Sunday, March 20, 2016
TWO WAYS OF DIVORCING
However, it has to be conceded that life does not always function smoothly, like a machine. Despite all safeguards, it sometimes does happen that couple reaches a stage of such desperation that they become intent on separation. Here are shari’ah gives them guidance in that it prescribes a specific method for separation, The Qur’an expresses it thus: “Divorce may be pronounced twice, then a woman must be retained in honour or allowed to go with kindness.”
This verse has been interpreted to mean that a man who has twice given notice of divorce over a period of two months should remember God before giving notice a third time. Then he should either keep his spouse with him in a spirit of goodwill, or he should release her without doing her any injustice.
This method of divorce prescribed by the Qur’an, i.e. taking three month to finalize it, makes it
impossible for a man seeking divorce suddenly to cast his wife aside. Once he has said to his wife (who should not at this time be menstruation), “I divorce you,” both are expected to think the situation over for a whole month. If the man has a change of opinion during this period, he can withdraw his words. If not, he will again say , “I divorce you,” (again his wife should be in a state of “purity”) and they must again review the situation for a further month, Even at this state, the husband has the right to revoke the proceedings if he has a change of heart. If, however, in the third month, he says, “I divorce you,” the divorce becomes final and the man ceases to have any right to revoke it. Now he is obliged to part with his wife in a spirit of good will, and give her full rights.
This prescribed method of divorce has ensured that it is a well-considered, planned arrangement and not just a rash step taken in a fit of emotion. When we remember that in most cases, divorce is the result of a fit of anger, we realize that the prescribed method places a tremendous curb on divorce. It takes into account the fact that anger never lasts- tempers necessarily cool down after some time- and that those who feel like divorcing their wives in a fit of anger will certainly repent their emotional outburst and will wish to withdraw from the position it has put them in. It also takes into account the fact that divorce is a not a simple matter: it amounts to the breaking up of the home and destroying the children’s future. It is only when tempers have cooled down that the dire consequences of divorce are realized, and the necessity to revoke the decision becomes clear.