MBH QnA Corner
Your Questions - December, 2021

Can pronouncing divorce thrice validate (irrevocable) divorce? How to take your wife back after pronouncing divorce thrice?

Answered by: Shaykh Zafar ul Hasan

Such problems would never occur if we follow the proper way to divorce that Islam has taught us.

Divorce Practices Before the Advent of Islam:

It was a common practice to take back (Ruju’) your wife after every divorce, even if the number of divorce exceeded hundred.

There was a man who said to his wife:

“By Allah! I would never divorce you irrevocably, nor would I ever shelter (protect) you.”

She asked:

“How is that possible?”

He said:

“I would divorce you and when your iddah is about to end, I’ll take you back (Ruju’)”.

[Jam’i at Tirmidhi: 1192]

Allah provided salvation to the pitiful women.

 اَلطَّلَاقُ مَرَّتٰنِ‌ ۖ فَاِمۡسَاكٌ ۢ بِمَعۡرُوۡفٍ اَوۡ تَسۡرِيۡحٌ ۢ بِاِحۡسَانٍ‌ ؕوَلَا يَحِلُّ لَـکُمۡ اَنۡ تَاۡخُذُوۡا مِمَّآ اٰتَيۡتُمُوۡهُنَّ شَيۡــئًا اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ يَّخَافَآ اَ لَّا يُقِيۡمَا حُدُوۡدَ اللّٰهِ‌ؕ فَاِنۡ خِفۡتُمۡ اَ لَّا يُقِيۡمَا حُدُوۡدَ اللّٰهِۙ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيۡهِمَا فِيۡمَا افۡتَدَتۡ بِهٖؕ‌ تِلۡكَ حُدُوۡدُ اللّٰهِ فَلَا تَعۡتَدُوۡهَا ‌ۚ‌ وَمَنۡ يَّتَعَدَّ حُدُوۡدَ اللّٰهِ فَاُولٰٓئِكَ هُمُ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ ۞

“Divorce is twice. Then [after that], 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] the limits of Allah. But if you fear that they will not keep [within] the limits of Allah, then there is no blame upon either of them concerning that by which she ransoms herself. These are the limits of Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah - it is those who are the wrongdoers [i.e., the unjust].”

[Al-Baqarah 2:229]

The divorce after which you can take back your wife is called “Talaq e Raja’i” (Revocable Divorce), and it is applicable only twice.

The divorce after which you cannot take back your wife and she becomes forbidden for you, is called “Talaq e Mughallzah” (Irrevocable Divorce).

 فَاِنۡ طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا تَحِلُّ لَهٗ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدُ حَتّٰى تَنۡكِحَ زَوۡجًا غَيۡرَهٗ ‌ؕ فَاِنۡ طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيۡهِمَآ اَنۡ يَّتَرَاجَعَآ اِنۡ ظَنَّآ اَنۡ يُّقِيۡمَا حُدُوۡدَ اللّٰهِ‌ؕ وَتِلۡكَ حُدُوۡدُ اللّٰهِ يُبَيِّنُهَا لِقَوۡمٍ يَّعۡلَمُوۡنَ ۞* 

“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.1 And if he [i.e., the latter husband] divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon them [i.e., the woman and her former husband] for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah, which He makes clear to a people who know [i.e.,understand].”

[Al-Baqarah 2:230]

After the third divorce, there is no chance of taking back or remarrying your wife. She becomes forbidden for you except that she marries another man and spends time with him till he dies or divorces her. In such a case, after completing her Iddah, she can remarry her first husband.

Conditional Nikkah that is done for a specific duration, with the intention of divorce, just to meet the criterion to remarry your first husband is forbidden (not halal).

Remarrying your first husband, after marrying and then seeking divorce from another man, is called “Halalah”. It is Haraam (forbidden).

It was narrated that Ibn Abbas said: “The Messenger of Allah  cursed the Muhallil (the one who goes through Halalah) and the Muhallal lahu (the one who administers Halalah).”

[Ibn Majah: 1934]

Divorce is for two times. According to Murtan, one after another.

 يٰۤاَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ اِذَا طَلَّقۡتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَطَلِّقُوۡهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ وَاَحۡصُوا الۡعِدَّةَ ‌ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ رَبَّكُمۡ‌ ۚ لَا تُخۡرِجُوۡهُنَّ مِنۡۢ بُيُوۡتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخۡرُجۡنَ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ يَّاۡتِيۡنَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ‌ ؕ وَتِلۡكَ حُدُوۡدُ اللّٰهِ‌ ؕ وَمَنۡ يَّتَعَدَّ حُدُوۡدَ اللّٰهِ فَقَدۡ ظَلَمَ نَفۡسَهٗ‌ ؕ لَا تَدۡرِىۡ لَعَلَّ اللّٰهَ يُحۡدِثُ بَعۡدَ ذٰ لِكَ اَمۡرًا ۞* 

“O Prophet, when you [Muslims] divorce women, divorce them for [the commencement of] their waiting period and keep count of the waiting period, and fear Allah, your Lord. Do not turn them out of their [husbands'] houses, nor should they [themselves] leave [during that period] unless they are committing a clear immorality. And those are the limits [set by] Allah. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah has certainly wronged himself. You know not; perhaps Allah will bring about after that a [different] matter.”

[At-Talaq 65:1]

Conditions of Talaq (Divorce)

♦️ Divorce should be given when the wife is in the state of purity (not menstruating), so that she could complete her Iddah. 

♦️ She should be given a chance (some time) to rectify her behaviour.

♦️ Divorce should not be pronounced thrice in one sitting.

The Messenger of Allah was told about a man who had divorced his wife with three simultaneous divorces. He  stood up angrily and said:

“Is the Book of Allah being toyed with while I am still among you?”

 Then a man stood up and said: 

“O Messenger of Allah ﷺ ! Shall I kill him?"

[Sunan An-Nasa'i: 3430]

The Truth about Omar’s Fatwa:

Abu al-Sahba' said to Ibn Abbas: Enlighten us with your information whether the three divorces (pronounced at one and the same time) were not treated as one during the lifetime of Messenger of Allah ﷺ and Abu Bakr. He said: It was in fact so, but when during the caliphate of Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) people began to pronounce divorce frequently, he allowed them to do so (to treat pronouncements of three divorces in a single breath as one).

[Sahih Muslim: 3493]

According to Shari’a, you can take your wife back before her Iddah ends.

If her Iddah ends and you wish to take her back, you can renew your Nikkah. There is no need to undergo Nikkah with any other man.

The husband has the right to take his wife back after first and second divorce.

No matter how many times the word “Talaq” or “Divorce”  is pronounced in one sitting (at one time), it would be counted as a single divorce.