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Triple divorce law - a wilful misinterpretation by Shariah

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Author Topic: Triple divorce law - a wilful misinterpretation by Shariah  (Read 182 times)
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« on: March 22, 2010, 03:45:51 am »


Although the Glorious Quran is very cautious in matters of divorce, it's not unusual to hear or read stories about men screaming "I divorce you" three times at their wives and calling it quits. It's commonly referred to as the "immediate triple divorce" law. This originates from Shariah which has blatantly misinterpreted the Quranic law on divorce.

The following four verses of the Glorious Quran summarize all essential divorce laws.

"Divorce must be pronounced twice and then (a woman) must be retained in honour or released in kindness. And it is not lawful for you that ye take from women aught of that which ye have given them; except (in the case) when both fear that they may not be able to keep within the limits (imposed by) Allah. And if ye fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of Allah, in that case it is no sin for either of them if the woman ransom herself. These are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Transgress them not. For whoso transgresseth Allah's limits: such are wrong-doers." 2:229

"O Prophet! When you (men) put away women, put them away for their (legal) period and reckon the period, and keep your duty to Allah, your Lord.   (65:1).

"And if he hath divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she hath wedded another husband. Then if he (the other husband) divorce her it is no sin for both of them that they come together again if they consider that they are able to observe the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah. He manifesteth them for people who have knowledge." 2:230

"Those who forswear their wives must wait four months; then, if they change their mind, lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." 2:226 

Triple divorce popular in the Sunni community with legal validity by so-called ulemas:
In various Sunni communities, against the dictates of the above verses, men are being allowed to divorce their wives by pronouncing talaq thrice verbally, in one breath. Because of this violation many homes and families have been destroyed. In modern times, some men use the immediate triple divorce practice even through telephones, emails or text messaging.

Discarded by Shiias:
However, the system of 'immediate triple divorce' is rejected by the Shiia jurisprudence. The Shiias deem divorce to be a procedure, NOT a verbal decision. That sounds a lot more correct.

Clarification of three divorces:
Verses 2:229-230 do NOT mean three verbal pronouncements of the word "talaq" in a single breath to confirm divorce. The procedure is cautious and slow.

It's very clear from the Verses quoted above, the three pronunciations of talaq or divorce have to be spaced over a period of 4 months.   We need to understand Verse 2:229 and 65:1 in sequence.  It's plainly indicated that after pronouncing divorce twice, if the couple are still undecided on reconciliation, there has to be a waiting period in separation for both of them to carefully make a decision.  Please note, a waiting period of four months.  That's a far cry for a speedy sentence of  "I divorce you"  repeated three times.   The mandatory waiting period of four months is stated in Verse 2:226.

Unfortunately the Sunni Shariah law has totally twisted this Quranic commandment into something very different by allowing men to simply pronounce "divorce" three successive times verbally, and that's the end of the episode! The divorce is done. It seems a purposeful distortion aimed at spreading injustice and creating a totally male-dominated society as existed prior to Islam.

However, some Sunni jurists call this misinterpretation Talaq-e-Bidah (innovative form of divorce). This expression itself suggests that this distortion is not compatible with the Quran.

Legal status:
The immediate triple divorce is supposed to be banned by law in several Muslim countries like Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria and Indonesia.   However, it seems there are many in these countries who don't care for the ban and their clerics support them.

 For talkback check blog:

Also please check:

- Source of the misinterpreted triple divorce law
- Divorce in the Glorious Quran
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