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Divorce/Talaq in Islam its Types and Quranic References

A comprehensive introduction

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What Does Talaq (Divorce) meant in Islam?

Talaq in Islam Divorce
Talaq is the Arabic word that is used for divorce. It means ‘freeing or undoing the knot’. It is the act of dissolving a marriage or annulling it legally. Divorce procedures and different School of Thoughts: Divorce method vary alot from
  • For a Divorce to be valid in Sunni School of thought, witnesses are not required, Husband would have to give Talaq, 3 times with one month of gap for each, (keeping in mind) there would be no physical relation between both (husband and wife), during these three months otherwise, the Talaq/Divorce will be considered as invalid,
  • Two witnesses and a waiting period are required (Iddat) for Shi’ah Muslims to end a marriage. A divorce initiated by a woman is known as a khula. A waiting period must be observed to ensure the woman is not pregnant. 
Types of Talaq in Islam:
There are three types of Talaq in Islam
  2. Talaq-e-ahsan” is a single declaration of ‘talaq’ by the husband, followed by abstinence. “Iddat” is the Arabic word for abstinence. Generally, the ‘iddat’ lasts for ninety days, which equates to three menstrual cycles or three lunar months. Cohabitation or intimacy between the couple within the period of “iddat” will constitute the revocation of the divorce. As a result, the ‘talaq-e-ahsan’ is revocable. As a consequence, if there is no resumption of cohabitation or intimacy during the ‘iddat’ period, then the divorce will become final and irrevocable, following the ‘iddat’ period. It is considered irrevocable because, unless they undergo a new nikah (marriage), with a new mahr, both parties are prohibited from resuming their marital relationship. If, however, a ‘talaq‘ is pronounced a third time, the couple cannot remarry unless the wife first marries someone else, and only once they have been separated by divorce or death, can they remarry. Among Muslims, ‘talaq-e-ahsan‘ is regarded as the most appropriate form of divorce.
  4. As with ‘talaq-e-ahsan’,’Talaq-e-hasan’ is pronounced similarly. There are three successive pronouncements here instead of a single one. Within one month of a first decree of divorce, if there is a resumption of cohabitation, the first decree is deemed to have been revoked. Following the expiration of the first month (during which the spouses have not reestablished marital ties), the same procedure is mandated. The Talaq is performed again. If cohabitation is resumed within one month after the second talaq, the divorce decree is deemed to have been revoked. The husband may revoke both the first and second pronouncements. Upon doing so, either expressly or by resuming conjugal relations, the husband’s ‘talaq‘ becomes ineffective as if it was never expressed. In the event of a third talaq, it is irrevocable. Accordingly, if there is no revocation made after the first and second declarations, and the husband makes the third declaration, at the end of the third time of purity (tuhr), the ‘talaq‘ becomes irrevocable, and the marriage is dissolved. In order to ensure that the male parent of any children born to the wife is clearly identified, she must observe the required “iddat” (period after divorce during which a woman cannot remarry). The husband and wife cannot remarry after the third ‘iddat’, unless the wife first marries another person, and only after that marriage has been dissolved, can the couple remarry. The difference between ‘talaq-e-ahsan‘ and ‘talaq-e-hasan’ is, that in the former there is a single pronouncement of ‘talaq’, followed by abstinence for the duration of ‘iddat,’ and in the latter there are three pronouncements of ‘talaq’, interspersed with abstinence. In contrast to ‘talaq-e-hasan’, which is considered ‘the proper form of divorce’, Muslims consider ‘talaq-e-hasan’ to be merely ‘the proper form of divorce’.
  6. Three kinds of talaq exist: e-biddat, talaq-e-biddat, and talaq-e-biddat. One definitive ‘talaq’ pronouncement, such as “I talaq you irrevocably” or three simultaneous ‘talaq’ pronouncements, such as “talaq, talaq, talaq”, said at the same time, simultaneously achieves this effect. ‘Talaq-e-biddat’ permits divorce effective immediately. The instant talaq is irrevocable in the moment it is announced, unlike the other two types of talaq. The custom of talaq-e-biddat is also considered irregular among Muslims. Talaq-e-biddat is not mentioned in the Quran. In order to avoid the harshness of law, it was introduced after the death of Prophet Muhammad.

Divorce ( Talaq) in the light of the Holy Quran:

The matter of divorce or talaq among Muslims is very clearly defined in the Holy Quran in Surah At-Talaq. Review the surah along with the translation to understand the divorce carefully. Surah e At-Talaq:  Surah At-Talaq defines the method and the procedure of the divorce in the very best manner. In the Surah At talaq, Allah says:
 يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ وَأَحْصُوا الْعِدَّةَ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ ۖ لَا تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِنْ بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخْرُجْنَ إِلَّا أَنْ يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُبَيِّنَةٍ ۚ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ ۚ لَا تَدْرِي لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرً
O Prophet, when you divorce women, divorce them as soon as their waiting period commences, and keep count of the waiting period. In addition, you should fear Allah, your Lord. Don’t force them to leave their [husbands’] houses, nor should they leave [during that time] unless they are clearly committing an immoral act. These are the limits God has established. The one who transgresses the limits of Allah has certainly wronged himself. You do not know; Allah may bring forth a [different] circumstance after that.
فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ فَارِقُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ وَأَشْهِدُوا ذَوَيْ عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ وَأَقِيمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ لِلَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا
If they reach the end of the waiting period, either take them back in a good manner or part with them in a good manner [by paying their bridal money and other appropriate expenses]. And take as witness two just persons from amongst you [at the time of divorce]. Thus establishing the testimony for Allah’s approval. Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day will be instructed by this. Whoever fears Allah and does what He commands will be spared all hardships.
وَاللَّائِي يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلَاثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللَّائِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ ۚ وَأُولَاتُ الْأَحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْرًا ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ أَنزَلَهُ إِلَيْكُمْ ۚ وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يُكَفِّرْ عَنْهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِ وَيُعْظِمْ لَهُ أَجْرًا
In the case of your women who have no hope of having monthly courses, then the prescribed period for them, if you have any doubts about their periods, is three months; and for those who have no courses, then the prescribed period is three months as well, except in the case of death.  When a woman is pregnant, her prescribed period is until she lays down her baby; and whoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy.As a reward for those who fear Allah and deepen their duty to Him, He will expiate their sins and increase their rewards.
وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا
He will provide for him from unexpected places. Allah is sufficient for anyone who relies on Him. Indeed, He will bring about the outcome He intends. Allah has already established a certain extent for everything.
لِيُنْفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِنْ سَعَتِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنْفِقْ مِمَّا آتَاهُ اللَّهُ ۚ لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا آتَاهَا ۚ سَيَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍ يُسْرًا
The man who has money to spend should do so, and the man whose provision is limited should spend whatever Allah has given him. It is Allah who charges a soul only with what He has given it. After hardship, Allah will bring ease.
اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ وَمِنَ الْأَرْضِ مِثْلَهُنَّ يَتَنَزَّلُ الْأَمْرُ بَيْنَهُنَّ لِتَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا
All creations, including the seven heavens and the earth, were made by Allah. So that you will know Allah is competent over all things and that He has encompassed them all with knowledge, [His] command descends among them.


Islam is very clear about talaq, and its procedure. Though some exceptional circumstances may require advice from Islamic scholars, and family lawyers.

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