What is divorce in islam?
Although divorce is permissible in Islam, the Prophet (peace and blessings be on him), said that of all the things which Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, has permitted, divorce is the most disliked by Him. This in itself points to the grave undesirability of divorce except as a last resort, when all means of reconciliation between husband and wife have failed. Such means include the attempts of relatives and friends to mediate between the two spouses in order to help them resolve their differences. Furthermore, effective safeguards are also built into the divorce procedure, so that at any stage short of the final pronouncement, reconciliation between the two parties can still take place. It is also important to note that for a man to divorce a woman merely for his own convenience and pleasure, is considered repressive and a great sin.
According to Islamic Law there are three methods in which a marriage is dissolved. The first is ‘talaq’ by the husband, commonly translated as divorce. This consists of a single pronouncement of divorce made by the husband. After this pronouncement, the wife enters into a waiting period of approximately three months, during which time they may simply reunite as husband and wife. Such a pronouncement may be made a further two times again by the husband; reconciliation after the second pronouncement is possible, however, after the third pronouncement of talaq, reunification during the waiting period is no longer permissible and the couple must separate completely. The second form of divorce in Islam is known as ‘khula’. This is where the wife requests the husband to release her from the marriage in exchange for something that she offers, for example, she may offer to return the dower in exchange for ending the marriage. The third form of divorce is where the husband is not meeting the rights of the wife and therefore, she turns to the court to end the marriage.
Marriages in Islam are contracts and hence, there are legal provisions for terminating contracts when necessary. Every agreement can be superseded by another agreement. Obviously, divorce is not a desired goal or a light matter in Islam and in a flawless world, all married couples would live in bliss. However, there are times in which this option of divorce is the best for all parties concerned. If there was no way out of a failed marriage, the couple’s life would be torture; this is why Islam allows divorce because in certain cases divorce is not only desirable, but also essential.
Source: Islam For New Muslims An Educational Guide,Assoc. Prof. Amjad M. Hussain, Erkam Publications