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9787: Can a person divorce his wife who is the mother of his children?

I heard from some of the common folk that the mother of one’s children cannot be divorced. Is this true? Do any of the scholars say this?

Published Date: 2001-06-24

Praise be to Allaah.

This view is false and has no basis in sharee’ah. I do not think that any scholar or seeker of knowledge could give a fatwaa expressing such a false view. The Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus (ijmaa’) indicate that if a man divorces his wife, whether she is young, middle-aged or old, when she is “pure” (i.e., not menstruating) and he has not had intercourse with her, or she is pregnant and it is obvious that she is pregnant, then she is divorced. Allaah says of divorced women who are of child-bearing age: 

“And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods”

[al-Baqarah 2:228 – interpretation of the meaning]

Allaah says concerning divorced women who have passed through menopause:

“And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the ‘Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubt (about their periods), is three months; and for those who have no courses…”

[al-Talaaq 65:4 – interpretation of the meaning]

Then He said concerning divorced women who are pregnant:

“And for those who are pregnant (whether they are divorced or their husbands are dead), their ‘Iddah (prescribed period) is until they lay down their burden”

[al-Talaaq 65:4 – interpretation of the meaning]

If it is the third talaaq (divorce), then she is irrevocably divorced and it is not permissible for him to take her back until she has been married to someone else. If it is the first or second talaaq, then two witnesses should bear witness and he should take her back. Abu Dawood narrated in his Sunan via Yazeed al-Rashk from Mutarrif ibn ‘Abd-Allaah that ‘Imraan ibn Husayn was asked about a man who divorced his wife then had intercourse with her, and there were no witnesses when he divorced her or when he took her back. He said: he divorced her in a manner that was not according to the Sunnah and he took her back in a manner that was not according to the Sunnah.  Bring witnesses when divorcing a woman or taking her back, and do not do that again.

Shaykh Sulaymaan ibn Naasir al-‘Alwaan
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