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described by the Prophet as the most detestable of all lawful things in the sight of God. But before taking this final and desperate step, some attempts must be made in the following order: 1. The two parties involved must try to settle their disputes and solve their problems between themselves 2. If they fail, two arbitrators, one from the husband's relations and the other from the wife's, must be commissioned to try to make peace between them and settle their differences 3. If this attempt also fails, divorce might be applied In applying divorce to such a difficult situation, Islamic Law requires that it should be agreed upon by both parties, and grants each of them the right of seeking divorce. It does not confine the right of divorce to the man only or to the woman alone. Both can exercise this right. If either one of the two parties does not feel secure or happy with the other who arbitrarily refuses to grant divorce, and if the demand of divorce is found justifiable, the court must interfere and help the wronged party to obtain a divorce. It is the duty of the Law administrators to see to it that all rights are preserved and that harm is minimized After the divorce takes place, there is waiting period during which the divorcee is completely supported and maintained by her former husband. She cannot marry another man before the expiration of this period, which is between three months to 12 months time depending on the circumstance of the woman. If one divorces his wife after touching her (made love to her), it will be mandatory for her to pass three consecutive full periods of menstruation if she is of those who got menstruated and is not pregnant. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an "Divorced woman shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods… " (2:228) “ For those who are pregnant, their period is until they deliver their burdens… " (65:4) If the woman is of the type who is not menstruating for some reasons (i.e., young girl, one who removed her reproduction organ or one who for some reasons have no more hope to menstruate) her waiting period shall be three months "Such of your woman as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if ye have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same).." (65:4) In another circumstance, if the woman is one who used to menstruate regularly, but the blood has stopped for a certain reason, such as being afflicted with sickness or fostering a baby. The woman must be confined in an unlimited period of waiting even if it will last long. Under such circumstance, she has to wait until the blood comes out. Then her period of waiting will be calculated by the days in which the blood will be remaining and nothing else. However, if the woman gets cured or finished fostering (i.e., the cause of stoppage of blood has ceased) and yet she is not menstruated, she must then wait for a full year period (as Iddat) after which the reason thereof is cleared. It is said further, that if the reason for the interruption of the blood has been cleared but still no presence of the blood, she will be like one whose blood of menstruation has stopped for an unknown reason. Thus, she must wait for a period of one full year (i.e., nine months attributed to pregnancy being the maximum period as step for precaution in addition of the three months waiting period). (A Treatise on The Natural Blood of Woman by Sheikh Mohammad As-Salih Al-Othaiymeen, translated by Mohammad mostafa Shamma and revised by Dr. Huda Afshi) The waiting period is another chance for both to reconsider their attitudes in a more serious manner and deliberate on the reflections of their separation. If they desire during that period to reunite, they are permitted to do so. In fact, they are encouraged to reunite because separation in this way usually helps them appreciate one another more. When the waiting period expires, the divorcee is free to marry another man. They are no longer obligated to one another Should there be a reunion between the divorcee and her former husband, their marriage will be just like fresh one. If their relations do not improve, they can resort

Islam in Focus  

By HAMMUDAH ABDALATI Table of Contents Chapter - II