Divorce In Islam

Devout Muslims take their marriage seriously because in Islam divorce is disliked and should be considered the very last resort for a bad or strained relationship. If problems arise in a marriage, both parties should seek to solve through family intervention if their own efforts bear no fruit. Islamic divorce procedure is vastly different from the western one, mainly because it is based on very well defined, unchangeable, yet easy and just rulings. Judicial system works more efficiently in countries governed by the Islamic shari’ah because of these characteristics. Hence Muslims living in an Islamic society are at an advantage in this matter. They know what to expect both in cases of marriage and divorce, and everything is taken care of by the Islamic court itself. The west does not have such a beneficial system. Constantly changing laws can raise havoc there in such matters. Moreover, one has to hire an expensive attorney that not everyone can afford and hope to get an unbiased judge.

In Islam divorce is not such a simple thing as it is misunderstood by some people. It has certain rulings, and is forbidden under certain circumstances.  It is legally forbidden to pronounce divorce during a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle and if the couple has had intercourse after her last monthly period. This prohibition addresses a few pertinent matters. For one, a woman is likely to experience emotional ups and downs during menstruation. This in turn creates more stress and may deter any reconciliation. If divorce is pronounced to a woman during this time, she may tend to be more emotional, cause undue trauma for her and her family. After the pronouncement of divorce, an additional waiting period of three monthly cycles must pass in order to facilitate any possible reconciliation. If the woman is pregnant, the waiting time is until the birth of the baby regardless of the length of the time. The Muslim man, regardless of his desire for divorce at this time must wait out the entire period of pregnancy.  In other words, he cannot abandon his wife while she is carrying their child. He must continue to maintain her throughout the pregnancy, and possibly after the childbirth when divorce is finalized. The mother can nurse her child and is entitled to get support from its father until it reaches the age of two. If the mother refuses, the husband must be prepared to hire someone else as a nurse.

The waiting period as prescribed acts as a buffer. Divorce is stressful enough for both the parties concerned.  The waiting period is often a time for reconciliation, which is permissible and even desirable. Whatever the circumstances may be, Islam forbids cruel treatment of either partner, and equitable, humane respect is expected from every person involved. Islamic divorce does not take place publicly in front of a judge or in a courtroom full of strangers. Consciousness of God as an omnipresent power is a fundamental underlying force in Islam; therefore, Muslim men and women are expected to be responsible at all times, even during the delicate process of divorce. Due to the element of religious and moral uprightness required of Muslims and because Islam has defined everything, making a divorce public would not be beneficial.

In Islam the general grounds for divorce are simple and humane. It is the inability of either the husband or the wife to continue keeping their marital duties. It might be that one simply cannot live peacefully or compassionately with the other. It is inhumane to force a person to stay with someone under duress. Some acceptable reasons to justify a wife’s request for divorce include a husband being absent for an extended period without his wife’s consent, he being neglectful of his wife and her needs, inability or unwillingness on his part to provide for his wife, excessive financial stress, or the inability to reproduce. Circumstances which require dissolution are when a wife accepts Islam but the husband does not or if either partner denounces his/her faith. Also if the marriage contract is found to be incorrect or void due to falsification or error, a divorce must take place.

Quran says regarding divorce:

The divorce is final after waiting period is finished.
The couple may now go their separate ways. For children under the age of two, the mother is given custody for the purpose of breastfeeding. The father is at this time required to pay for the maintenance of the mother and child until the child reaches the age of weaning; (Surah Talaq 65:1)

And at another place, it says:

If no agreement is reached by the parents concerning custody, the child is normally retained by the mother during preschool years and then may be given to the father, unless it against the best intrests of the child. (Surah Baqarah 2:233)

It must be understood that the Muslim men are forever the wards and providers for their children even after the divorce. This means that children in Islam are protected by this command, unlike in the west where “deadbeat dads” exist. In case where father is granted the custody of children, he cannot forbid the mother from seeing, keeping contact with or visiting her children. This is anti-Islamic and would be cruel. In Islam divorce does not mean the end of parent-child relationship. One of the prerequisites to enter Heaven is that one has been good to and has honoured the womb which bore him.

A couple may be divorced twice, after which they may remarry.  However, after the third divorce it is forbidden to reconcile until the woman has first married another man with the intention of permanence.  Then she must have been widowed or divorced from the second husband. This forces couples to be very careful about their actions and words towards one another and does not allow for the ease of divorce to be abused or taken for granted. Divorce in Islam has been made easy, but not so easy that people will take advantage of it.

89 comments on “Divorce In Islam

  1. A good read…the point you have put across should and has to be taken seriously! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This post really shed light for me on the topic of divorce. Thanks for sharing it

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Hmmmm this is interesting ….I think divorce is extremely sad and doubt ANYONE takes the decision lightly whatever the cultural background ….hmmm although celebrities seem to marry and divorce like changing their outfits I guess …..here in the UK divorce laws are all about ‘mediation’ now to promote reconciliation where possible and if not an amicable and fair split ….there is a recognition that children need to maintain a relationship with both parents where possible unless it would not be in the child’s best interests to do so ….an abusive or violent parent for example.
    Not a nice process for anyone really …there are certainly no winners in divorce …however, it’s important to ensure things are as smooth as possible for children …they did not ask for it so their needs come before BOTH parents …we are blessed with children to ‘guide’ thro life as best we can not be viewed as property.

    An informative ‘food for thought’ post …Thanks:)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well said Imran!! A very informative write. You have highlighted all areas in a short and sweet way. 👍

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beautiful piece, you have certainly treated this topic as it deserves, masha Allah

    Liked by 3 people

  6. this is an interesting read. You’ve cleared a lot of ambiguity regarding this issue which has recently become a hot potato. I’ve been reading a lot about it, but you’ve described a whole new perspective. Media tends to be biased in giving superficial info about certain things..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes im algerian muslim the divorce is not easy and he is very very disliked

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Nicely Written Article on Divorce covering its all aspects. Jazakallah Khair .

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you, Imran, for shedding light on this topic. It was interesting to read it, and make comparisons!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Very interesting! I think that although many may not understand the different rulings on divorce it does place a sacredness on marriage that others have devalued.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Some inside info…thanks it’s always great to peek into another culture n religion

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you Imran Ali for educating us. Very thought provoking and informative post. Thank you. salamut raho

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks for sharing this, my Dear Imran. Good write up.

    YET, do not agree with many points. But am Sure We Agree to Disagree.


    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wonderful post on real Islamic teachings for matters of divorce, children maintenance and socio-economic responsibilities of Muslim men and women. But what would you say to all most 90% Muslim men that divorce in jest and forget all rulings on paying for their children and HAQ MEHAR. I have observed cases, one from my family where the the husband forced my cousin to waive HAQ MEHAR (that wasn’t paid despite 10 years of marriage) to grant her divorce from his abusive, drug addict self of a husband?

    Liked by 2 people

    • As per my understanding, from what the scholars say, if the separation was by talaq (i.e. divorce by the husband) before the consummation of the marriage, then the woman is entitled to half of the specified or paid mahr, and if it was after the consummation of the marriage, then she is entitled to the whole mahr.

      However, if the separation was by faskh (i.e. annulment by the Judge) due to a fault at the man’s end, then the woman is entitled to half of the mahr if the marriage was not consummated (and entitled to full of the mahr if the marriage was consummated), but if it was due to a fault at the woman’s end, then she is not entitled to any mahr–not full of it nor half of it.

      Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says:

      “If you divorce them before you have touched them, and you have already specified for them an obligation (i.e. dowry/mahr), then (give them) half of what you specified–unless they forego the right, or the one in whose hand is the marriage contract foregoes it. But to forego is nearer to piety. And do not forget generosity between one another. Allah is seeing of everything you do.”
      (Quran 2: 237)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Y can’t problems be sought out by talking? I mean why does divorcé become only as a option…..I have seen recently so many divorces soon after marriage…!! I mean how? Without any genuine reason?

    Liked by 3 people

  16. This is some new information for me. Thanks for writing and sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I really love this post

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Peace be with Imran bro.
    How are u?
    Someone is talking to u on my post (homosexuality in Islam)
    I cant give u the link cause i enter with my mobile
    I think u should read what he said
    When u have the time please read his comment.
    Have a nice day dear friend!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Sorry the post is Jesus in Islam!!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. i heard a rumor that some Muslims use marriage and divorce as a work around for prostitution whats your knowledge on this ? nice article 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This has been very informative. Thank you for this post. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Wow – so informative
    Thank you for sharing 😊

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Awesome.. at least someone understands the seriousness of divorce

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am wondering how much similarity you see between divorce in Islam and divorce in the Jewish culture. Have you read David Instone-Brewer’s book on divorce and remarriage?

      Liked by 2 people

      • There are many common aspects between Islam and Judaism. As Islam developed it gradually became the major religion closest to Judaism, both of them being strictly Monotheist religious traditions originating in a Semitic Middle Eastern culture. As opposed to Christianity, which originated from interaction between ancient Greek and Hebrew cultures, Islam is similar to Judaism in its fundamental religious outlook, structure, jurisprudence and practice. There are many traditions within Islam originating from traditions within the Hebrew Bible or from postbiblical Jewish traditions. These practices are known collectively as the Isra’iliyat.

        The Qur’an speaks extensively about the Children of Israel (Banû Isrâ’îl) and recognizes that the Jews (al-Yahûd) are, according to lineage, descendants of Prophet Abraham through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob. They were chosen by Allah for a mission: “And We chose them, purposely, above (all) creatures.” [Sûrah al-Dukhân: 32] Allah raised among them many Prophets and bestowed upon them what He had not bestowed upon many others: “And (remember) when Musa said unto his people: O my people ! Remember Allah’s favor unto you, how He placed among you Prophets, and He made you Kings, and gave you that (which) He gave not to any (other) of (His) creatures.” [Sûrah al-Mâ’idah: 20] He, also, exalted them over other nations of the earth and granted them many favors: “O Children of Israel! Remember My favor wherewith I favored you and how I preferred you to (all) creatures.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 47] They were chosen by God for a mission (44:32) and God raised among them many Prophets and bestowed upon them what He had not bestowed upon many others (5:20).

        Liked by 1 person

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  24. Well even I had many misconceptions about divorce in Islam…nicely explained and thought provoking and sacredness of a man woman relationship in a marriage is well explained but still I would pray even though you have given a great positive outlook towards the whole process but the outcome to both the parties must be quite painful …hope it happens with no one 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Wow. I agree with everything you said about divorce. I really enjoyed this post and would like to read more of this sort. I am also a blogger, I have a post on this topic too and would like believers to check it out thank you.

    here is the link. copy and past to your brouser:


    Wa Aleikum Salaam Warahmatullahi wabarikaat

    Liked by 2 people

  26. thanks

    Liked by 2 people

  27. A very good read… explained very well. I followed you… please follow back.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Really awesome information ..thanks a lot.
    read more Islamic articles from this source..


    Liked by 1 person

  29. What an intriguing post that enables us to understand more about Islamic culture. Looking forward to your next blog post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  30. This has really helped during current circumstances in my life. You are very learned and have put across the issue in a simplified manner. If it’s not too much trouble and you have knowledge in the area – can you please blog/shed some light on the rights of a divorced woman. For example, what she is entitled to, if she can travel by herself, if she is truly free? After being in an abusive marriage where I am the breadwinner and do the male and female “defined” roles I am keen to understand what may lie ahead for me, as a divorced woman.
    Thanks-look forward to your reply/future blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If a woman has asked for divorce – when her husband has consummated the marriage with her – one of two scenarios must apply:


      Either she has asked for it because of the husband’s shortcomings in fulfilling her rights, or because of some attitude in him that annoys her and deprives her of her rights, or because he has fallen into sin, and other such reasons which make it permissible for her to ask for talaaq. The shar’i judge is the one who should evaluate them and decide whether they are valid reasons or not. If they are valid, then the husband must divorce her by talaaq in that case, and give her all her rights in full, which are:

      (i) The full mahr that was agreed upon, both the earlier portion, if any of it is still outstanding, and the delayed portion, because the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If he has consummated the marriage with her, then the mahr is hers because of his intimacy with her.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1102); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (1840).

      (ii) Reasonable maintenance, including food, drink, accommodation and clothing during the ‘iddah period, if it is revocable divorce.

      Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) said:

      The woman who has been revocably divorced is still a wife so long as the ‘iddah continues, and she is entitled to the same as other wives of maintenance, clothing and accommodation. End quote.

      Al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhi (2/317).

      If the divorce is not revocable, such as a third talaaq, then she is not entitled to maintenance or accommodation.

      Muslim (1480) narrated that Faatimah bint Qays (may Allaah be pleased with her) was divorced by her husband for a third time, and she asked the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about what she was entitled to of maintenance. He said: “You are not entitled to maintenance or accommodation.”

      If she has custody of her children from him, then in that case he must also give her:

      (iii) Payment for custody and breastfeeding.

      (iv) Maintenance for the children.

      Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

      “The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling, but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis. No person shall have a burden laid on him greater than he can bear”

      [al-Baqarah 2:233].

      So Allaah has made it obligatory for the father of the child to spend on the mother who breastfeeds her child. This includes the woman who is pregnant or divorced; the father must pay for maintenance.

      Tafseer al-Sa’di (p. 105).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you zara !
      For your input insight and your kind suggestions I’d try to do the justice with subject ….May Almighty make your task and life ahead easy.

      Love &
      Regards! ! !

      Immorality, Sex Object, & Rampant Divorce – http://wp.me/p5sKku-1d

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Hi.Thanks so much for this! This is very informative for me 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  32. We aren’t lucky as some of our muslim brothers and sister, as we live in West.

    This was a great reminder, ty🍀

    Liked by 1 person

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