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My husband divorced me 3 times all at once! Am I really divorced? Also, how can a woman
divorce her husband?
The sections of this article are:
1- How is the divorce determined?
2- The same verdict was made in Pakistan few years ago.
3- Muslims must follow the Verdicts of their Islamic Scholars.
4- How was divorce dealt with during the times of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon
him, and his Disciples after him?
5- When does the divorce count? What determines the quantity of anger from the husband that
would nullify the divorce?
6- If the woman is menstruating, then the divorce doesn't count.
7- How can a woman divorce herself from her husband?
8- Conclusion.
This issue is a very serious and controversial one. Some Muslim scholars believe that if the
husband says to his wife: "I divorce you, I divorce, I divorce you", or "you are divorced thrice",

then the divorce is considered 3 divorces. Other Muslim scholars believe that the divorce will
only count as one divorce only.
According to the Noble Quran, Allah Almighty made it clear in Noble Verses 2:229-230 that
when a man divorces his wife three times, then he can't remarry her until she had married another
man, and got divorced from him.
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said in numerous Sayings that the new husband of the
woman must have intercourse with her, if she were to get divorced from him to be able to
remarry her first husband. Let us look at one of those Sayings from our beloved Prophet peace
be upon him:
Narrated 'Aisha: "Rifa'a Al-Qurazi divorced his wife irrevocably (i.e. that divorce was the final).
Later on 'Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubair married her after him. She came to the Prophet and said,
"O Allah's Apostle! I was Rifa'a's wife and he divorced me thrice, and then I was married to
'Abdur-Rahman bin AzZubair, who, by Allah has nothing with him except something like this
fringe, O Allah's Apostle," showing a fringe she had taken from her covering sheet. Abu Bakr
was sitting with the Prophet while Khalid Ibn Said bin Al-As was sitting at the gate of the room
waiting for admission. Khalid started calling Abu Bakr, "O Abu Bakr! Why don't you reprove
this lady from what she is openly saying before Allah's Apostle?" Allah's Apostle did nothing
except smiling, and then said (to the lady), "Perhaps you want to go back to Rifa'a? No, (it is not
possible), unless and until you enjoy the sexual relation with him ('Abdur Rahman), and he
enjoys the sexual relation with you." (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Good Manners and Form
(Al-Adab) Volume 8, Book 73, Number 107)"
However, the question is, how is the divorce determined?

1- How is the divorce determined?

The following verdict that I am about to share with you from the Al-Azhar Islamic Scholarship
Organization was from the Arabic A.R.T. TV station that I watched.
I, Osama Abdallah, testify that I am telling nothing but the truth in this story and I am not
making any lie or story up.
I saw the following Islamic Verdict on A.R.T. TV Channel on Saturday April 28, 2001 on the
"Fatawa Alal-Hawa", which means "Verdicts on the air" by the Egyptian Al-Azhar Ministers:
A lady called and gave the following story:
Question: My husband came to me and divorced me once. Five minutes later, he came and beat
me up, and divorced me three times. He latter in the day, came to me and told me that he was

angry and didn't know what he was saying. I still live with him, and I shared our bed with him
(meaning that she had intercourse with him. This is how we say it in Arabic).
Answer: The Al-Azhar Minister (Sheikh) responded by saying that in Islam, when a man
divorces his wife out of big anger, where he is not aware of what he is saying, then the divorce
does not count in anyway. However, in this case here, the man seems that he was aware of what
he was saying. He came and divorced his wife once at first, and then 5 minutes later, he came
and beat her up, and divorced her thrice. He knew what he was doing. According to the laws of
Muhammad peace be upon him, the divorce is considered ONE DIVORCE.
This is what the Minister said on T.V., and Allah Almighty is a Witness on my words.

2- The same verdict was made in Pakistan few years ago:

The following was sent to me by brother Umer Ali; may Allah Almighty always be pleased with
"Salaam Alaikum,
At a discussion in Pakistan a few years back by Mr. Ghamdi, he said that whether a person says
divorce to his wife one time or a hundred times, it will count as only one after which she will
spend the prescribed days of Idda't. If during this time they reconcile, well and good, but if they
don't, then the marriage will be annulled. He said, that this can happen only three times,
meaning, that if this scenario has played itself three times, then the marriage will be annulled for
sure on the third time. This is what I heard a long time ago."

3- Muslims must follow the Verdicts of their Islamic Scholars:

Since the Al-Azhar Islamic organization is the most popular in the Islamic world, then Muslims
not only in the Middle East, but also, throughout the Muslim world have the right to follow their
Allah Almighty said: "O ye who believe! Obey God, and obey the Apostle, and those charged
with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His
Apostle, if ye do believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final
determination. (The Noble Quran, 4:59)"

"When there comes to them some matter touching (Public) safety or fear, they divulge it. If they
had only referred it to the Apostle, or to those charged with authority among them, the proper
investigators would have Tested it from them (direct). Were it not for the Grace and Mercy of
God unto you, all but a few of you would have fallen into the clutches of Satan. (The Noble
Quran, 4:83)"
It is quite clear from the Noble Verses above, that the Verdict of the Al-Azhar in Egypt is valid
and MUST be applied for those who follow their verdicts. I personally follow their verdicts.

4- How was divorce dealt with during the times of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and
his Disciples after him?
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: "Tawus said: AbusSahba' said to Ibn Abbas: Do you know that a
divorce by three pronouncements was made a single one during the time of the Prophet
(peace_be_upon_him), and of AbuBakr and in the early days of the caliphate of Umar? He
replied: Yes. (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 12, Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq), Number
So according to this narration, we clearly see that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and
his Disciples (Caliphs) AbuBakr and Umar may Allah Almighty be pleased with them clearly
considered the divorce in thrice as a single one.
Important Note: It appears that this law by our beloved Prophet peace be upon him was the
latest one during his time regarding the issue of divorce, because it not only was practiced by
him, but also by his disciples after him.

5- When does the divorce count? What determines the quantity of anger from the husband that
would nullify the divorce?
Many debate about the issue on whether an angry husband's divorce counts or not. Allah
Almighty made it clear in the Noble Quran that divorces caused by anger do not count! Let us
look at the following from the Noble Quran:
"God will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in
your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing. For those who take an oath for
abstention from their wives, a waiting for four months is ordained; if then they return, God is
Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. But if their intention is firm for divorce, God heareth and knoweth
all things. (The Noble Quran, 2:225-227)"

Here in these Noble Verses, we clearly see that Allah Almighty doesn't take into account
thoughtless oaths. A divorce as clearly shown in the Noble Verses is considered an oath. It is the
intentions that He the Almighty cares about. Anger is certainly something that Allah Almighty
doesn't count against us, and He would forgive us for whatever we declare during it. He is
the "Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing."
I personally believe that if the husband is angry, and he is arguing with his wife and they end up
fighting verbally by yelling at each others, and he divorces his wife, then HIS DIVORCE DOES
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: "Muhammad ibn Ubayd ibn AbuSalih who lived in Ayliya
said: I went out with Adi ibn Adi al-Kindi till we came to Mecca. He sent me to Safiyyah
daughter of Shaybah who remembered a tradition (that she had heard) from Aisha. She said: I
heard Aisha say: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) say: There is no divorce or
emancipation in case of constraint or duress (ghalaq). (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud,
Book 12, Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq), Number 2188)"
I believe that the husband's anger and the wife's pressure on his temper (I am not suggesting that
the wife would always be wrong) is the constraint or duress that is being applied on the husband.
Think about it, if he wouldn't divorce her during his normal times, and only divorced her when
he was angry, do you honestly believe that he really meant to divorce her?
And Allah Almighty knows best.

6- If the woman is menstruating, then the divorce doesn't count:

Let us look at the following narration from Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him:
Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: "AbdurRahman ibn Ayman, the client of Urwah, asked Ibn Umar
and AbuzZubayr was was listening: What do you think if a man divorces his wife while she is
menstruating? He said: Abdullah ibn Umar divorced his wife while she was menstruating
during the time of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him).So Umar asked the Apostle of
Allah (peace_be_upon_him) saying: Abdullah ibn Umar divorced his wife while she was
menstruating. Abdullah said: He returned her to me and did not count it (the pronouncement)
anything. He said: When she is purified, he may divorce her or keep her with him. Ibn Umar
said: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) recited the Qur'anic verse: O Prophet, when you divorce
women, divorce them in the beginning of their waiting period." (Translation of Sunan AbuDawud, Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq), Book 12, Number 2180)"
The Noble Verse reads as follows:

"O Prophet! When ye do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and
count (accurately), their prescribed periods: And fear God your Lord: and turn them not out
of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open
lewdness, those are limits set by God: and any who transgresses the limits of God, does verily
wrong his (own) soul: thou knowest not if perchance God will bring about thereafter some new
situation. (The Noble Quran, 65:1)"
"At the end of the (prescribed) period, either hold back your women (in wedlock) lawfully,
according to the well-known (prescribed) manner, or make the divorce final in accordance
with the well known (prescribed) way.Take two of your fair minded (and respected) men as
your witnesses. (Oh witnesses)! Bear the witness truthfully for the sake of Allah! Those who
believe in Allah, and the life-to-come, are hereby being asked to heed. Allah will provide a way
out for the one who fears Him! (The Noble Quran, 65:2)"
So in other words, if a woman is in her monthly period, and her husband says to her I divorce
you, whether he says it once or a thousand times, the divorce would still doesn't count. The
woman's monthly period is the shield that invalidates any divorce done by the man.
Also, please visit: Muta marriage is forbidden according also to the Shia sources

7- How can a woman divorce herself from her husband?

There is an Islamic law called the "Khulu'" (removing something from one's self), which allows
for the woman to get a divorce through the Islamic court or an Islamic Minister. This law was
established from Noble Verse 2:231 "....either take them back on equitable terms or set them free
on equitable terms..."
The difference between a man divorcing his wife and a woman seeking "Kala'" is as follows:
1- If the man divorces his wife, then he must pay her the dowry of divorce. This is a amount of
money that both parties agree on and determine in the marriage contract.
2- If the woman seeks "Khala'", then she does not get that dowry.
3- As far as the wife's maintanence and child support and child custody, everything
remains: "For divorced women Maintenance (should be provided) On a reasonable (scale). This
is a duty On the righteous. (The Noble Quran, 2:241)"
In the case of child custody, the normal woman would get custody of the children until the
daughter reaches the age of 9, and the son reaches the age of 7. After that, they would get
transferred to their father.

Unless either of the parents is considered dangerous to the children, or there is some other
exceptional case, this is how it is generally done.
The man would have to pay the child support while the children are with their mother. Once
they are transferred to him, the mother is not obligated to pay any child support to the husband,
because the children are not part of the mother's family. They belong to their father, and they
carry their father's name. Once their mother divorces, she would then return to her original
family name. And once she gets married again, she would then carry her new husband's family
name and her new children would belong to his family.
Of course in Islam, the step siblings can not marry each others, nor can they marry their uncles or
ants from their mothers' side either. I was actually shocked to learn that in the Pagan Hinduism
the mother's brother (uncle) can marry his niece (the mother's daughter).
Anyway, whom ever the children are with, and what ever the marital status of either one of their
parents is, the parent that doesn't have the child custody would have rights of visitation hours in
particular days in the week determined and granted to him/her by the Islamic court and the
agreement of both parents.
Please visit: Christianity is the cause for most of the high divorces in the West.

8- Conclusion:
Divorce in thrice, or divorce by three all at once is considered only one divorce in Islam
according to the verdict of the Al-Azhar Islamic Scholarship Organization; one of the largest
Islamic Scholarship Organizations in the Islamic world. It is also considered as one divorce
according to the Sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as shown
In some cases, the divorce doesn't even count at all when the husband declares the divorce while
he was angry according to the Noble Words of Allah Almighty in the Noble Quran.
Another case where the divorce wouldn't count is when the divorce was declared by the husband
during the wife's monthly period.