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. In that case, there is no blame on either of them if they reunite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. (Qura’n 2:230)
The condition for remarrying your wife after the second husband has divorced her is both of you feel that you can keep the limits ordained by Allah, through love, mutual respect, and avoiding unnecessary disputes and ill-treatment of one to another.
During preparation for marriage, the scholars said, it is not lawful for the man to hide any defect that he has from the woman he intends to marry, like his ability or otherwise in fulfilling all marital obligations to her. He should come out clean and tell her about his strength and weaknesses. He will not assume a false identify or claim a parentage that is not his. It is unlawful for him to lie about his financial worth, his qualification or his occupation or where he works.
The woman on her part should also be very plain regarding any defect that may be hidden within her body or ailment that she has which can affect her performance in discharging her obligations to the would-be husband. She is not to lie concerning her lineage, financial worth or occupation.
If, after marriage, a defect was discovered that was not disclosed during courtship, the marriage is devolved. It’s like buying an item and after reaching home you discover that it has a defect. You can return it to the seller and get your money back or a replacement. So also is marriage; if the defect is from the husband which the wife discovers, the marriage is set asunder, or through a divorce, and the wife retains the sadaaq completely where the marriage is consummated, otherwise she retains half of the sadaaq. Likewise, where the husband discovers a defect in the wife that she did not disclose earlier – leprosy, for example, or she is mentally ill, or any ailment that will hamper complete enjoyment of a marital union – the husband can divorce her, send her back to her family, and receive his sadaaq completely whether the marriage is consummated or not.
Secondly, each spouse has a right in relation to the other. The wife is entitled to board and lodging, guardianship, protection, love, sexual intercourse, consorting with her in kindness, education, and all that we mentioned under ee’laa of limiting the period of cessation of intercourse due to marital discord.
On the wife, the husband enjoys the following: she will not allow anybody into the house without his permission; his private chambers, where he reclines, his bed, she will not let anybody lie there even if it is his mother; she will not go out of his residence without his leave; she is to cover and guard her chastity whenever she goes out and avoid displaying her beauty outside the home; to protect her husband’s honour and interest in his reputation and finances, his wealth.
Does a wife have to do domestic chores in her husband’s house? Does she have to work for him, wash, iron his clothes, make the bed and keep the house tidy? The marriage contract, according to some of them (the scholars), is that of amatory enjoyment only. The right of the bed. When the wife fulfils her duty in bed, she has no other responsibility. This is an opinion.
Another said every wife has her peculiarities in relation to her responsibilities and duties. If she has lived her life served by attendants and servants because her father is a man of means, she is not to do any domestic chore. You are to provide housemaids, a chauffeur, cooks for her. Her duty is to direct and oversee what they do as she is used to in her father’s house. But where she comes from a middle-class family, she has to work and undertake domestic chores that are not hard on her, like making the bed and preparing food. If she is from a poor family, everyday people, and she is used to doing similar things from her father’s house, then she has to do all that in her husband’s house – washing, ironing, general housekeeping and cooking – since none of these is new to her.
The best opinion is with the Sunnah of the Prophet sallaahu alaihi wa sallam. His daughter, Fatimah came to him complaining about blisters on her hands due to long use of mill-stone, and that she needed a housemaid, a servant to help her with the chores.
The Messenger of Allah, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam said to her and her husband Ali’, “Shall I tell you what is better than a servant? When you both go to your bed say thirty three (33) times, Allaahu Akbar, subhaanallaah, alhamdu lillaah.”
Therefore, if Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam will work in her husband’s house to the extent of having blisters on her hands, what woman is better than Fatimah that will be exempted from domestic chores? Who is better than Fatimah, one of the leaders of the women of the world?
Not only that, the custom of the Muslims from the time of the Prophet, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam to that of the two or three generations that came after him, was for the woman to cook for the husband. He would come to his wives and ask ‘Have you got any food?’ If he was the one that cooked it or supposed to prepare the meal, he would not have asked them for it. Therefore, the wife keeps the house in order, preparing food, washing clothes, ironing, making the bed and so on; while the husband deals with the issues of sustenance and providing leadership for the household.
This does not, however, debar husbands from providing servants to their wives in order to ease their tasks.
When you divorce women the reversible divorce, and they fulfil the term of their ‘iddah; meaning; towards the end of the ‘iddah, because if the husband allows the ‘Iddah period to end, he will not be able to take her back as his wife. ‘…and when they fulfil the term of their (‘Iddah), either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms;’ So, ‘fulfil the term of ‘iddah’ actually means any time before it’s expiration as taking the wife back in a reversible divorce will not be possible at the end of the ‘iddah.
‘When ye divorce women, and they fulfil the term of their (‘Iddat), either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms;’ in an arrangement that will ensure better living condition, respect for each other’s rights and equity.
“A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold Together on equitable terms or separate with kindness.”
Out of Allah’s mercy, He gives you the chance of taking back your wife during the ‘iddah of first and second divorces. Anger may lead you to divorce. Your wife may regret her actions. You may be filled with remorse for parting ways with the mother of your children. Thus, Allah gives you two chances to reconsider, to have another opportunity of making amends and living as husband and wife.
‘…either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms;…’
We have mentioned something on the meaning of equitable terms like the husband’s ability to fulfil all his functions – mating and providing for the family.
On equitable terms also the scholars said if a man is unable to provide for the wife’s needs, divorce is mandatory on him, as it will be outside the scope of equitable terms that the husband will leave his wife to starve. Therefore, it is not lawful for him to retain her as his wife if he is not able to provide for her. They mentioned a hadeeth in Saheeh al-Bukhari where the Prophet, sallaahu alaihi wa sallam said a woman will say:
“You should either provide me with food or divorce me.”
Others said, no, penury cannot be a reason for divorce. If a husband cannot provide his wife with food she has to be patient until Allah ease the condition for him.
Let the man of means 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. After difficulty, Allah will soon grant relief. (at-Talaaq, 7)
If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time Till it is easy for him to repay. (al-Baqarah, 280)
If a debtor is to be given respite till it is easy for him to repay a debt, why will one who is in a straightened circumstance be made to divorce his wife?
They also quoted another verse where Allah said:
Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah encompasseth all, and he knoweth all things. (an-Nuur, 32)
If has encouraged us to assist the poor in marriage, why force him to divorce his wife?
Therefore, if your husband is not able to provide for you, be patient, for it is but a test from Allah.
Allah doth enlarge, or grant by (strict) measure, the sustenance (which He giveth) to whomso He pleaseth (ar-Ra’d, 26)
The proponents of divorcing the wife of a husband who is unable to feed his family have disagreed over the issue of the divorce itself, whether it is revocable or irrevocable?
The preferred position is of those who averred that penury will not cause divorce; that if the husband cannot fend for his family, the wife should be patient to the time when Allah’s help will come.
‘…either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms;…’
We have mentioned quite a lot on taking wives back after a divorce with the intention of opening a new page and not for the purpose of hurting the wives in any way.
Setting them free on equitable terms refers to divorce and parting of the ways in such a manner that the husband will not speak ill of his former wife. He will not describe her nakedness or any defect she may have to anybody. Should he be asked about her, his answer must not demean her in any way. Yes, we had to separate for a number of reasons. May Allah forgive us for any shortcomings on either of us that affected the other. But she was a good woman. These are the types of words the husband may say about his former wife. She should do no less in speaking about him to others. Neither of them should try to discourage anyone from marrying the other. You are no longer husband and wife. Allow the other to remarry.