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When the Wife is unhappy with her Husband



Should all efforts at reconciliation prove unavailing, dissolution of
the marriage may alone furnish a way of relief. It should, however,
be noted that Islam does not look upon divorce with favor. The Holy
Prophet of Islam has said: Of that which is permitted, the most
obnoxious, in the estimation of Allah, is divorce.

Divorce may be initiated by the husband or the wife; in the latter
case the matter must proceed judicially, so that the rights of the
wife may be fully safeguarded.

If differences arise and, failing reconciliation, the husband vows
abstinence from his wife, the situation must be resolved within four

For those who vow abstinence from their wives, the maximum period for
making up their minds is four months; then if they revert towards
conciliation, surely Allah is Most Forgiving, Ever Merciful; and if
they decide upon divorce, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (2:227-

There is a whole set of regulations concerning divorce. These are
designed to ensure, inter alia, that divorce should not be resorted
to light-heartedly, or in a fit of passion or resentment. It should
be a deliberate act resolved upon after a careful consideration of
the consequences both for the parties and the children, if there are
any, of the marriage. With this end in view the procedure is somewhat
drawn out, so that the parties may have opportunities for cool
reflection and for reconciliation, before the divorce becomes

Revocable divorce can only be pronounced twice; whereafter there
should be a reconciliation in approved form, or final separation with
beneficence. It is not lawful for you to take away anything of that
which you have given your wives; unless it should be a case in which
the wife insists upon separation without any default on the part of
the husband and they are afraid that they would not be able to
observe the limits prescribed by Allah, if they were to continue
their association. In such case there will be no sin on either of
them in respect of that which the wife may surrender by way of
compromise. These are the limits prescribed by Allah, so transgress
them not; whose transgresses the limits prescribed by Allah, it is
they that are the wrong-doers. (2:230)

A further check on hasty divorce is:

Should the husband divorce the wife a third time, the divorce would
become irrevocable, and she would not be lawful for him thereafter,
except in case she should marry another husband and he too should
happen to divorce her, or should die. In such contingency, it would
be no sin for them to return to each other, provided they are sure
that they would now be able to observe the limits prescribed by
Allah. These are the limits prescribed by Allah which He makes clear
to the people who possess knowledge. (2:231)

In the case of a revocable divorce, when the end of the appointed
period of waiting approaches, there should be reconciliation in
approved form ordinal separation in approved form; but do not hold
back such women to impose hardship upon them. Whoso does that, surely
wrongs his own self. Do not bring the commandments of Allah into
contempt, and keep in mind the favor that Allah has bestowed upon you
and that which He has sent down to you of the Book and Wisdom,
whereby He exhorts you. Be mindful of your duty to Allah and be sure
that Allah knows all things well. (2:232)

When you divorce your wives and they reach the end of their waiting
period, and the divorce becomes irrevocable, do not hinder them from
marrying their chosen husbands, if they agree between themselves in
an approved manner. This is an admonition for everyone of you who
believes in Allah and the Last Day. It is most blessed for you and
purest. Allah knows and you know not. (2:233)

Divorced women shall wait, concerning themselves, for the space of
three courses. It is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah may
have created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last
Day. If their husbands should desire reconciliation during this
period, they would have the stronger right to the continuation of the
marriage than that it should be irrevocably dissolved. (2:29)

Should the husband and wife consort together after the pronouncement
of a revocable divorce, the pronouncement would be voided altogether.

Women who survive their husbands shall wait concerning themselves for
four months and ten days, and when they arrive at the end of that
period there shall be no blame on you for anything that they do with
regard to themselves according to what is fair. Allah is aware of
what you do. (2:235)

There shall be no blame on you in hinting at a proposal of marriage
to divorced or widowed women, or in contemplating the possibility in
your minds. Allah knows that you will think of them in that
connection; but do not enter into any secret engagement with them,
beyond conveying some indication to them of your inclination. Do not,
however, resolve on the marriage tie until after the expiry of the
period of waiting. Be sure Allah knows what is in your minds, so be
mindful of Him. Know also that Allah is Most Forgiving, Forbearing.

Those of you who die leaving behind surviving widows, the legacy for
their widows would be provision for a year without being turned out
of the marital home. Should they depart therefrom on their own, after
the expiry of the period of waiting, there shall be no blame upon you
with regard to any proper thing which they do concerning themselves.
Allah is Mighty, Wise. (2:241)

For divorced women also there shall be provision according to what is
fair. This is an obligation binding on the righteous. (2:242)

It will be no sin for you, if need arises, to divorce women whom you
have not touched and for whom no definite dower has been fixed. In
such case, make provision for them - an affluent one according to his
means, and a poor one according to his means - a provision in a
becoming manner. This is an obligation binding upon the virtuous.

If you divorce them before you have touched them, but you have fixed
a dower for them, then make over to them half of that which you have
fixed, unless they should remit it or the guardian for the marriage
should remit it, or unless the husband should voluntarily decide to
pay a sum in excess of the half. That she should remit or you should
pay a larger sum, as the case may be, would be closer to
righteousness. Do not neglect any chance of behaving benevolently
towards each other. Surely, Allah sees what you do. (2:238)

In cases of divorce, mothers shall give suck to their infants for two
whole years, where it is desired to complete the suckling, and the
father of the child shall be responsible for the maintenance of the
mother during that period according to usage. No one shall be
burdened beyond his capacity. No mother shall be made to suffer on
account of her child, and no father shall be made to suffer on
account of his child; and the same is the obligation of the heir. If
the parents should agree by mutual consultation and consent upon
weaning the child, there shall be no blame on them. Should you desire
to engage a wetnurse for your children, there shall be no blame on
you, provided you hand over what you have agreed to pay, in a fair
manner. Be ever mindful of your duty to Allah, and be sure that Allah
sees what you do. (2:234)

All this is summarized as follows:

O Prophet, when you divorce your wives, observe the period prescribed
for making the divorce effective, and reckon the period, and be
mindful of your duty to Allah, your Lord. Turn them not out of their
homes, nor should they depart therefrom, during that period, unless
they are guilty of manifest indecency. These are the limits set by
Allah. Whoso transgresses the limits set by Allah wrongs himself. The
waiting period is prescribed as you do not know that Allah may,
during that period, bring about something new. (65:2)

When they arrive at the end of the prescribed period then retain them
in a suitable manner, or send them away in a suitable manner, and
appoint two just persons from among you as witnesses; and bear true
witness for the sake of Allah. This is an admonition for him who
believes in Allah and the Last Day. (65:3)

The prescribed period for those of your wives who have lost all
expectation of monthly courses, in case of doubt, is three months,
and also in case of those who have not had their monthly courses. In
case of those who are with child, the prescribed period is until they
are delivered. (65:5)

Lodge them during the prescribed period in the houses wherein you
dwell, according to your means; and harass them not that you may
create hardships for them. If they should be with child, provide for
them until they are delivered. Should they give suck to the child for
you, pay them their due recompense, and settle the matter between
yourselves equitably; but if you run into difficulty between
yourselves, then let another woman suckle the child for the father.
Let one who is in easy circumstances spend according to his means,
and let him whose means of subsistence are straitened spend out of
that which Allah has given him. Allah does not require of any one
beyond that which He has bestowed on him. For those suffering from
hardship, Allah will soon bring about ease. (65:7-8)