Revoking a Talâqur Raj’î

Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 4-Nikah (Marriage) in Islam / Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

1. When the husband issues one or two divorces that are raj’î, he has the choice or right to revoke such a divorce before the expiry of the wife’s ‘iddah. In such a case, there is no need to renew the nikâh. The woman has no choice in this matter – he can revoke the divorce irrespective of whether she agrees or not. But if he issues three divorces, he has no choice of revoking the divorce as explained previously.

2. The method of revoking the divorce is as follows: (1) he could inform her in clear terms: “I am going to maintain you as my wife and I will not let you go.” (2) he could tell her: “I am taking you back into my nikâh”. (3) he could inform someone else without informing his wife that he has decided to keep his wife and revoked the divorce. (4) he does not say anything verbally, instead he has sexual intercourse with her, kisses her, fondles her, touches her with the passions of youth. In all these cases, she becomes his wife once again and there is no need to renew the nikâh.

3. When a person decides to revoke the divorce and keep his wife, it is preferable to have a few people as witnesses so that if any differences or problems occur at a later stage, none can deny any claims or make any allegations. If no witnesses are brought, the revocation will still be valid. The object, which was to keep his wife, will be accomplished.

4. If the ‘iddah of the wife has expired and then the husband decides to revoke the divorce, it will not be possible. Now, if the wife agrees and is happy to go back to her husband, the nikâh will have to be renewed. He cannot keep her without remarrying her. Even if he keeps her, it will not be permissible for the wife to live with him.

5. The ‘iddah of talâq for the woman who experiences the monthly menstrual periods is three hayd periods. When she completes three hayd periods, her ‘iddah expires. At the end of her third hayd period, if she stops bleeding on the completion of the tenth day, then from that very moment her ‘iddah will expire and the right of revoking the divorce, which the husband possessed, will be forfeited. This is irrespective of whether the woman has already had a bath or not. However, at the end of her third hayd period, if she stopped bleeding before 10 days, then as long as she does not have a bath or as long as no salât becomes wâjib on her, the husband will have the right of revoking the divorce and she will become his wife once again. But if she has a bath once the bleeding stops or she did not have a bath, but one salât time passed and she did not offer her salât in that time (i.e. qadâ’ of one salât became wâjib on her), then in both cases the right of the husband will be forfeited. Now he cannot keep her without remarrying her.

6. If a person divorces a woman with whom he has not engaged in sexual intercourse as yet, even though he may have met her in private or seclusion, then by divorcing her once, he does not have the right of revoking this divorce. This is because the divorce that she gets in this case is actually a talâqul bâ’in, as has been mentioned previously. Understand this well.

7. The couple met in privacy but the man confesses that he did not engage in sexual intercourse with her. If he divorces her after this confession of his, he does not have the right to revoke his divorce.

8. When a woman receives one or two talâqs that are raj’î (revocable), i.e. in which the husband has the right of revoking his divorce, it is preferable for such a woman to beautify herself and adorn herself with beautiful clothes; perhaps her husband will be attracted towards her and thereby revoke his divorce. But if she knows that he has no intention of revoking the divorce, it will be preferable that when he enters the house he should cough, clear his throat etc. so that if her body is exposed, she could cover it quickly and his sight does not fall on her private parts. Once her ‘iddah expires, she should go and live elsewhere.

9. If the person has not revoked his divorce as yet, it is not permissible for him to take his wife on any journey nor is it permissible for her to go with him.

10. A woman has received one or two talâqul bâ’in, i.e. a divorce that is irrevocable. The rule with regard to her is that if she wishes to marry another person, she should do so after the expiry of her ‘iddah. It is not permissible for her to marry another person within her ‘iddah. But if she wishes to marry the same person (i.e. her husband who has divorced her), she can marry him within the ‘iddah as well.

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