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TROP is a non-partisan, fact-based site which examines the ideological threat that Islam poses to human dignity and freedom.








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What Does Islam Teach About...

Remarrying a Divorced Wife

What must a divorced Muslim wife do before her husband can take her back?

According to the Quran, a woman who is divorced by her husband (which is easy for him to do) can only be taken back if she first marries another man and he divorces her.

Quran

Quran (2:230) - "So if a husband divorces his wife (irrevocably), He cannot, after that, re-marry her until after she has married another husband and He has divorced her..."

Hadith and Sira

Sahih Bukhari (063:190) - Muhammad tells a woman that she cannot return to her first husband until she has sexual relations with another man.

Abu Dawud also confirms this rule in two places: 2192 and 2302.

Notes

In Islam, it is called Nikah Halala

If, in a fit of anger, a man pronounces the 'triple talaq' (repeating "I divorce you" three times) to his wife, they are divorced under Islamic law. However, if the couple wishes to reconcile - perhaps for the sake of their children - they cannot do this until she first marries and divorces another man.

The requirement is not symbolic. Muhammad was very clear that the interim marriage must be consummated.

This command is utterly degrading to the woman, who may have done nothing to merit her husband's rage, yet must bear the brunt of his temper in the most humiliating way. This is certainly irrefutable evidence that sexism is deeply rooted in Islam.

The Quran (2:229-230) says that divorce and remarriage can only take place twice before the marriage is permanently unlawful.

In 2014, a young Kuwaiti offered money to a stranger to temporarily marry his wife so that they could be re-married.  In 2017, it was learned that religious scholars in India were being paid to sleep with divorced women in order to satisfy the Quranic requirement.

In 2018, a woman in India tried to satisfy Nikah Halala by sleeping with another man after her husband had divorced her.  When her husband found out, he slit her throat and mutilated her genitalia.

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