My husband gave me three divorces. He himself did not know so well that saying ‘divorce’ (verbally) takes such serious effect. He thought of it as a way to put pressure on me. He said it thrice as is seen in movie. Is this enough to decide about our marital status?
I told him about possible nullification of our marriage. At this point, I reiterated that I cannot live with him as Haram woman. He had the impression that i am still his wife.
Then again I told him that we have to redo the process if I know that we have to. He was taken aback and was speechless. We are sleeping apart.
Can you please also tell me about Iddah. I am not pregnant. Do I still have to observe it, and also do I have to get married to another man?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Your question will be answered in three parts. The first deals with divorce, the second with the waiting period (Iddah) and the third looks at the issue of marrying another man (Halala).
1) As far as the divorce is concerned, you mention that your husband pronounced the word “divorce” three times and therefore three divorces have come into effect. Whether your husband had the intention of divorcing you or otherwise and whether he took it seriously or otherwise and whether he said it to only put pressure on you, three divorces have been affected.
When three divorces are given then, this is known as an irrevocable divorce (Talaq al-Mugallazah) and you can not return to him unless after marrying another man (as it will be mentioned in detail in the third part).
Allah Most High says:
“Divorce is twice, thereafter either retaining her honourably or releasing her kindly……. If he divorces her third time, she is unlawful for him unless she marries another husband (and he also divorces her).” (Surah al-Baqarah, V: 229/230)
Therefore, in your case, three divorces have come into effect and you can not live as husband and wife.
2) As far as the waiting period (Iddah) is concerned, it is obligatory upon the woman to fully observe it. The time limit for this period differs from one woman to another. If the woman is pregnant then, she will have to wait until she gives birth. If she is not pregnant, then the period for a woman whose husband passes away is, four months ten days and for a divorcee, the period is three complete menstrual cycles.
There are many wisdoms and reasons for the Iddah being obligatory. For instance, to ensure that the sperm of two men do not gather and get mixed up in the womb of one woman. Also, another reason is to express grief over a sad incident, etc.
Therefore, in your case, you must observe the waiting period, which is three complete menstrual cycles, even if you are not pregnant. If the divorce was given whilst you were in your menstruation, then this period of menstruation will not be counted. Your calculation will commence from the next menstrual period.
The waiting period should be observed in the house you were living in at the time of divorce. Therefore, you may observe the Iddah in your former husband’s house. However, you must ensure that you observe Hijab from him.
3) When a woman is divorced three times, this divorce is non-revocable, which means that the husband can not take her back unless after she marries another man.
Many people with regards to this are mistaken. The general misconception is that marrying another man (Halala) is a solution provided by Shariah in order for the husband and wife to get back together.
This is, however, not the case. The meaning of Halala is that, if the woman after being divorced and after observing her waiting period wished to marry another man, she can do so. This second husband by total coincidence and on his own accord also divorced her after having sexual intercourse with her, then after observing the full waiting period, she can remarry her first husband.
It should be remembered that, this is not a solution provided by Shariah. Once three divorces are pronounced, the marriage is over and there is no getting together again. But if by coincidence, she married another man and he to by coincidence (after having sexual intercourse with her) divorced her, then she, after the Iddah is over, can remarry her first husband.
If Nikah was performed on the condition of Halala or by fixing a fee to be paid to the second man, then this is a grave sin and unlawful. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
“Allah’s curse is on the one who makes a contract or agreement for Halala (Both the one who carries out Halala and the one who it is done for.” (Sunan al Darami / Mishkat al Masabih)
However, if there is only an intention of Halala in the heart and no verbal agreement was made, then according to the majority of Fuqaha, this is permissible and valid (Radd al-Muhtar)
I hope I have been able to answer all your queries.
And Allah Knows Best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK