remain in this relation of wedlock forever. They are desirous of the
fact that the change in times not change their commitment to each
other and only death separate them in this world. But then, sometimes
there does arise a situation when part they must. Differences become
so pronounced that it becomes necessary to sever this relationship. If
such circumstances do befall that a husband and wife must separate
permanently, Islam lays down a specific procedure for this separation.
In Islamic terminology this dissolution of marriage is called Talaq
(divorce). It says that both a man and a woman have an equal right to
it. The only difference is that a man divorces a woman while a woman
demands a divorce from her husband. In the following paragraphs, we
shall attempt to explain the Qur'anic concept of divorce.
If a husband has decided to divorce his wife, he should first wait
until she has completed her menstrual cycle and then desisting from
any further carnal relationship, he should utter the divorce sentence
just once. The wife, after she has been divorced in this way, must
stay in her husband's house for a period of three menstrual cycles.
This period is called Iddat. If a woman does not have menstrual cycles
owing to age, disease or any other reason, and still there is a chance
of pregnancy, then she must wait for three months. For a pregnant
woman this period is up to the birth of the child, while for a newly
married couple who have had no contact, divorce does not entail any
period of Iddat for the wife. According to the Qur'an, there are two
basic reasons for this waiting period: i) to ascertain whether a wife ...
... middle of paper ...
...er in consultation with the members of the shura, upon seeing that
people had adopted a very careless attitude in this regard, as a
punishment, promulgated three divorce sentences as final.
(c) A third possible solution in this regard is that the state while
observing the fact that people are mostly ignorant of the correct
procedure and in their ignorance think that the correct way of divorce
is to pronounce the sentence three times, legislates that the three
pronouncements shall be considered as one.
Any of these three ways can be adopted keeping in view the welfare of
the Muslims. However, in adopting the second or third solutions, it is
necessary that a legislation has been done in their favour, but as far
as adopting the first solution is concerned, no prior legislation is
needed and the matter can be left to the discretion of the judge.
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