Triple divorce law - a willful misinterpretation.

Although the Glorious Quran is very cautious in matters of divorce, it's not unusual to hear or read stories about men screaming "I divorce you" three times at their wives and calling it quits. It's commonly referred to as the "immediate triple divorce" law. This originates from Shariah which has blatantly misinterpreted the Quranic law on divorce.

The following four verses of the Glorious Quran summarize all essential divorce laws.

"Divorce must be pronounced twice and then (a woman) must be retained in honour or released in kindness. And it is not lawful for you that ye take from women aught of that which ye have given them; except (in the case) when both fear that they may not be able to keep within the limits (imposed by) Allah. And if ye fear that they may not be able to keep the limits of Allah, in that case it is no sin for either of them if the woman ransom herself. These are the limits (imposed by) Allah. Transgress them not. For whoso transgresseth Allah's limits: such are wrong-doers." 2:229

"O Prophet! When you (men) put away women, put them away for their (legal) period and reckon the period, and keep your duty to Allah, your Lord.   (65:1).

"And if he hath divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she hath wedded another husband. Then if he (the other husband) divorce her it is no sin for both of them that they come together again if they consider that they are able to observe the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah. He manifesteth them for people who have knowledge." 2:230

"Those who forswear their wives must wait four months; then, if they change their mind, lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." 2:226

Triple divorce popular in the Sunni community with legal validity by so-called ulemas:
In various Sunni communities, against the dictates of the above verses, men are being allowed to divorce their wives by pronouncing talaq thrice verbally, in one breath. Because of this violation many homes and families have been destroyed. In modern times, some men use the immediate triple divorce practice even through telephones, emails or text messaging.

Discarded by Shiias:
However, the system of 'immediate triple divorce' is rejected by the Shiia jurisprudence. The Shiias deem divorce to be a procedure, NOT a verbal decision. That sounds a lot more correct.

Clarification of three divorces:
Verses 2:229-230 do NOT mean three verbal pronouncements of the word "talaq" in a single breath to confirm divorce. The procedure is cautious and slow.

It's very clear from the Verses quoted above, the three pronunciations of talaq or divorce have to be spaced over a period of 4 months.   We need to understand Verse 2:229 and 65:1 in sequence.  It's plainly indicated that after pronouncing divorce twice, if the couple are still undecided on reconciliation, there has to be a waiting period in separation for both of them to carefully make a decision.  Please note, a waiting period of four months.  That's a far cry for a speedy sentence of  "I divorce you"  repeated three times.   The mandatory waiting period of four months is stated in Verse 2:226.

 Unfortunately the Sunni Shariah law has totally twisted this Quranic commandment into something very different by allowing men to simply pronounce "divorce" three successive times verbally, and that's the end of the episode! The divorce is done. It seems a purposeful distortion aimed at spreading injustice and creating a totally male-dominated society as existed prior to Islam.

However, some Sunni jurists call this misinterpretation Talaq-e-Bidah (innovative form of divorce). This expression itself suggests that this distortion is not compatible with the Quran.

Legal status:
The immediate triple divorce is supposed to be banned by law in several Muslim countries like Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria and Indonesia.   However, it seems there are many in these countries who don't care for the ban and their clerics support them.


  1. I agree with this. But to say it thrice in one go means, at least one time it is given. Then starts this period of making up of your mind, If the period of three months(or whatever the exact days) is gone, and they did not get re-united, the marriage is no more valid, and its no more necessary to give the rest of the two options, a chance.

  2. As salaam alaikum sisters....

    What if a wife has literally just given birth, and the husband pronounces Talaq? What does this mean for her?

  3. Walaikum Salaam sister Halima ..
    From what I understand, it would not be proper to divorce the wife at such a time and postponement would be better. However, if the husbands decides upon divorce, it's not illegal. But he will have to support the wife and child financially for as long as needed (ref.65:6), Also, I think women who are divorced soon after giving birth do not have any waitig period (ref.65:4).

    And Allah knows best.

  4. As salaam alaikum sister...


    If my husband divorced (1 talaq) this way, and the general concenses would be that there is no iddah period, am I concidered an orphan or divorced woman?

  5. Walaikum Salaam sister Halima ..
    Yes, if he divorces his wife soon after she's given birth, there would be no iddah. The wife would be considered a divorced woman.

    By "1 talaq" I presume you mean the completion of the formalities of a divorce which according to most interpreters would be after 3 pronounciations of "I divorce you," though I'm not sure if this interpretation is totally correct. But if we presume it to be correct, and if you are referring to a single pronounciation of talaq as "1 talaq," in that case it's not a final divorce. It can be taken as a period of separation or the husband & wife can continue to live as a married couple. The final divorce would be after 3 pronounciations when the wife would be a 'divorced woman' and the husband would be a divorced man.

  6. I do not have much information on the topic of Talaq therefore I need guidance in this regard.
    What if a husband verbally gives talaq saying the wife's name- "twice" only? What is the islamic take on two verbal talaqs by a man?

  7. Salaam anonymous, if you read the blog entry carefully much of your confusion might be cleared,InshAllah.


  9. @ Anonymous: Two verbal pronouncements of talaq will not result in a divorce. Three pronouncements are mandatory. But three pronouncements cannot be in one breath, not even in a few days.

    After two pronouncements and before the third, there is a mandatory period of separation for 4 months which gives time to the couple to re-think their decision carefully. If after 4 months, if the husband still wants to divorce his wife, then he pronounces talaq a third time and only then does the divorce become final.


    @ Anonymous .. there are a lot of people who may verbally say or even write on a paper "talaq" 3 times to divorce their wives. But this is completely illegal from the Quranic perspective. Unfortunately Muslims at present have devised all sorts of methods to misinterpret & twist the Quranic laws which is extremely unfortunate. InshAllah, such folks will have to pay for their dishonesty in the next world. If you check my response above to another anonymous questioner, I've briefly clarified this issue.

  11. Salam Sister
    I asked a Maulana about divorceing my Wife & if after few years we want to re marry can we do that ?
    So he said write on paper & put this word "Talaq E Bain" in the Talaq Nama & then if ever you want to marry again you both can

    Just want to make sure if that is correct

    Jazakh Allah

  12. Walaikum Salaam. No brother, what the Maulana said is not correct. He sounds like some crook who is clearly violating the command of Allah. There's no such thing as "talaq-e-bain." Allah has made it crystal clear in His Final Message that after divorce the same couple cannot remarry unless the woman marries someone else and that marriage ends up in a genuine divorce. This means, the woman's second marriage to the other man must be a true marriage and not a set-up for the purpose of a divorce so that she can re-marry her former husband. In plain terms, the condition for a man and his wife to remarry after divorce is a very difficult one. Therefore, they should only decide upon a divorce if they are sure they have no intentions of re-marrying each other in future.

  13. Salaam, i have a friend whos husband texted her i divorce you i divorce you i divorce you she contacted a mufti overseas sent him copy of the text message he approved a fatwa saying the divorce is finalized and she should leave him is this true can it be done

  14. Walaikum Salaam. No, this method is wrong. It is not what the Noble Quran says. It cannot be done. That's why I've titled the triple divorce law as a wilful misinterpretation by Shairah.

  15. Salam im the one who sent u the message about texting three time the wife doesn't believe it i need help can i get ur number ihave mine so some can talk to her. The family is going to fall apart please

  16. Wa'salaam Anonymous. I'm very sorry to learn that. However, I don't give my number to anyone. Furthermore, I've stated all necessary information here. The person concerned can read it. If her husband is such a crook to demand divorce through texting, he is not worthy of any decent woman. The sister concerned should tell him to get lost. She will be much happier without such a husband than begging him to come back.

    1. I am the sister of the above anonymous he is trying to say that his wife believe she is divorced thru text mesge. My brother is trying to convince her every way that she is not divorced but she is still going ahead with the divorce proceeding with a lawyer. Is there anyone you can refer for his wife to talk to her, so he can save his marriage?

    2. No sister I don't know anyone I can refer you to. And I don't think talking to anyone will help either. This triple divorce law uttered in succession 3 times in person or on phone is by itself un-Islamic, wrong and a complete misinterpretation of the Noble Quran. Those who observe it are themselves cheats and they only use it as an excuse for a quick divorce. It's not that they don't know it's incorrect. They do know it, yet adhere to it because they don't care for ethics nor about breaking up homes. Therefore, no matter how much you talk to them, it will be to no avail. Any husband who seriously practices this misinterpretation, he is not a worthy man and his wife should not feel sorry for divorcing him. Even if he changes his mind now, it can only be for some selfish reason and with the possibility of doing the same anytime in future. So how can any wife trust such a husband? If, after your best efforts to keep your marriage intact, he is still determined to go ahead with the divorce, then it would be in your best interest to tell him to go to hell. I understand this can be difficult emotionally. But if you try thinking with your mind instead of your heart, it will get much simpler.

  17. Baraka ALLAHU Fiik sister, can you explain to me the authenticity of the muttah practice?

  18. May you explain about the practice of Muttah marriage pliz

  19. Muttah is temporary marriage, an incorrect concept created by people. It is not from the Quran. Temporary marriages have different names. Call it mutah or misyar or urfi, all refer to temporary marriages and are illegal and against Quranic principles.


Post a Comment

For all general Q&A visit the following link @ Zainab's Lounge. (Copy & paste link on browser)