Question: Assalaamu alaikum,
This email is address to Mufti Waseem Khan. A muslim brother and sister was married. She decided to return to her mom. Upon she leaving his house, he gave her the first Talaq. After this they had sexual relationship. Then he went and gave her the second Talaq. Did they commit a sin by having sexual relationship. The third Talaq is pending.
Answer: Assalamu Alaikum,
If he had sexual relationship with her before her Iddah (waiting period of 3 menses) came to an end, then it means that he had revoked the Talaq. Hence, they became husband and wife again, but one Talaq had occurred. In this case, he did not commit a sin by having sexual relationship with her. However, his action showed that he wanted to take back his wife, and so he revoked it by having sexual relationship with her. This means that after doing this, they were still considered to be legally married. By giving the second Talaq, it means that he wants to part from her and wants to end the marriage. Here, the husband has the allowance to revoke the Talaq by either statement or actions, as long as the wife is in her Iddah. If the Iddah comes to an end, and he does not revoke the second divorce given, then the marriage has ended and each has to go his/her separate way. They will not be considered as husband and wife anymore. If the husband does not wish to live with his wife anymore, then he should allow the Iddah to come to an end without revoking the Talaq. In this way, the marriage will come to an end, without having to give a third Talaq (divorce).
Note: With respect to having sexual relationship after the first Talaq, if this took place after the Iddah came to an end, then the husband has committed a grave sin. The reason being that with the completion of Iddah, the marriage had ended and they were no longer husband and wife to each other.
And Allah Knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.