Sharh as-Sunnah : Lessons 35 : Point 48
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
And if a man divorces his wife three times then she has become forbidden for him and she will not be permissible for him unless she marries another man.
His saying, “And if a man divorces his wife three times then she has become forbidden for him,” if a man divorces his wife three times (three separate times divorces) then she becomes forbidden for him by consensus (ijmaa`) just as if he were to say “you are divorced” then afterwards he says “you are divorced” and then he says “you are divorced” or if he says to his wife “you are divorced then divorced or and so divorced” because this indicates a sequence and she becomes irrevocably divorced and separated from him if the number of divorces reaches three and she becomes forbidden for him unless and until she has married another husband besides him.
He, the Most High, said:
الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّتَانِ ۖ فَإِمْسَاكٌ بِمَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ تَسْرِيحٌ بِإِحْسَانٍ ۗ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَكُمْ أَن تَأْخُذُوا مِمَّا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ شَيْئًا إِلَّا أَن يَخَافَا أَلَّا يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ ۖ فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَلَّا يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا فِيمَا افْتَدَتْ بِهِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا ۚ وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ – 2:229
فَإِن طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا تَحِلُّ لَهُ مِن بَعْدُ حَتَّىٰ تَنكِحَ زَوْجًا غَيْرَهُ ۗ فَإِن طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا أَن يَتَرَاجَعَا إِن ظَنَّا أَن يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ ۗ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ يُبَيِّنُهَا لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ – 2:230
Divorce is twice then you may either retain her upon reasonable terms or release her in a good manner.
Up until His saying, He the Most High:
And if then he divorces her for the third time then she is not permissible for him after that unless and until she has married another husband besides him. And if he (second husband) then divorces her, in that case there is no harm if the two of them wish to reunite provided that they think they can establish the limits laid down by Allaah.
(Sooratul-Baqarah (2), aayah 229-230)
This is if the divorces are separate even if it is within a single sitting but as for a person who says “you are divorced, you are divorced, you are divorced” without a word of adding in between, in this case we examine if he intended by repeating it just to emphasise it then it will be a single divorce but if he was intending establishing that he wanted to divorce her three times then she will be irrevocably divorced from him if it reaches the third one.
However, if the divorces are said with a single word such as his saying “you are divorced three times over” or “you are divorced three times” then the majority hold that it counts as three divorces and she becomes separate irrevocably from him and forbidden for him unless and until she marries a different husband besides him. And this is the position of the four Imaams but in the saying of some of the verifiers that the three is counted only as one divorce and the matter; there is prolonged disagreement with regards to it. However, what will suffice us is that we know that divorce three times over makes her forbidden for him not forever more but rather it makes her forbidden for him unless and until she marries a different husband besides him and then he divorces her in that case. But as for entering into matters of disagreement then this does not concern us at the moment. 
And the intent of the author in entering these matters in `aqeedah (creed and belief), and Allaah knows best, is to make clear that the matter of marriage is an important matter, which is obligatory to give care and attention to in accordance with legislated principles for it so that people should not be lax about it and about its legal procedures and because the book is entitled Sharhus-Sunnah; literally ’An Explanation of the Sunnah’ meaning clarification of the Sunnah in every matter and from that is the issues of marriage.
 Translator’s side point: People of Knowledge make clear the woman marrying her second husband from the authentic evidences, has to be correct in marrying the second husband, not just as a trick to try and get back to the first one.
 Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah said in his explanation:
As for his saying, “So if a man divorces his wife three times then she has become forbidden for him and she will not be permissible for him unless she marries another husband besides him,” this matter, there is a great disagreement about it amongst the scholars. The majority hold that if a man divorces his wife three times at once with a single saying then she becomes forbidden for him; divorced from him. Whereas, from the People of Knowledge, there are some who say that the divorce, which makes her forbidden, is the divorce in accordance with the Sunnah that he divorces her in a period that is free from menses and he has not had sexual relations with her. So, as for divorcing three times with a single word then it is counted as one and a middle and balanced saying is that it’s counted still as three in accordance with his intention and the matter, there is a great deal of speech about it and Allaah is the one who grants success.
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Transcribed by Saima Zaher.
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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