Guide to Understanding Islam



What does the
Religion of Peace
Teach About...

How a Man Divorces His Wife



Can a Muslim man divorce his wife simply by repeating "I divorce you" three times?

Summary Answer

Yes.  It is a controversial practice called the talaq or "triple-talaq."  Anytime a wife is not menstruating, a husband may divorce her by saying, "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you," effectively throwing her out on the street.

The Qur'an:

Islamic law on this issue is based on the Hadith and a creative interpretation of verse 2:229.

From the Hadith:


Muslim (9:3493) - This is one of several hadith in which it is clear that Muhammad practiced the triple talaq and approved of his followers doing the same.


Additional Notes:

Some Islamic scholars believe that it isn't right to do this in one sitting. They say that there should be a period of time between the "three strikes."


Women's rights groups in the Muslim world are waging an uphill battle to prevent governments from recognizing the triple talaq - with some success in the more moderate countries; however, it will always be honored by Islamic courts. 


Under Islamic law, once a marriage is consummated, a wife has no right to divorce her husband without his permission, even though she may be cast out at will for any reason. Home Page


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