Will you give information about the reasons for the divorce?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Islam gives the right of divorce to the husband. Therefore, a woman cannot divorce a man. However, there are some exceptions to it.

1. If the man has given the woman the right to divorce, the woman can divorce the man.

2. If the woman has a civil marriage and applies to the judge and if the judge decides to divorce them, the divorce takes place.

In case of incompatibility in the family, relatives of both parties come together and try to resolve the conflict. It is not permissible for a woman to leave her husband for trivial excuses.

Let us try to explain the general rights of women briefly:

“When news is brought to one of them, of (the birth of) a female (child), his face darkens, and he is filled with inward grief.” (an-Nahl, 16/58)

In the verse above, Allah describes the view of the people of Ignorance (Jahiliyya) about women and criticizes it.

“Or He (Allah) bestows both males and females, and He leaves barren whom He will…” (ash-Shura, 42/50)

A woman is born just like a man and is a human being. Parents will be held responsible if they treat their sons and daughters differently in compassion and giving them things. They will deserve to be deprived of intercession by not following the will of our Prophet (pbuh). Knowing that people’s feelings of ignorance will recur from time to time, our Prophet (pbuh) emphasized the education of girls in particular and said, “A father who raises three, two or even one daughter by protecting her rights will be with him in Paradise” (Ibn Majah, Adab 3).

When a girl is born, an animal (“aqiqa”) is sacrificed as gratitude”. She is given a nice name and compulsory education. She receives the necessary sexual information from the mother.

No verse and hadith that encourages knowledge in the Quran and Sunnah excludes women from it. On the contrary, our Prophet (pbuh) recommended women’s education in particular because he knew that they would be neglected; he enjoined men to protect their rights. In his time, women who were “mujtahid” were brought up. [For example, our mother Aisha (ra), one of the wives of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), is one of them.]

The woman is brought up and raised without being separated from the man in any respect, and when it is time for her to marry, she has the right and it is a sunnah to see the candidate to marry. If she does not like him, she can refuse; the insistence of the parents and the candidate does not change anything.

When she is to marry, she can get as much “mahr” as she wants from her prospective husband. Mahr is her most natural right and life guarantee determined by Allah. She can spend it however she wishes within the legal framework. She can spend her mahr or other property, if any, for charity or use them in commercial enterprises, establish companies, become partners in companies through shares, earn and spend what she earns however she wishes. Her own social security is guaranteed when she marries. All the necessary expenses for the house and for her are met by her husband. A man cannot tell his wife to buy her clothes or ornaments with her own earnings. He has to provide for the woman’s sustenance to the extent of his own wealth; if he cannot afford it, he cannot get married. If he does not provide sustenance after marriage, the woman’s demand for divorce will be accepted.

Her husband cannot insult her; he must not forget that she is his life partner; he cannot get cross with her and leave her alone at home.

“The best man is the one who treats women in the best way.” (see Bukhari, Nikah 43; Muslim, Fadail 68)

It is the duty of the husband to joke with his wife at home, to have fun and to entertain her.

A man cannot beat his wife with trivial excuses, except for the woman’s rebellion and not abiding by rights and laws. (See an-Nisa, 4/34; Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi, Elmalı interpretation of the verses in question; Abu Dawud, Manasik 56; Ibn Majah, Manasik 84; Muslim, Hajj 147; Tirmidhi, Rada’11; Abu Dawud, Manasik 56; Halabi Saghir, p. 395; Halabi Kabir, p. 621; Canan, Terbiye, p. 391)

A man cannot disturb his wife with sudden raids because of his suspicion caused by his illness of jealousy. In one of his hadiths, our Prophet (pbuh) forbids a person who has been away from his family for a long time from coming home suddenly at night without informing. In addition, the fact that she will have the opportunity to prepare for her husband by shaving her armpits and pubic hair and making up and combing her hair is also mentioned as a reason. A hadith regarding the issue is as follows:

“When you come (from a distant place) at night, do not go near your wife at once so that she can use a blade to do her cleaning and comb her hair if she is messy (prepare for you).” (Bukhari, Nikah 121,122; Muslim, Rada’ 58, Imarah 181,182; Darimi, Nikah 32, Jihad 163)

As a reason for this, hadith scholars also show the possibility that his sudden entry into the house at night may mean that he suspects his wife’s betrayal.

The husband also has a duty to satisfy his wife sexually. Our Prophet (pbuh) likened the men who had ejaculated and ended the intercourse quickly to roosters, i.e., animals, and advised us not to have sexual intercourse without caressing first because the man can be immediately aroused by looking but the woman gets ready for sexual intercourse only after a long period of caressing. A good man is a man who can prepare his wife for it and who can satisfy her as well as himself.

The men who think only of themselves in sexual intercourse should not forget that they persecute their spouses and that they take pleasure by torturing their spouses.

A woman has the right to divorce from a man who cannot have sexual intercourse within one year after marriage.

The woman has the right not to surrender herself to the man before receiving her “advance mahr”.

Just like the wife’s sustenance, her treatment and medication expenses also belong to the husband. If the woman is someone who cannot make bread, the man has to buy ready-made bread. If he wants her to adorn herself, the cost of ornaments and fragrance belongs to the man. Two suits (dresses) per year, for summer and winter, have to be provided by the men. If there is a dispute, the qualities of the dresses are determined by the local administrations.

A woman can get enough money for her sustenance for the days when her husband is away on a journey. If she wants to sleep separately from her husband during her menstrual days, she has the right to ask for a separate bed.

Depending on her situation, a woman can ask her husband for a maid. The wages of the maid belong to her husband. Women are not obliged to do any work other than housework, for which women are customarily condemned when they do not do them.

If she needs it, she can agree with her husband on the amount of monthly sustenance. If she realizes that it is not enough, she can ask him to increase it; if the husband does not accept it, she can apply to the court.

If the wife does not want her husband’s relatives in her house, her husband has to make her live in a separate house. The reason for it is shown as the woman’s desire to have fun with her husband and the fact that their presence in the same house will prevent it. In fact, it is a woman’s right to ask for separate rooms for her children for the same reason except for the child who is too young to know about sexual intercourse.

The woman has the right to visit her parents once a week, and the man cannot prevent it.

It is the right of the woman to work within a legitimate framework in legitimate jobs that do not harm the rights of men.

If she wants to go to the public bath because of her menstrual period and puerperium, the man has to pay for the bath but if it is known that the private parts of the women are opened in the public bath, the woman is not sent to the bath.

The man provides all kinds of sustenance for his wife who has been separated with “rij’i” (revocable) or “bain” (irrevocable) divorce in the period of iddah (waiting).

They are just a few examples of the issues that are explained in all fiqh books when the rights of women over men are listed. They are not recommendations; they are legal rights with sanctions. If women are forced to do hard work in certain parts of the Black Sea region and in Anatolia and are crushed by the hard work that only men can do, it is be the fault of those who alienated Islam from their lives, not of Islam.

As for the issue of elections, most Islamic scholars state that women have the right to vote because there is no evidence that they do not have such a right. Moreover, voting consists of an “allegiance”. Our Prophet (pbuh) took allegiance also from women. (See al-Mumtahina, verse 60/12 and its interpretations.) The opinions of everyone, including unmarried young girls, were asked for the caliph to be elected after Umar (ra). (see Muhammad Hamidullah, İslâm Müesseselerine Giriş, İst.1981, p. 112)

Finally, when the woman dies, her shroud has to be provided by her husband.

(For a broader explanation of these articles, which we have presented as a summary, see Ibn Abidin, Raddul-Muhtar and nafaqah sections of all fiqh books and especially Sarakhsi and Mabsut)

As it is seen, a woman is a person who has no worries and concerns about her livelihood, that is, she has utmost social security. And all these are legal rights that will be determined by a court decision in case of a dispute. In Islam, the husband and the wife are not poles apart that constantly quarrel to obtain rights from each other. They are two halves of a whole, complementing each other, helping and supporting each other, creating a source of peace and morale, just like our Prophet who helped his wives with housework and the division of labor between Ali and his wife Fatima.

The Quran clearly states for what reasons divorce becomes a necessity:

1. Open Lewdness (Adultery)

Adultery is a major crime in Islam; it is a sin that can be equal to polytheism. Adultery, which destroys the family order, is a terrible act that damages the marital bond.

It is unthinkable that such an act would be committed in a Muslim house. A man or woman who sees this deed as suitable for a Muslim’s house cannot be worthy of that house.

“…Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of the dower ye have given them, -except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity...” (an-Nisa, 4/19)

“O Prophet! When ye do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and count (accurately), their prescribed periods: And fear Allah 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....” (at-Talaq, 65/1)

2. Causing Unrest, Disagreement

The family, which forms the core of the society, must be peaceful for an Islamic society to establish a peaceful environment. Peace in the family is provided by spouses who get along very well with each other. If the basic pillars of the family are not balanced, the family nest is doomed to collapse at any moment.

In order to ensure peace and continuity in the family, it will be useful for both the family and the Islamic society to repair the unbalanced pillar, and if it is not possible to fix it, to renew it by replacing it.

If the woman, who is one of the pillars of the family, opposes her husband and causes unrest at home, that is, if a woman does not support her husband’s opinion, hinders him, opposes his cause verbally or de facto or tries to keep him from his cause, it means that it has become necessary to divorce that woman.

If the man does not divorce that woman, two options arise.

The first option, the man does not care about his wife and continues on his way. However, in that case, there will be unrest in the house. With the onset of unrest, children, if any, will be affected, resulting in a depressed generation. This generation will perhaps be so far from religion and belief that they will not recognize Allah.

The woman will affect them more because she is always with the children at home. In the future, these children will be a great loss for a struggling man and a heavy blow to his cause. In addition, since the man cannot find a peaceful environment at home, he will fail in his activities or at least will not be able to reach the level he wants. If believing men and women, who are supposed to be supporters of each other, cannot establish this friendship at home, they will never be able to establish it outside; they cannot enjoin good and forbid evil. In that case, it will be necessary to divorce the woman within the criteria ordered by the Quran.

In the second option, a believing man will obey his wife’s words and give up his cause and activities, which will cause that man to become a sinner and turn away from religion. There have been many examples of it in recent years.

“Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious.” (at-Tawba, 9/24)

“O ye who believe! Truly, among your wives and your children are (some that are) enemies to yourselves: so beware of them...” (at-Taghabun, 64/14)

Every woman who tries to hinder her husband from the way of Allah is also his enemy. The way to avoid and protect oneself from this enemy is to keep away from her. The best way to do it is to divorce that woman because such women are not good women. It is the ideal way to divorce rebellious women if they do not improve.

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).” (an-Nisa, 4/34)

If they do not improve and put themselves in order despite being advised, kept away from their beds and beaten, a divorce is the best remedy. However, if they improve, it is forbidden to seek a way against them.

3. Preferring the Life and Ornament of the World to Allah

Whether male or female, a person is responsible for obeying (serving) Allah, the main purpose of creation, and working for His religion. Those who are conscious of their creation arrange their deeds accordingly. And it is the duty and responsibility of everyone who claims to believe to work until there is no mischief on earth and the dominion belongs only to Allah. Here are the Quranic facts:

“I have only created Jinn and men, that they may serve Me.” (adh-Dhariyat, 51/56)

“... Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek...” (al-Fatiha, 1/5)

“And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.” (al-Anfal, 8/39)

Divorcing women (or men) who forget the purpose of their creation and want the adornment of the worldly life should be an act that every believer must do.

Otherwise, these women or men will hinder and prevent the inviter. Therefore, it is best to divorce them, and if they are women, to give their mahr and release them.

“O Prophet! Say to thy Consorts: “If it be that ye desire the life of this World, and its glitter,- then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner. But if ye seek Allah and His Messenger, and the Home of the Hereafter, verily Allah has prepared for the well-doers amongst you a great reward.” (al-Ahzab, 33/28-29)

Men or women who do not work for the domination of Allah’s system but want the worldly life and adornment are barriers and obstacles in front of the invitees who try to make the system of Allah prevail. Removing this obstacle is a necessity for believers because our Almighty Lord states that those who want worldly life and adornment will not have their share in the hereafter. It is not possible for a person who does not have a share in the hereafter to be with those who have a share in the hereafter:

“These are the people who buy the life of this world at the price of the Hereafter: their penalty shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped.” (al-Baqara, 2/86)

“Those who desire the life of the present and its glitter,- to them we shall pay (the price of) their deeds therein,- without diminution. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but the Fire: vain are the designs they frame therein, and of no effect and the deeds that they do.” (Hud, 11/15-16)

“To any that desires the tilth of the Hereafter, We give increase in his tilth, and to any that desires the tilth of this world, We grant somewhat thereof, but he has no share or lot in the Hereafter.” (ash-Shura, 42/20)

Since the one who desires the worldly life and ornaments will have nothing to do with the one who desires the hereafter, the best thing a believer can do is to divorce his spouse who desires the worldly ornaments. How, when and in what form this divorce will take place are clearly shown by Islamic principles.

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