened in circumstances according to his power, must provide, in reason;- a duty this upon the kind.

[002:233] And mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years; this is for those who desire to complete the period of suckling. And the man to whom the child belongs shall be responsible for their (the mothers') maintenance وعلى المولود له رزقهن and clothing according to usage.....

[060:011] (Even) if any of your wives leaves you for the disbeliever (without returning the nuptial dowry) still in your turn, pay the disbelievers whose wives leave them for you (an amount) equal to what they had spent. (Always) fear Allah, in Whom you (profess to) believe!

The Islamic Sharia court would determine the amount and duration of the payments.  See also the Noble Verses listed above.

30:21, 2:228-232, 2:236-237, 2:240-241, 2:233, 4:128, 4:19, 4:4, 4:25, 65:7, 4:34, 60:11

In the case of child custody, in general, the normal woman would get custody of the children until the daughter reaches the age of 9, and the son reaches the age of 7.  It may vary between Muslim countries.  After that, they would get transferred to their father.  Unless either of the parents is considered dangerous to the children, or there is some other exceptional case, this is how it is generally done. 

The man would have to pay the child support while the children are with their mother.   Once they are transferred to him, the mother is not obligated to pay any child support to the husband, because the children are not part of the mother's family.   They belong to their father, and they carry their father's name.  Once their mother divorces, she would then return to her original family name.  And once she gets married again, she would then carry her new husband's family name and her new children would belong to his family.

Of course in Islam, the step siblings can not marry each others, nor can they marry their uncles or ants from their mothers' side either.  I was actually shocked to learn that in the Pagan Hinduism the mother's brother (uncle) can marry his niece (the mother's daughter). 

Anyway, whom ever the children are with, and what ever the marital status of either one of their parents is, the parent that doesn't have the child custody would have rights of visitation hours in particular days in the week determined and granted to him/her by the Islamic court and the agreement of both parents.

Please visit:  Christianity is the cause for most of the high divorces in the West.



8-  Conclusion:

Divorce in thrice, or divorce by three all at once is considered only one divorce in Islam according to the verdict of the Al-Azhar Islamic Scholarship Organization; one of the largest Islamic Scholarship Organizations in the Islamic world.  It is also considered as one divorce according to the Sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as shown above. 

In some cases, the divorce doesn't even count at all when the husband declares the divorce while he was angry according to the Noble Words of Allah Almighty in the Noble Quran. 

Another case where the divorce wouldn't count is when the divorce was declared by the husband during the wife's monthly period.





Muta marriage is forbidden according also to the Shia sources themselves!

Ask me any question section.

Women in Islam and Christianity.

Islam and the Glorious Quran - Questions and Answers.

Christianity is the cause for most of the high divorces in the West.

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