Rafed English

Ignoble Divorces

First, we take up the present day problem of ignoble divorces.

As a matter of principle, Islam is strongly opposed to divorce. It wants that it should not take place as far as practicable. It allows it only as a last resort in the cases where separation is unavoidable. Those who frequently take a new wife and divorce the old one are denounced by Islam as the enemies of Allah.

The well-known book of traditions, al-Kafi, narrates the following story:

The Holy Prophet asked a man: "What have you done with your wife?"

"I have divorced her", he said.

'Did you find her doing anything wrong?"

"No, I didn't"

The man married again. The Holy Prophet asked him:

"Have you taken another wife in marriage?


Some time later, the Holy Prophet asked him again:

"What have you done with the new wife?"

"I have divorced her".

"Had she done anything wrong?"

"No. She hadn't".

The man married a third time. The Prophet asked him again if he had taken in marriage a new wife. He replied in the affirmative.

After some time the Prophet asked him again:

"What have you done with this wife?"

"I have divorced her also".

"Did you find anything wrong with her?"

No, I didn't"

The Holy Prophet said that Allah dislikes and hates the man who regularly changes his wives, and the woman who regularly changes her husbands. Such people are the enemies of Allah.

It was reported to the Holy Prophet that Abu Ayyub Ansari had decided to divorce his wife. The Prophet knew the woman personally. He also knew that Abu Ayyub's decision was not justified. He said: "Divorcing Umme Ayyub (Abu Ayyub's wife) is a deadly sin".

The Holy Prophet said that Gabriel had exhorted and counselled him so much in respect of women that he felt that it was not permissible to divorce a woman, except when she was guilty of adultery.

Imam Sadiq (P) has reported that the Holy Prophet said:

"There is nothing more pleasing to Allah than the house where a marriage takes place, and nothing is more displeasing to Him than the house where it is severed by divorce"

Imam Sadiq (P) has also said that the word 'divorce' has been mentioned in the Qur'an time and again and its details have been given because Allah hates separation of couples.

AI-Tabarsi in the Makarim al-Aklaq has quoted the Prophet as saying: "Do marry but do not divorce, for divorce shakes the throne of Allah".

Imam Sadiq (P) has said: "No permissible act is more displeasing to Allah than divorce. Allah dislikes those who resort to divorce again and again".

Similar traditions are found in the Sunni books also. Abu Daud in his book, 'Sunan' has reported the Prophet as having said: "Allah has not permitted anything more hateful than divorce'. In other words, though Allah has permitted divorce, He dislikes it the most.

The great religious leaders (Imams) have abstained from divorcing, as far as possible. In their lives the cases of divorce were extremely rare. They resorted to such an action only when they had very solid grounds for it. For instance, Imam Baqir (P) married a woman. She became his favourite, but on one occasion he noticed that the woman was inimical to Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib and cherished malice against him in her heart. He had to divorce her.

In reply to the question as to why he had divorced her when he liked her so much, the Imam said that he did not want to have a piece of the fire of Hell by his side.

Adapted from the book: "Woman and Her Rights" by: "Shahid Murtaza Mutahhari"

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