The Tafsir Ibn Kathir of Surat At-Talaq

(Chapter – 65)

Which was revealed in Al-Madinah

[بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ]

(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

[يأيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ وَأَحْصُواْ الْعِدَّةَ وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ لاَ تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِن بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلاَ يَخْرُجْنَ إِلاَّ أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَـحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ لاَ تَدْرِى لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ أَمْراً ]

(1. O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their `Iddah and count their `Iddah. And have Taqwa of Allah, your Lord. And turn them not out of their homes nor shall they leave, except in case they are guilty of Fahishah Mubayyinah. And those are the set limits of Allah. And whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allah, then indeed he has wronged himself. You know not, it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass.)

There is a Period during which Divorced Women remain in Their Homes

The Prophet was addressed first in this Ayah, to honor him, even though his Ummah is also being addressed in Allah’s statement,

[يأيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ]

(O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their `Iddah) Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar divorced his wife, during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger , while she was menstruating. `Umar bin Al-Khattab mentioned that to Allah’s Messenger . Allah’s Messenger became angry and said,

«لِيُرَاجِعْهَا ثُمَّ يُمْسِكْهَا حَتْى تَطْهُرَ، ثُمَّ تَحِيضَ فَتَطْهُرَ، فَإِنْ بَدَا لَهُ أَنْ يُطَلِّقَهَا، فَلْيُطَلِّقْهَا طَاهِرًا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَمَسَّهَا، فَتِلْكَ الْعِدَّةُ الَّتِي أَمَرَ بِهَا اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَل»

(Order him to take her back and keep her until she is clean from her menses, and then to wait until she gets her next period and becomes clean again. Then, if he wishes to divorce her, he can divorce her when she is clean from her menses, before he has sexual intercourse with her. This is the `Iddah which Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has fixed.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith in several parts of his Sahih. Muslim collected this Hadith and his narration uses these words,

«فَتِلْكَ الْعِدَّةُ الَّتِي أَمَرَ اللهُ أَنْ يُطَلَّقَ لَهَا النِّسَاء»

(This is the `Iddah which Allah has fixed for the women being divorced.) In his Sahih, Muslim has recorded a Hadith which is a more appropriate version from a narration of Ibn Jurayj who said that Abu Az-Zubayr informed him that he heard `Abdur-Rahman bin Ayman, the freed slave of `Azzah, questioning `Abdullah bin `Umar. And Abu Az-Zubayr heard the question, “What about a man who divorces his wife while she is still on her menses” `Abdullah answered, “During the time of Allah’s Messenger , `Abdullah bin `Umar divorced his wife who was menstruating in the life time of Allah’s Messenger . So Allah’s Messenger said:

«لِيُرَاجِعْهَا»

(Let him take her back.) so she returned and he said:

«إِذَا طَهُرَتْ فَلْيُطَلِّقْ أَوْ يُمْسِك»

(When she is pure, then either divorce or keep her.) `Abdullah bin `Umar said, “Allah’s Messenger recited this Ayah: (ياأَيُّها النَّبِيُّ إِذا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّساءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ فِي قُبُلِ عِدَّتِهِنَّ) (O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them at their `Iddah) And `Abdullah (Ibn Mas`ud) commented on Allah’s statement,

[فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ]

(divorce them at their `Iddah) He said, “Purity without intercourse.” Similar was reported from Ibn `Umar, `Ata’, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Ibn Sirin, Qatadah, Maymun bin Mihran and Muqatil bin Hayyan. It is also reported from `Ikrimah and Ad-Dahhak.`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas about the Ayah;

[فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ]

(divorce them at their `Iddah), “He does not divorce her while she is on her menses nor while she is pure if he has had intercourse during that (purity). Rather, he leaves her until she has her menses and after the menses ends, then he divorces her once.” And `Ikrimah said about

[فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ]

(divorce them at their `Iddah), “The `Iddah is made up of clean- liness and the menstrual period.” So he divorces her while it is clear that she is pregnant, or he does not due to having sex, or since he does not know if she is pregnant or not. This is why the scholars said that there are two types of divorce, one that conforms to the Sunnah and another innovated. The divorce that conforms to the Sunnah is one where the husband pronounces one divorce to his wife when she is not having her menses and without having had sexual intercourse with her after the menses ended. One could divorce his wife when it is clear that she is pregnant. As for the innovated divorce, it occurs when one divorces his wife when she is having her menses, or after the menses ends, has sexual intercourse with her and then divorces her, even though he does not know if she became pregnant or not. There is a third type of divorce, which is neither a Sunnah nor an innovation where one divorces a young wife who has not begun to have menses, the wife who is beyond the age of having menses, and divorcing one’s wife before the marriage was consummated. Allah said,

[وَأَحْصُواْ الْعِدَّةَ]

(and count their `Iddah.) meaning, count for it and know its beginning and end, so that the `Iddah does not become prolonged for the woman and she cannot get married again,

[وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ]

(And have Taqwa of Allah, your Lord.) in this matter.

Spending and Housing is up to the Husband during the Revocable `Iddah Period

Allah said,

[لاَ تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِن بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلاَ يَخْرُجْنَ]

(And turn them not out of their homes nor shall they leave,) meaning, during the duration of the `Iddah, she has the right to housing from her husband, as long as the `Iddah period continues. Therefore, the husband does not have the right to force her out of her house, nor is she allowed to leave his house, because she is still tied to the marriage contract. Allah said,

[إِلاَّ أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ]

(except in case they are guilty of Fahishah Mubayyinah.) meaning that the divorced wife is not to abandon her husband’s house unless she commits Fahishah Mubayyinah, in which case, she vacates her husband’s house. For example, Fahishah Mubayyinah implies adultery, according to `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan, Ibn Sirin, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Qilabah, Abu Salih, Ad-Dahhak, Zayd bin Aslam, `Ata’ Al-Khurasani, As-Suddi, Sa`id bin Hilal and others. Fahishah Mubayyinah implies disobeying her husband openly or when she abuses her husband’s family in words and actions, according to Ubay bin Ka`b, Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah and others. Allah’s statement,

[وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ]

(And those are the set limits of Allah.) means, these are from His legislation and prohibitions,

[وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّهِ]

(And whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allah,) meaning, whoever violates these limits, transgresses them and implements anything else besides them,

[فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ]

(then indeed he has wronged himself.) by doing so.

The Wisdom of `Iddah at the Husband’s House

Allah said,

[لاَ تَدْرِى لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ أَمْراً]

(You know not, it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass.) meaning, `We commanded that the divorced wife remains in her husband’s house during the `Iddah period, so that the husband might regret his action and Allah decides that the husband feels in his heart for the marriage to continue.’ This way, returning to his wife will be easier for him. Az-Zuhri said that `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah said that Fatimah bint Qays said about Allah’s statement,

[لاَ تَدْرِى لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ أَمْراً]

(You know not, it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass.) “Taking her back.” Similar was said by Ash-Sha`bi, `Ata’, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Muqatil bin Hayyan and Ath-Thawri.

The Irrevocably Divorced Woman does not have a Right to Provisions and Accommodations from the Husband

Here the view of the scholars of the Salaf and those who follow them is that housing is not obligatory in the case of the irrevocably divorced woman. They also relied on the Hadith of Fatimah bint Qays Al-Fihriyah when her husband Abu `Amr bin Hafs divorced her the third and final time. He was away from her in Yemen at the time, and he sent her his decision to divorce her. He also sent some barley with his messenger, but she did not like the amount or method of compensation. He said, “By Allah I am not obligated to spend upon you.” So, she went to Allah’s Messenger , who said,

«لَيْسَ لَكِ عَلَيْهِ نَفَقَة»

(There is no obligation on him to spend on you.) Muslim added in his narration,

«وَلَا سُكْنَى»

(nor housing.) And he ordered her to finish her `Iddah period in the house of Umm Sharik. He then said,

«تِلْكَ امْرَأَةٌ يَغْشَاهَا أَصْحَابِي، اعْتَدِّي عِنْدَ ابْنِ أُمِّ مَكْتُومٍ، فَإِنَّهُ رَجُلٌ أَعْمَى تَضَعِينَ ثِيَابَك»

(She is a woman my Companions visit. Spend this period in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum, for he is a blind man; [he cannot see you if] you take off your garments.) Imam Ahmad collected this Hadith using another chain of narration. In his narration, the Messenger of Allah said,

«انْظُرِي يَا بِنْتَ آلِ قَيْسٍ إِنَّمَا النَّفَقَةُ وَالسُّكْنَى لِلْمَرْأَةِ عَلَى زَوْجِهَا، مَا كَانَتْ لَهُ عَلَيْهَا رَجْعَةٌ، فَإِذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ عَلَيْهَا رَجْعَةٌ فَلَا نَفَقَةَ وَلَا سُكْنَى،اخْرُجِي فَانْزِلِي عَلَى فُلَانَة»

(Look O daughter of the family of Qays! Spending and housing are required from the husband who can return to his wife. So if he does not have the right to return to her, then she does not have the right to spending and housing. So leave his house and go to so-and-so woman.) He then said,

«إِنَّهُ يُتَحَدَّثُ إِلَيْهَا، انْزِلِي عَلَى ابْنِ أُمِّ مَكْتُومٍ فَإِنَّهُ أَعْمَى لَا يَرَاك»

(They speak to her. Therefore, go to Ibn Umm Maktum, for he is a blind man and cannot see you.) Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani recorded that `Amir Ash-Sha`bi went to Fatimah bint Qays, sister of Ad-Dahhak bin Qays, from the tribe of Quraysh. Fatimah was married to Abu `Amr bin Hafs bin Al-Mughirah, from Bani Makhzum. She said, “Abu `Amr bin Hafs sent me his decision to divorce me while he was in an army that had gone to Yemen. I asked his friends to provide me with financial provisions and housing. They said, `He did not send us anything for that, nor did he request it from us.’ I went to Allah’s Messenger and said to him, `O Allah’s Messenger! Abu `Amr bin Hafs divorced me, and I asked his friends to provide me with spending and housing and they said that he did not send them anything for that.’ Allah’s Messenger said,

«إِنَّمَا السُّكْنَى وَالنَّفَقَةُ لِلْمَرْأَةِ إِذَا كَانَ لِزَوْجِهَا عَلَيْهَا رَجْعَةٌ، فَإِذَا كَانَتْ لَا تَحِلُّ لَهُ حَتْى تَنْكِحَ زَوْجًا غَيْرَهُ:فَلَا نَفَقَةَ لَهَا وَلَا سُكْنَى»

(Spending and housing are required from the husband for his divorced wife if he can return to her. If she is not permitted for him anymore, until she marries another husband, then he does not have to provide her with spending and housing.)” An-Nasa’i also recorded this narration.

[فَإِذَا بَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ فَارِقُوهُنَّ بِمَعْرُوفٍ وَأَشْهِدُواْ ذَوَى عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ وَأَقِيمُواْ الشَّهَـدَةَ لِلَّهِ ذَلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاً - وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَـلِغُ أَمْرِهِ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدْراً ]

(2. Then when they are about to attain their term appointed, either take them back in a good manner or part with them in a good manner. And take as witness two just persons from among you. And establish the testimony for Allah. That will be an admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out.) (3. And He will provide him from where he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.)

Ordaining Kindness towards Divorced Women

Allah the Exalted says that when the woman who is in her `Iddah nears the end of the `Iddah term, the husband must decide to reconcile with her, thus keeping their marriage together,

[بِمَعْرُوفٍ]

(in a good manner) while being kind to her in their companionship. Otherwise, he must decide to divorce her on good terms, without abusing, cursing, or admonishing her. To the contrary, he should divorce her on good terms, observing kindness and good manners.

The Command to have Witnesses for the Return

Allah said,

[وَأَشْهِدُواْ ذَوَى عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ]

(And take as witness two just persons from among you.) meaning when taking her back, if this is your decision. Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah recorded that `Imran bin Husayn was asked about a man who divorced his wife and then had sexual intercourse with her, without notifying witnesses of when he divorced her and when he took her back. `Imran said, “His divorce and taking her back was in contradiction to the Sunnah. Incorporate the presence of witnesses for divorcing her and taking her back, and do not repeat your conduct.” Ibn Jurayj said that `Ata’ commented on the Ayah,

[وَأَشْهِدُواْ ذَوَى عَدْلٍ مِّنكُمْ]

(And take as witness two just persons from among you.) “It is not permissible to marry, divorce or take back the divorced wife except with two just witnesses, just as Allah the Exalted has said, except when there is a valid excuse.” Allah’s statement,

[ذَلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ]

(That will be an admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day.) means, `this, Our command to you to have witnesses in such cases and to establish the witness, is implemented by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day.’ This legislation is meant to benefit those who fear Allah’s punishment in the Hereafter.

Allah provides, suffices, and makes a Way out of Every Hardship for Those Who have Taqwa

Allah said,

[وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاًوَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ]

(And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out. And He will provide him from where he never could imagine.) meaning, whoever has Taqwa of Allah in what He has commanded and avoids what He has forbidden, then Allah will make a way out for him from every difficulty and will provide for him from resources he never anticipated or thought about. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “The most comprehensive Ayah in the Qur’an is,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإْحْسَانِ]

(Verily, Allah enjoins Al-`Adl (justice) and Al-Ihsan (doing good) (16:90). The greatest Ayah in the Qur’an that contains relief is,

[وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاً]

(And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out.)” `Ikrimah also commented on the Ayah, “Whoever divorces as Allah commanded him, then Allah will make a way out for him.” Similar was reported from Ibn `Abbas and Ad-Dahhak.`Abdullah bin Mas`ud and Masruq commented on the Ayah,

[وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاً]

(And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out.) “It pertains to when one knows that if Allah wills He gives, and if He wills He deprives,

[مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ]

(from where he never could imagine.) from resources he did not anticipate” Qatadah said,

[وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاً]

(And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out.) “meaning, from every doubt and the horrors experienced at the time of death,

[وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ]

(And He will provide him from where he never could imagine) from where he never thought of or anticipated.” Allah said,

[وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ]

(And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that he rode the Prophet’s camel while sitting behind the Prophet , and the Messenger of Allah said to him,

«يَا غُلَامُ إِنِّي مُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَاتٍ: احْفَظِ اللهَ يَحْفَظْكَ، احْفَظِ اللهَ تَجِدْهُ تُجَاهَكَ، وَإِذَا سَأَلْتَ فَاسْأَلِ اللهَ، وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْتَ فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاللهِ، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الْأُمَّةَ لَوِ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أَنْ يَنْفَعُوكَ لَمْ يَنْفَعُوكَ إِلَّا بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللهُ لَكَ، وَلَوِ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أَنْ يَضُرُّوكَ لَمْ يَضُرُّوكَ إِلَّا بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللهُ عَلَيْكَ، رُفِعَتِ الْأَقْلَامُ وَجَفَّتِ الصُّحُف»

(O boy! I will teach you words [so learn them]. Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you, be mindful of Allah and He will be on your side. If you ask, ask Allah, and if you seek help, seek it from Allah. Know that if the Ummah gather their strength to bring you benefit, they will never bring you benefit, except that which Allah has decreed for you. Know that if they gather their strength to harm you, they will never harm you, except with that which Allah has decreed against you. The pens have been raised and the pages are dry.) At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith and said: “Hasan Sahih.” Allah’s statement,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَـلِغُ أَمْرِهِ]

(Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose.) meaning, Allah will execute His decisions and judgement that He made for him, in whatever way He wills and chooses,

[قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدْراً]

(Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.) This is like His saying:

[وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍ عِندَهُ بِمِقْدَارٍ]

(Everything with Him is in (due) proportion.) (13:8)

[وَاللاَّئِى يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِن نِّسَآئِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلَـثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللَّـتِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ وَأُوْلَـتُ الاٌّحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْراً - ذَلِكَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ أَنزَلَهُ إِلَيْكُمْ وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يُكَفِّرْ عَنْهُ سَيِّئَـتِهِ وَيُعْظِمْ لَهُ أَجْراً ]

(4. Those in menopause among your women, for them the `Iddah, if you have doubt, is three months; and for those who have no courses. And for those who are pregnant, their `Iddah is until they lay down their burden; and whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make his matter easy for him.) (5. That is the command of Allah, which He has sent down to you; and whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will expiate from him his sins, and will increase his reward.)

The `Iddah of Those in Menopause and Those Who do not have Menses

Allah the Exalted clarifies the waiting period of the woman in menopause. And that is the one whose menstruation has stopped due to her older age. Her `Iddah is three months instead of the three monthly cycles for those who menstruate, which is based upon the Ayah in (Surat) Al-Baqarah. [see 2:228] The same for the young, who have not reached the years of menstruation. Their `Iddah is three months like those in menopause. This is the meaning of His saying;

[وَاللَّـتِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ]

(and for those who have no courses…) as for His saying;

[إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ]

(if you have doubt…) There are two opinions: First, is the saying of a group of the Salaf, like Mujahid, Az-Zuhri and Ibn Zayd. That is, if they see blood and there is doubt if it was menstrual blood or not. The second, is that if you do not know the ruling in this case, then know that their `Iddah is three months. This has been reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr and it is the view preferred by Ibn Jarir. And this is the more obvious meaning. Supporting this view is what is reported from Ubay bin Ka`b that he said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Some women were not mentioned in the Qur’an, the young, the old and the pregnant.” Allah the Exalted and Most Honored sent down this Ayah,

[وَاللاَّئِى يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِن نِّسَآئِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلَـثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللَّـتِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ وَأُوْلَـتُ الاٌّحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ]

(Those in menopause among your women, for them the `Iddah, if you have doubt, is three months; and for those who have no courses. And for those who are pregnant, their `Iddah is until they lay down their burden.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded a simpler narration than this one from Ubay bin Ka`b who said, “O Allah’s Messenger! When the Ayah in Surat Al-Baqarah was revealed prescribing the `Iddah of divorce, some people in Al-Madinah said, `There are still some women whose `Iddah has not been mentioned in the Qur’an. There are the young, the old whose menstruation is discontinued, and the pregnant.’ Later on, this Ayah was revealed,

[وَاللاَّئِى يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِن نِّسَآئِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلَـثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ وَاللَّـتِي لَمْ يَحِضْنَ]

(Those in menopause among your women, for them the `Iddah, if you have doubt, is three months; and for those who have no courses.)”

`Iddah of Pregnant Women

Allah’s statement,

[وَأُوْلَـتُ الاٌّحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ]

(And for those who are pregnant, their `Iddah is until they lay down their burden;) Allah says: the pregnant woman’s `Iddah ends when she gives birth, whether in the case of divorce or death of the husband, according to the agreement of the majority of scholars of the Salaf and later generations. This is based upon this honorable Ayah and what is mentioned in the Prophetic Sunnah. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Salamah said, “A man came to Ibn `Abbas while Abu Hurayrah was sitting with him and said, `Give me your verdict regarding a lady who delivered a baby forty days after the death of her husband.’ Ibn `Abbas said,` [Her `Iddah period lasts until] the end of the longest among the two prescribed periods.’ I recited,

[وَأُوْلَـتُ الاٌّحْمَالِ أَجَلُهُنَّ أَن يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ]

(For those who are pregnant, their prescribed period is until they deliver their burdens;) Abu Hurayrah said, `I agree with my cousin (Abu Salamah).’ Then Ibn `Abbas sent his slave Kurayb to Umm Salamah to ask her. She replied, `The husband of Subay`ah Al-Aslamiyyah was killed while she was pregnant, and she delivered a baby forty days after his death. Then she received a marriage proposal and Allah’s Messenger married her to somebody. Abu As-Sanabil was one of those who proposed to her.” Al-Bukhari collected this short form of the Hadith, which Muslim and other scholars of Hadith collected using its longer form. Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miswar bin Makhramah said, “Subay`ah Al-Aslamiyyah gave birth to a child a few days after the death of her husband. When she finished the postdelivery term, she was proposed to. So she sought the permission of Allah’s Messenger for the marriage, and he permitted her to marry, so she got married.” Al-Bukhari collected this narration, as did Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah with a different chain of narration from the Hadith of Subay`ah. Muslim bin Al-Hajjaj recorded that `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah bin `Utbah said that his father wrote to `Umar bin `Abdullah bin Al-Arqam Az-Zuhri, requesting that he go to Subay`ah bint Al-Harith Al-Aslamiyyah to ask her about the matter in question, and about what Allah’s Messenger said to her when she sought his verdict. `Umar bin `Abdullah wrote to `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah bin `Utbah informing him that Subay`ah told him that she had been married to Sa`d bin Khawlah, and he was one of those who participated in the battle of Badr. He died during the Farewell Pilgrimage, while she was pregnant. Soon after his death, she gave birth. When she passed the postnatal term, she beautified herself for those who might propose to her. Abu As-Sanabil bin Ba`kak came to her and said, `Why do I see you have beautified yourself Do you wish to remarry By Allah, you cannot marry unless four months and ten days have passed.” Subay`ah said, “When he said that, I dressed myself in the evening and went to Allah’s Messenger and asked him about his verdict. He gave me a religious verdict that I was allowed to marry after I had given birth to my child, saying I could marry if I wish.” This is the narration that Muslim collected. Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith in a shorter form. Allah’s statement,

[وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْراً]

(and whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make his matter easy for him.) means, Allah will make his matters lenient for him and will soon bring forth relief and a quick way out,

[ذَلِكَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ أَنزَلَهُ إِلَيْكُمْ]

(That is the command of Allah, which He has sent down to you;) meaning, this is His commandment and legislation that He sent down to you through His Messenger ,

[وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يُكَفِّرْ عَنْهُ سَيِّئَـتِهِ وَيُعْظِمْ لَهُ أَجْراً]

(and whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will expiate from him his sins, and will increase his reward.) means, Allah will prevent what he fears and multiply his reward even for the little good he does.

[أَسْكِنُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ سَكَنتُم مِّن وُجْدِكُمْ وَلاَ تُضَآرُّوهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ وَإِن كُنَّ أُوْلَـتِ حَمْلٍ فَأَنفِقُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ حَتَّى يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ فَإِنْ أَرْضَعْنَ لَكُمْ فَـَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ وَأْتَمِرُواْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِمَعْرُوفٍ وَإِن تَعَاسَرْتُمْ فَسَتُرْضِعُ لَهُ أُخْرَى - لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّآ ءَاتَاهُ اللَّهُ لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْساً إِلاَّ مَآ ءَاتَاهَا سَيَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍ يُسْراً ]

(6. Lodge them where you dwell, according to what you have, and do not harm them so as to suppress them. And if they are pregnant, then spend on them till they lay down their burden. Then if they suckle the children for you, give them their due payment, and let each of you deal with each other in a mannerly way. But if you make difficulties for one another, then some other woman may suckle for him.) (7. Let the rich man spend according to his means; and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease.)

The Divorced Woman has the Right to Decent Accommodations, and what is Reasonable

Allah the Exalted orders His faithful servants that when one of them divorces his wife, he should provide housing for her until the end of her `Iddah period,

[أَسْكِنُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ سَكَنتُم]

(Lodge them where you dwell,) means, with you,

[مِّن وُجْدِكُمْ]

(according to what you have,) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and several others said, it refers to “Your ability.” Qatadah said, “If you can only afford to accommodate her in a corner of your house, then do so.”

Forbidding Ill-Treatment of Divorced Women

Allah’s statement,

[وَلاَ تُضَآرُّوهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ]

(and do not harm them in order to suppress them.) Muqatil bin Hayyan said, “meaning, do not annoy her to force her to pay her way out nor expel her from your house.” Ath-Thawri said from Mansur, from Abu Ad-Duha:

[وَلاَ تُضَآرُّوهُنَّ لِتُضَيِّقُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ]

(and do not harm them in order to suppress them) “He divorces her, and when a few days remain, he takes her back.”

The Irrevocable Divorced Pregnant Woman has the Right of Support (Maintenance) from Her Husband until She gives Birth

Allah said,

[وَإِن كُنَّ أُوْلَـتِ حَمْلٍ فَأَنفِقُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ حَتَّى يَضَعْنَ حَمْلَهُنَّ]

(And if they are pregnant, then spend on them till they lay down their burden.) This is about the woman who is irrevocably divorced. If she is pregnant, then she is to be spent on her until she lays down her burden. This is supported due to the fact that if she is revocably divorced, the she has then right to receive her support (maintenance) whether she is pregnant or not.

The Divorced Mother may take Compensation for suckling Her Child

Allah said,

[فَإِنْ أَرْضَعْنَ لَكُمْ]

(Then if they suckle them for you,) meaning, when pregnant women give birth and they are irrevocably divorced by the expiration of the `Iddah, then at that time they may either suckle the child or not. But that is only after she nourishes him with the milk, that is the early on milk which the infant’s well-being depends upon. Then, if she suckles, she has the right to compensation for it. She is allowed to enter into a contract with the father or his representative in return for whatever payment they agree to. This is why Allah the Exalted said,

[فَإِنْ أَرْضَعْنَ لَكُمْ فَـَاتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ]

(Then if they suckle the children for you, give them their due payment,) Allah said,

[وَأْتَمِرُواْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِمَعْرُوفٍ]

(and let each of you deal with each other in a mannerly way.) meaning, the affairs of the divorced couple should be managed in a just way without causing harm to either one of them, just as Allah the Exalted said in Surat Al-Baqarah,

[لاَ تُضَآرَّ وَلِدَةٌ بِوَلَدِهَا وَلاَ مَوْلُودٌ لَّهُ بِوَلَدِهِ]

(No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child, nor father on account of child.) (2:233) Allah said,

[وَإِن تَعَاسَرْتُمْ فَسَتُرْضِعُ لَهُ أُخْرَى]

(But if you make difficulties for one another, then some other woman may suckle for him.) meaning, if the divorced couple disagrees, because the woman asks for an unreasonable fee for suckling their child, and the father refuses to pay the amount or offers an unreasonable amount, he may find another woman to suckle his child. If the mother agrees to accept the amount that was to be paid to the woman who agreed to suckle the child, then she has more right to suckle her own child. Allah’s statement,

[لِيُنفِقْ ذُو سَعَةٍ مِّن سَعَتِهِ]

(Let the rich man spend according to his means;) means, the wealthy father or his representative should spend on the child according to his means,

[وَمَن قُدِرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقُهُ فَلْيُنفِقْ مِمَّآ ءَاتَاهُ اللَّهُ لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْساً إِلاَّ مَآ ءَاتَاهَا]

(and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him.) This is as Allah said,

[لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا]

(Allah does not burden a person beyond what He can bear.) [2:286]

A Story of a Woman who had Taqwa

Allah’s statement;

[سَيَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ عُسْرٍ يُسْراً]

(Allah will grant after hardship, ease.) This is a sure promise from Him, and indeed, Allah’s promises are true and He never breaks them, This is an Allah’s saying;

[فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً - إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً ]

(Verily, along with every hardship is relief. Verily, along with every hardship is relief.) [94:5-6] There is a relevant Hadith that we should mention here. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “A man and his wife from an earlier generation were poor. Once when the man came back from a journey, he went to his wife saying to her, while feeling hunger and fatigued, `Do you have anything to eat’ She said, `Yes, receive the good news of Allah’s provisions.’ He again said to her, `If you have anything to eat, bring it to me.’ She said, `Wait a little longer.’ She was awaiting Allah’s mercy. When the matter was prolonged, he said to her, `Get up and bring me whatever you have to eat, because I am real hungry and fatigued.’ She said, `I will. Soon I will open the oven’s cover, so do not be hasty.’ When he was busy and refrained from insisting for a while, she said to herself, `I should look in my oven.’ So she got up and looked in her oven and found it full of the meat of a lamb, and her mortar and pestle was full of seed grains; it was crushing the seeds on its own. So, she took out what was in the mortar and pestle, after shaking it to remove everything from inside, and also took the meat out that she found in the oven.” Abu Hurayrah added, “By He in Whose Hand is the life of Abu Al-Qasim (Prophet Muhammad )! This is the same statement that Muhammad said,

«لَوْ أَخَذَتْ مَا فِي رَحْيَيْهَا وَلَمْ تَنْفُضْهَا (لَطَحَنَتْهَا) إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَة»

(Had she taken out what was in her mortar and not emptied it fully by shaking it, it would have continued crushing the seeds until the Day of Resurrection.)”

[وَكَأِيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ عَتَتْ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهَا وَرُسُلِهِ فَحَاسَبْنَـهَا حِسَاباً شَدِيداً وَعَذَّبْنَـهَا عَذَاباً نُّكْراً - فَذَاقَتْ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهَا وَكَانَ عَـقِبَةُ أَمْرِهَا خُسْراً - أَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ عَذَاباً شَدِيداً فَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ يأُوْلِى الأَلْبَـبِ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قَدْ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكُمْ ذِكْراً - رَّسُولاً يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ مُبَيِّنَـتٍ لِّيُخْرِجَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ مِنَ الظُّلُمَـتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ وَيَعْمَلْ صَـلِحاً يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَداً قَدْ أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ لَهُ رِزْقاً ]

(8. And many a town revolted against the command of its Lord and His Messengers; and We called it to a severe account, and We shall punish it with a horrible torment.) (9. So it tasted the evil result of its affair, and the consequence of its affair was loss.) (10. Allah has prepared for them a severe torment. So have Taqwa of Allah, O men of understanding, those who believe! Allah has indeed sent down to you a Reminder.) (11. A Messenger, who recites to you the Ayat of Allah containing clear explanations, that He may take out those who believe and do righteous good deeds, from the darkness to the light. And whosoever believes in Allah and performs righteous deeds, He will admit him into Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. Allah has indeed granted for him an excellent provision.)

Punishment for defying Allah’s Commandments

Allah the Exalted threatens those who defy His commands, deny His Messengers and contradict His legislation, by informing them of the end that earlier nations met who did the same,

[وَكَأِيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ عَتَتْ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهَا وَرُسُلِهِ]

(And many a town revolted against the command of its Lord and His Messengers;) meaning, they rebelled, rejected and arrogantly refused to obey Allah and they would not follow His Messengers,

[فَحَاسَبْنَـهَا حِسَاباً شَدِيداً وَعَذَّبْنَـهَا عَذَاباً نُّكْراً]

(and We called it to a severe account, and We shall punish it with a horrible torment.) meaning, horrendous and terrifying,

[فَذَاقَتْ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهَا]

(So it tasted the evil result of its affair,) meaning, they tasted the evil consequences of defiance and they regretted their actions when regret does not avail,

[وَكَانَ عَـقِبَةُ أَمْرِهَا خُسْراًأَعَدَّ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ عَذَاباً شَدِيداً]

(and the consequence of its affair was loss. And Allah has prepared for them a severe torment.) means, in the Hereafter, added to the torment that was sent down on them in this life. Allah the Exalted said, after mentioning what happened to the disbelieving nations,

[فَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ يأُوْلِى الأَلْبَـبِ]

(So have Taqwa of Allah, O men of understanding,) meaning, `O you who have sound understanding, do not be like them because if you do, you will suffer what they suffered, O people of comprehension,’

[الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ]

(who believe) meaning, in Allah and His Messengers,

[قَدْ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكُمْ ذِكْراً]

(Allah has indeed sent down to you a Reminder.) meaning, this Qur’an. Allah also said,

[إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَـفِظُونَ ]

(Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr and surely, We will preserve it.) (15:9)

The Qualities of the Messenger

Allah’s statement,

[رَّسُولاً يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ مُبَيِّنَـتٍ]

(A Messenger, who recites to you the Ayat of Allah containing clear explanations,) Some said that the Messenger is the subject of what is being sent [as a reminder] because the Messenger is the one that conveys the Dhikr. Ibn Jarir said that what is correct is that the Messenger explains the Dhikr. This is why Allah the Exalted said here,

[رَّسُولاً يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ مُبَيِّنَـتٍ]

(A Messenger, who recites to you the Ayat of Allah containing clear explanations,) meaning, plain and apparent. The statement of Allah;

[لِّيُخْرِجَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَـتِ مِنَ الظُّلُمَـتِ إِلَى النُّورِ]

(that He may take out those who believe and do righteous good deeds, from the darkness to the light.) Allah’s is like saying;

[كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَـهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَـتِ إِلَى النُّورِ]

(A Book which We have revealed unto you in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness) (14:1), and,

[اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَـتِ إِلَى النُّورِ]

(Allah is the Guardian of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light.) (2:257) meaning, out of the darkness of disbelief and ignorance into the light of faith and knowledge. Allah the Exalted called the revelation that He has sent down, light, on account of the guidance that it brings. Allah also called it Ruh, in that, it brings life to the hearts,

[وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ رُوحاً مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِى مَا الْكِتَـبُ وَلاَ الإِيمَـنُ وَلَـكِن جَعَلْنَـهُ نُوراً نَّهْدِى بِهِ مَن نَّشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِى إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ]

(And thus We have sent to you Ruh of our command. You knew not what is the book, nor what is faith But We have made it a light wherewith we guide whosoever of Our servants We will. And verily, you are indeed guiding to the straight path.) (42:52) Allah’s statement,

[وَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ وَيَعْمَلْ صَـلِحاً يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَداً قَدْ أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ لَهُ رِزْقاً]

(And whosoever believes in Allah and performs righteous good deeds, He will admit him into Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. Allah has indeed granted for him an excellent provision.) was explained several times before, and therefore, we do not need to repeat its explanation here. All the thanks and praises are due to Allah.

[اللَّهُ الَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَـوَتٍ وَمِنَ الاٌّرْضِ مِثْلَهُنَّ يَتَنَزَّلُ الاٌّمْرُ بَيْنَهُنَّ لِّتَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عِلْمَا ]

(12. It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof. His command descends between them, that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds all things with (His) knowledge.)

Allah’s Perfect Power

Allah the Exalted asserts His perfect power and infinite greatness, so that the great religion that He has legislated is honored and implemented,

[اللَّهُ الَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَـوَتٍ]

(It is Allah Who has created seven heavens) Allah said in similar Ayat, like what Prophet Nuh said to his people,

[أَلَمْ تَرَوْاْ كَيْفَ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ سَبْعَ سَمَـوَتٍ طِبَاقاً ]

(See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another) (71:15), and,

[تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَـوَتُ السَّبْعُ وَالاٌّرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ]

(The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify him.) (17:44) Allah’s statement,

[وَمِنَ الاٌّرْضِ مِثْلَهُنَّ]

(and of the earth the like thereof.) means, He created seven earths. In the Two Sahihs, there is a Hadith that states,

«مَنْ ظَلَمَ قِيدَ شِبْرٍ مِنَ الْأَرْضِ طُوِّقَهُ مِنْ سَبْعِ أَرَضِين»

(Whoever usurps the land of somebody unjustly, even if it was a mere hand span, then his neck will be encircled with it down to the seven earths.) And in Sahih Al-Bukhari the wording is:

«خُسِفَ بِهِ إِلَى سَبْعِ أَرَضِين»

(…he will sink down to the seven earths.) In the beginning of my book, Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, I mentioned the various narrations for this Hadith when I narrated the story of the creation of the earth. All the thanks and praise is due to Allah. Those who explained this Hadith to mean the seven continents have brought an implausible explanation that contradicts the letter of the Qur’an and the Hadith without having proof. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat At-Talaq, all the thanks and praise is due to Allah.

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