Divorce, Marriage and Women’s Rights (2:226 – 231)

Laws of Divorce
[2:226] Those who intend to divorce their wives shall wait four months (cooling off); if they change their minds and reconcile, then GOD is Forgiver, Merciful. 

[2:227] If they go through with the divorce, then GOD is Hearer, Knower.

[2:228] The divorced women shall wait three menstruations (before marrying another man). It is not lawful for them to conceal what GOD creates in their wombs, if they believe in GOD and the Last Day. (In case of pregnancy,) the husband’s wishes shall supersede the wife’s wishes, if he wants to remarry her. The women have rights, as well as obligations, equitably. Thus, the man’s wishes prevail (in case of pregnancy). GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

[2:229] Divorce may be retracted twice. The divorced woman shall be allowed to live in the same home amicably, or leave it amicably. It is not lawful for the husband to take back anything he had given her. However, the couple may fear that they may transgress GOD’s law. If there is fear that they may transgress GOD’s law, they commit no error if the wife willingly gives back whatever she chooses. These are GOD’s laws; do not transgress them. Those who transgress GOD’s laws are the unjust.

[2:230] If he divorces her (for the third time), it is unlawful for him to remarry her, unless she marries another man, then he divorces her. The first husband can then remarry her, so long as they observe GOD’s laws. These are GOD’s laws; He explains them for people who know.

 Do Not Throw the Divorcees Out Onto the Streets
[2:231] If you divorce the women, once they fulfill their interim (three menstruations), you shall allow them to live in the same home amicably, or let them leave amicably. Do not force them to stay against their will, as a revenge. Anyone who does this wrongs his own soul. Do not take GOD’s revelations in vain. Remember GOD’s blessings upon you, and that He sent down to you the scripture and wisdom to enlighten you. You shall observe GOD, and know that GOD is aware of all things.

Why is God “Forgiver” in 2:226? Was something wrong committed?

When we make a divorce we are breaking our pledge, but God is Forgvier

Protection for Women
[4:20] If you wish to marry another wife, in place of your present wife, and you had given any of them a great deal, you shall not take back anything you had given her. Would you take it fraudulently, maliciously, and sinfully?
[4:21] How could you take it back, after you have been intimate with each other, and they had taken from you a solemn pledge?

What is the definition of marriage and divorce according to the Quran?

The title of Sura 65 is Divorce:

[65:1] O you prophet, when you people divorce the women, you shall ensure that a divorce interim is fulfilled. You shall measure such an interim precisely.* You shall reverence GOD your Lord. Do not evict them from their homes, nor shall you make life miserable for them, to force them to leave on their own, unless they commit a proven adultery. These are GOD’s laws. Anyone who transgresses GOD’s laws commits an injustice against himself. You never know; maybe GOD wills something good to come out of this. Footnote

[65:2] Once the interim is fulfilled, you may reconcile with them equitably, or go through with the separation equitably. You shall have two equitable witnesses witness the divorce before GOD. This is to enlighten those who believe in GOD and the Last Day. Anyone who reverences GOD, He will create an exit for him.

[65:3] And will provide for him whence he never expected. Anyone who trusts in GOD, He suffices him. GOD’s commands are done. GOD has decreed for everything its fate.

[65:4] As for the women who have reached menopause, if you have any doubts, their interim shall be three months. As for those who do not menstruate, and discover that they are pregnant, their interim ends upon giving birth. Anyone who reverences GOD, He makes everything easy for him.

[65:5] This is GOD’s command that He sends down to you. Anyone who reverences GOD, He remits his sins, and rewards him generously.

[65:6] You shall allow them to live in the same home in which they lived with you, and do not make life so miserable for them that they leave on their own. If they are pregnant, you shall spend on them until they give birth. If they nurse the infant, you shall pay them for this service. You shall maintain the amicable relations among you. If you disagree, you may hire another woman to nurse the child.

[65:7] The rich husband shall provide support in accordance with his means, and the poor shall provide according to the means that GOD bestowed upon him. GOD does not impose on any soul more than He has given it. GOD will provide ease after difficulty.

Steps for Divorce:

  • Arbitrators are selected from either side to try to reconcile. (4:35)
  • Are not allowed to make life miserable for the other to force them to leave (65:1)
  • There is a four month cooling off period for those who are not pregnant (2:226). If there is a pregnancy the interim ends upon giving birth. (65:6)
  • If the couple still wants to divorce then it requires two witnesses (65:2)

God’s psychology to try to save marriages is to have a cooling off period. Divorce is a serious decision and can affect many people. It is important that the emotion is reduced from the decision so that cooler heads can prevail.

Requirements for Marriage:

  • Mutual attraction, dowry, and a solemn pledge (4:21, 4:24)

[4:21] How could you take it back, after you have been intimate with each other, and they had taken from you a solemn pledge?

Mutual Attraction And Dowry Required
[4:24] Also prohibited are the women who are already married, unless they flee their disbelieving husbands who are at war with you.* These are GOD’s commandments to you. All other categories are permitted for you in marriage, so long as you pay them their due dowries. You shall maintain your morality, by not committing adultery. Thus, whoever you like among them, you shall pay them the dowry decreed for them. You commit no error by mutually agreeing to any adjustments to the dowry. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.

The intention of marriage should be forever. Marriage should not be meant to be temporary. Some people think it is okay to keep the marriage secret and not tell people or even their own parents or not to file legally. For many people they do this out of convenience, because if the marriage doesn’t work out it makes it easier to divorce. This goes counter to the Quran. When we commit ourselves to our spouse and uphold our responsibility we should not create carve outs to make it easy to part company. If we are more concerned about breaking a promise to the state than breaking a promise to God then we need to reassess our priorities. If we are not ready to make this commitment and be open about ones marriage then we may not be mature enough for marriage.

Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKAusMNTNnk

 

God discourages divorce, and we should do our utmost to avoid it if possible.

Divorce Discouraged
[4:128] If a woman senses oppression or desertion from her husband, the couple shall try to reconcile their differences, for conciliation is best for them. Selfishness is a human trait, and if you do good and lead a righteous life, GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

Divorce can be a selfish act, and we need to try to be forgiving and

We need to be able to forgive and forget when it comes to our spouses. We cannot be selfish if we choose to divorce as this decision can have major impact on the lives of many people especially children of the divorced couple.

[64:14] O you who believe, your spouses and your children can be your enemies; beware. If you pardon, forget, and forgive, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

In 2:230, what great psychology that God is employing that God is putting a stop to people who take marriage and divorce lightly. People who divorce and remarry the same person repeatedly are unstable and this is putting stop to the flimsy nature such that if it is committed the third time then the women will need to remarry and divorce before she can marry her first husband again.

This is also to protect the women as the verse says the women needs to marry another man and not the man marry another women. This way if the woman is in an abusive relationship this will give here an exit. This may also be some sort of punishment for people who are not committed.

What kind of responsibility does a righteous society have for oppressive societies who claim to be Muslims and follow the Quran yet they oppress their women?

God in the Quran tells us that a believing women can flee her disbelieving husband if they are at war with believers.

[60:10] O you who believe, when believing women (abandon the enemy and) ask for asylum with you, you shall test them. GOD is fully aware of their belief. Once you establish that they are believers, you shall not return them to the disbelievers. They are not lawful to remain married to them, nor shall the disbelievers be allowed to marry them. Give back the dowries that the disbelievers have paid. You commit no error by marrying them, so long as you pay them their due dowries. Do not keep disbelieving wives (if they wish to join the enemy). You may ask them for the dowry you had paid, and they may ask for what they paid. This is GOD’s rule; He rules among you. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.

The Quran employs the non-aggression principle. This means that we are not allowed to aggress unless aggressed upon. Additionally we can fight to eliminate oppression if the option of leaving is not available (2:190 – 193). God tells us in 4:128 that if a women “senses oppression” they should try to reconcile, this is different than a women who “is being oppressed.”

The Quran is written for the believers and those who want to do better. When we come to the message we all come with baggage. As believers when we read and learn from the Quran we work to purify our religion and rid ourselves of our old misguided practices.

God utilizes the best psychology to eliminate oppression in a marriage. No believing man can read the verses of the Quran and at the same time oppress their wife and family.

For those who are not believers and therefore will not follow the Quran anyway then there is no law that can be established that will change the mind of the people. We cannot legislate morality. All we can do is remind, encourage and exhort people to be righteous.

Mental abuse may be worst than physical abuse in some instances.

God is the Most Just and anything unjust is not approved by God.

[30:21] Among His proofs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other, and He placed in your hearts love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are sufficient proofs for people who think.   

Can the women divorce a man according to the Quran?

Yes. According to 4:35 and 4:128 a women can begin the process for divorce. But like all other transactions in the Quran it needs to be mutually acceptable by both parties (4:29) unless one is fleeing from a disbelieving spouse during the time of war (60:10).

Marriage Arbitration
[4:35] If a couple fears separation, you shall appoint an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family; if they decide to reconcile, GOD will help them get together. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.

In many countries men keep many wives and they don’t allow them to divorce and therefore keep them against their will

Who keeps the children in a divorce?

While it is the man’s responsibility to provide for his family, the custody of the children in the case of divorce is no different than any other transaction. Only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. Therefore both parties must agree on the end result.

[4:29] O you who believe, do not consume each others’ properties illicitly – only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. GOD is Merciful towards you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJbfuEekYTw

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