July 15, 2009

Divorce in Islam


By Reem Sultan

Reprinted from the Islamic Information Center of America website, iica.org

Divorce in every religion is controversial. On one hand, it brings about the disintegration of family life with consequent unhappiness for the children born of that marriage. On the other hand, dissolution of marriage might be desirable when the spouses can no longer live in harmony and have lost all mutual respect for one another. Continuance of an unhappy marriage breeds hate and disgust and is likely to ruin the emotional well- being of the children, or of the either one of the spouses. Islam tends to take a realistic a sympathetic view of human affairs, and thus stresses on the happiness of both spouses. If a husband and wife cannot live happily together in peace and harmony and are not satisfied with their matrimonial life, in these sense that they have physical, emotional, and sexual problems with each other, the Quran prescribes them "Divorce", only if the problems are severe.

"If they disagree and must part, Allah (The God) will provide abundance for all from His all reaching bounty. For Allah is He who cares for all and is wise.” (Quran sura 4, aya 130).

However, every attempt should be made to solve these differences, since Islam does not approve of divorce on frivolous grounds. There must be a valid and significant reason for a disruption of this sacred bond to occur.

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "Of all the permitted things divorce is the most abominable by God." and "Marry and do not divorce, undoubtedly the throne of the beneficent Lord shakes due to divorce."

Before the advent of Islam, divorce was considered to be a frivolous affair by which an angry man could throw his wife out of the house without any valid reason, leaving the unfortunate woman with no recourse to any legal procedure nor any right to maintenance from him. Pagan Arabs used to divorce their wives at any time, arbitrarily. They also used to revoke the divorce, and then pronounce divorce again and repeat the game as many times as they could ' They would, at their pleasure, mistreat the wife, and accuse her of adultery, misconduct, or disobedience. Thus smearing her reputation, which would deter other suitors.

In the midst of these customs Islam introduced to mankind a code for life, which laid down rules and regulations that must be followed in order to live a righteous and noble life. If we thoroughly examine these Islamic laws, under the four schools of jurisprudence, we can see that they take into account the different tentative aspects and situations of divorce to guide the Muslim "Ummah" towards a decision that will affect them for rest of their lives.

The legal term for divorce in Islam is "Talaq". In its literal sense it means "undoing of, or release from a knot". It is a ten-n used by many Muslim jurists to denote the release of a woman from a marital tie. The process of "Talaq" consists of many, components, which are essential to the proper and valid breakage of a marital bond. As part of this intricate process, the Quran prescribes that, if a man decides to repudiate his wife, he should call two men of justice (preferably Muslims) to witness his action:

"And take for witnesses. Two persons from among you, endued with justice. And establish the evidence." (Quran sura 65, aya 2)

There are no specific prescribed words in the Quran that are to be used by a husband to pronounce divorce to his wife. However, the words should convey the intention of the husband to dissolve the marriage. It is necessary that he must be of sound mind, not a minor, and be capable of using his own discretion to reach such a decision. Therefore, a divorce pronounced by an insane man or a child is not considered to be valid.

The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said: "Any divorce is lawful except the divorce given by a person whose intellect is overpowered." This leads us to the question of whether divorce is valid if given without proper intention, that is, under the influence of alcohol, or drugs, or in a state of extreme anger, or by way of jest, or even without free choice (if he is under a threat of his life or property). According to the Malikite, Shafites, and Hanbalite school of jurisprudence, such a divorce is invalid and unacceptable in the eyes of Islamic law. However, the Hanifite school, on the contrary, accepts such a divorce and constitutes it to be valid. It is also essential that when a man expresses his intention to annul a marriage, his wife is not to be in her monthly menstrual cycle, since Allah (The God), does not approve of any hasty decision regarding her future to take place in her period of sexual incapacitation.

Thus, once the conditions are met, "Talaq" can fall under two broad categories; "Talaq al Raji", which is revocable divorce and "Talaq al Bidi", which is irrevocable divorce.

In "Talaq al Raji", the husband pronounces "Talaq" once or at the most twice. This is based on the following Quranic injunction:

"A divorce is only permissible twice. After that the parties should either hold together on equitable terms or separate with kindness." (Quran sura 2, aya 29).

After the first pronouncement, the period of waiting starts immediately. This is an important component in the process of divorce in Islam. It is basically, in this case, a waiting period of three months in which their is abstinence of sexual intercourse between the husband and the wife The purpose of fixing such a long period of waiting is to determine if the wife is pregnant or not, and to encourage attraction in the husband towards the wife. This period gives him an opportunity to reconsider his decision about the divorce. Thus, the husband has the right to exercise "Raja" which is the return of the wife to him. The Holy Quran says:

"And the husband has the better right to take them back in that period if they wish for reconciliation” (Quran sura 4, aya 130).

It suffices just to utter words such as, "I take you back" or to resume sexual relations to constitute reconciliation. According to the Shafites, however, return is not possible without uttering specific wordings. The Malikites, Hanbalites, and the Hanifites, on the contrary, do not require any sort of specific wordings.

Talaq al Raji may take one of the two forms:

"Ahsan" or "Hasan", "Talaq al Ahsan" is "the most approved" form of Talaq. It is so named because of the approval it received from the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). "Ahsan" is effected by a single declaration of repudiation, during a woman's “clean period", and by subsequent abstention from intercourse with her, during her period waiting. In this period, however, repudiation is revocable and the husband may resume conjugal relations with his wife. Until the period of waiting has expired, the marriage tie is not dissolved. The husband retains marital authority over the wife, and if during this period either party dies the other may inherit. The right to revoke repudiation before waiting expires exists only in the cases where the marriage has been consummated. Repudiation of a wife with whom the marriage has not been consummated is irrevocable.

"Talaq al Hasan", on the other hand, is a less approved form of divorce. It is so named because it commands a degree less in the approval of the Prophet (PBUH) as compared to "Talaq al Ahsan". It is effected by three repudiations in three successive "clean periods". After the first and the second repudiation the situation is the same as in the "Ahsan" form of divorce, that is, the repudiation is revocable. It becomes absolute when the third repudiation has been pronounced or when the period of iddah has expired without revocation of repudiation.

Another category of divorce is "Talaq al Bidi which is irrevocable divorce. It is a form which is not approved or recognized by the Prophet (PBUH). It is effected by three repudiations, which may be pronounced at any time and without definite intervals. Although Islamically this method of divorce is regarded sinful, it is nevertheless recognized as effective and produces the same results as "Talaq al Hasan".

It is reported that on a certain occasion when news was brought to the Prophet (PBUH), that one of his disciples had divorced his wife, pronouncing the three repudiations (talaqs) at one and the same time, the Prophet stood in anger on his carpet and declared that the man was making a playing of the words of God and made him take back his wife.

Once the "Talaq" process is underway, the question of responsibility of maintenance of the wife arises. The Holy Quran points out in Surat al Talaq:

"Let women in iddah live in the same style as you live, according to your means. Trouble them not in such a way as to make things difficult for them." (Quran sura 65, aya 6).

Thus the husband's responsibility for the maintenance of his wife and his children by her, pertains not only when they are living with him, but continues in the event of divorce. There are some selfish people who may mistreat their wives and make their lives miserable after pronouncing divorce while they are still in iddah. This is forbidden. A wife must be provided for in the same standard of living as her husband's standard. There is still hope of reconciliation, and even if there is not, the parting must still be honorable. According to the Maliki, Hanifi, Hanbali, and Shafii jurists, it is the duty of the husband to provide financial security and accommodation to the wife during her period of waiting, only if the marriage has been consummated.

However, no maintenance is due to a finally divorced woman, nor is she entitled to any past maintenance except under the Shafii school. In fixing the sum to be paid for maintenance, all the schools lay down the rule that the Qadi (Judge) will exercise his discretion considering the rank and circumstances of both the spouses. This principle is based on the following Quranic verse:

"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." (Quran sura 65, aya 7).

In the event of pregnancy, the Holy Quran imposes additional responsibility. No separation is permissible until after the child is born. Hence she must be properly maintained. As for the child, its nursing, welfare, and similarly, the care of the mother remains the father’s responsibility. All four jurists agree unanimously on this principle, as it is stated in the Holy Quran:

"Mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years, if the father wishes to complete the term, but he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms." (Quran sura 2, aya 233).

It should be noted that in Islam the wife also has the right to demand of her husband a divorce. However, instead of "Talaq" it is termed "Khul" and in its literal sense it means releasing or removing the dress from the body. This is an appropriate allusion to the verse of the Holy Quran, which says:

"Women are your garment and you are their garment." (Quran sura 2, aya 182).

The Maliki jurists define "Khul" as "a divorce by giving something in return. According to the Hanifi, Shafii and Hanbali jurists," it is the end of a marital relationship with consent and with the utterance of the word "Khul".

The Holy Quran permits a wife to ask for a divorce only on legitimate grounds, such as fears of cruelty or desertion. It states:

"If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best." (Quran sura 4, aya 128).

Thus, when a wife feels that her husband is failing to perform his marital duties, she can obtain her release from the marriage by giving up all or some of the dower she received at the time of her marriage. In consideration of this, the husband agrees to the "khul", and the divorce is complete. However "Khul" case has to go to court, where the Qadi must first of all ascertain whether the wife really dislikes her husband so much that she cannot live with him anymore. If the court is satisfied, it will fix as compensation anything that it considers proper, and the husband will have to accept this and divorce his wife. All four jurists are generally of the option that the compensation should not exceed the dowry given by the husband at the time of marriage.

Thus, by analyzing the divorce laws, we can see that Islam provides an equal and fair opportunity of the husband and wife to leave a marital relationship that they consider to be detrimental to their well being. These rules and laws that have been laid down by the Holy Quran and sunnah to enables Muslims to make a rational judgment regarding their future. Islam encourages the Muslim "Ummah" to take their time and make an intelligent decision that is free of anger and misunderstanding. It is obviously preferred by Allah that Muslims refrain from divorce and try to live together in peace and tranquillity, since such a choice leads to a healthy family and a healthy Muslim society.

Committing Suicide In Islam


↓ ▬ Hadiths From Sahih Bukhari ▬ ↓

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 445:

Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak:
The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, 'If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,' he is really a Jew). And whoever commits suicide with piece of iron will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell Fire." Narrated Jundab the Prophet said, "A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him."

Volume 2, Book 23, Number 446:

Narrated Abu Huraira-:
The Prophet said, "He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell Fire (forever) and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hell-Fire."

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 297:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
We were in the company of Allah's Apostle in a Ghazwa, and he remarked about a man who claimed to be a Muslim, saying, "This (man) is from the people of the (Hell) Fire." When the battle started, the man fought violently till he got wounded. Somebody said, "O Allah's Apostle! The man whom you described as being from the people of the (Hell) Fire fought violently today and died." The Prophet said, "He will go to the (Hell) Fire." Some people were on the point of doubting (the truth of what the Prophet had said) while they were in this state, suddenly someone said that he was still alive but severely wounded. When night fell, he lost patience and committed suicide. The Prophet was informed of that, and he said, "Allah is Greater! I testify that I am Allah's Slave and His Apostle." Then he ordered Bilal to announce amongst the people: 'None will enter Paradise but a Muslim, and Allah may support this religion (i.e. Islam) even with a disobedient man.'

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 514:

Narrated Sahl bin Sad As Saidi:
Allah's Apostle (and his army) encountered the pagans and the two armies.,, fought and then Allah's Apostle returned to his army camps and the others (i.e. the enemy) returned to their army camps. Amongst the companions of the Prophet there was a man who could not help pursuing any single isolated pagan to strike him with his sword. Somebody said, "None has benefited the Muslims today more than so-and-so." On that Allah's Apostle said, "He is from the people of the Hell-Fire certainly." A man amongst the people (i.e. Muslims) said, "I will accompany him (to know the fact)." So he went along with him, and whenever he stopped he stopped with him, and whenever he hastened, he hastened with him. The (brave) man then got wounded severely, and seeking to die at once, he planted his sword into the ground and put its point against his chest in between his breasts, and then threw himself on it and committed suicide. On that the person (who was accompanying the deceased all the time) came to Allah's Apostle and said, "I testify that you are the Apostle of Allah." The Prophet said, "Why is that (what makes you say so)?" He said "It is concerning the man whom you have already mentioned as one of the dwellers of the Hell-Fire. The people were surprised by your statement, and I said to them, "I will try to find out the truth about him for you." So I went out after him and he was then inflicted with a severe wound and because of that, he hurried to bring death upon himself by planting the handle of his sword into the ground and directing its tip towards his chest between his breasts, and then he threw himself over it and committed suicide." Allah's Apostle then said, "A man may do what seem to the people as the deeds of the dwellers of Paradise but he is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire and another may do what seem to the people as the deeds of the dwellers of the Hell-Fire, but he is from the dwellers of Paradise."

Volume 5, Book 59, Number 515:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
We witnessed (the battle of) Khaibar. Allah's Apostle said about one of those who were with him and who claimed to be a Muslim. "This (man) is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire." When the battle started, that fellow fought so violently and bravely that he received plenty of wounds. Some of the people were about to doubt (the Prophet's statement), but the man, feeling the pain of his wounds, put his hand into his quiver and took out of it, some arrows with which he slaughtered himself (i.e. committed suicide). Then some men amongst the Muslims came hurriedly and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Allah has made your statement true so-and-so has committed suicide. "The Prophet said, "O so-and-so! Get up and make an announcement that none but a believer will enter Paradise and that Allah may support the religion with an unchaste (evil) wicked man.

Volume 8, Book 73, Number 73:

Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak:
(who was one of the companions who gave the pledge of allegiance to the Prophet underneath the tree (Al-Hudaibiya)) Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever swears by a religion other than Islam (i.e. if somebody swears by saying that he is a non-Muslim e.g., a Jew or a Christian, etc.) in case he is telling a lie, he is really so if his oath is false, and a person is not bound to fulfill a vow about a thing which he does not possess. And if somebody commits suicide with anything in this world, he will be tortured with that very thing on the Day of Resurrection; And if somebody curses a believer, then his sin will be as if he murdered him; And whoever accuses a believer of Kufr (disbelief), then it is as if he killed him."

Volume 8, Book 73, Number 126:

Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak:
The Prophet said, "Whoever swears by a religion other than Islam (i.e. if he swears by saying that he is a non-Muslim in case he is telling a lie), then he is as he says if his oath is false and whoever commits suicide with something, will be punished with the same thing in the (Hell) fire, and cursing a believer is like murdering him, and whoever accuses a believer of disbelief, then it is as if he had killed him."

Volume 8, Book 76, Number 500:

Narrated Sa'd bin Sahl As-Sa'idi:
The Prophet looked at a man fighting against the pagans and he was one of the most competent persons fighting on behalf of the Muslims. The Prophet said, "Let him who wants to look at a man from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire, look at this (man)." Another man followed him and kept on following him till he (the fighter) was injured and, seeking to die quickly, he placed the blade tip of his sword between his breasts and leaned over it till it passed through his shoulders (i.e., committed suicide)." The Prophet added, "A person may do deeds that seem to the people as the deeds of the people of Paradise while in fact, he is from the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire: and similarly a person may do deeds that seem to the people as the deeds of the people of the (Hell) Fire while in fact, he is from the dwellers of Paradise. Verily, the (results of) deeds done, depend upon the last actions."

Volume 8, Book 77, Number 603:

Narrated Abu Huraira:
We witnessed along with Allah's Apostle the Khaibar (campaign). Allah's Apostle told his companions about a man who claimed to be a Muslim, "This man is from the people of the Fire." When the battle started, the man fought very bravely and received a great number of wounds and got crippled. On that, a man from among the companions of the Prophet came and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Do you know what the man you described as of the people of the Fire has done? He has fought very bravely for Allah's Cause and he has received many wounds." The Prophet said, "But he is indeed one of the people of the Fire." Some of the Muslims were about to have some doubt about that statement. So while the man was in that state, the pain caused by the wounds troubled him so much that he put his hand into his quiver and took out an arrow and committed suicide with it. Off went some men from among the Muslims to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Allah has made your statement true. So-and-so has committed suicide." Allah's Apostle said, "O Bilal! Get up and announce in public: None will enter Paradise but a believer, and Allah may support this religion (Islam) with a wicked man."

Volume 8, Book 77, Number 604:

Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd:
There was a man who fought most bravely of all the Muslims on behalf of the Muslims in a battle (Ghazwa) in the company of the Prophet. The Prophet looked at him and said. "If anyone would like to see a man from the people of the Fire, let him look at this (brave man)." On that, a man from the People (Muslims) followed him, and he was in that state i.e., fighting fiercely against the pagans till he was wounded, and then he hastened to end his life by placing his sword between his breasts (and pressed it with great force) till it came out between his shoulders. Then the man (who was watching that person) went quickly to the Prophet and said, "I testify that you are Allah's Apostle!" The Prophet asked him, "Why do you say that?" He said, "You said about so-and-so, 'If anyone would like to see a man from the people of the Fire, he should look at him.' He fought most bravely of all of us on behalf of the Muslims and I knew that he would not die as a Muslim (Martyr). So when he got wounded, he hastened to die and committed suicide." There-upon the Prophet said, "A man may do the deeds of the people of the Fire while in fact he is one of the people of Paradise, and he may do the deeds of the people of Paradise while in fact he belongs to the people of Fire, and verily, (the rewards of) the deeds are decided by the last actions (deeds)".

Volume 8, Book 78, Number 647:

Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak:
The Prophet said, "Whoever swears by a religion other than Islam, is, as he says; and whoever commits suicide with something, will be punished with the same thing in the (Hell) Fire; and cursing a believer is like murdering him; and whoever accuses a believer of disbelief, then it is as if he had killed him."

Review Back Short Story Oƒ Prophet


The Prophet of Islam was born Muhammad ibn Abdullah in Mecca in the year 570 CE. He is the messenger and prophet of Islam and according to Muslims, he is the last and final prophet that God has sent. Muhammad's role went beyond being a Prophet, he was also a politician, a legislator, a military man, and a social reformer.

Muhammad was born in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca and was orphaned at a very young age. His father, Abdullah has died several weeks before his birth and his mother died when Muhammad was 6 years old. His grandfather Abd al Muttalib and then his uncle, Abu Talib, took custody of him and raised him. When Muhammad was of age, he worked as a shepherd and a merchant and traveled to several Middle Eastern cities with the trade caravans. He got married to a rich Meccan widow by the name of Khadijah at the age of 25. At the time Khadija was twice widowed and was 40 years old. Together, Muhammad and Khadijah had 6 children, four girls and two boys.

According to Islamic history, Muhammad often retreated to a cave on the outskirts of Mecca in order to meditate and reflect on life and the bigger questions of life. He received his first revelation from God at the age of 40 and in the month of Ramadan. Three years after this even, Muhammad started preaching the message of the oneness of God and declared himself as a Prophet. Khadijan, his first wife, was the first person to accept Islam.

Muhammad had few followers early on and he was ridiculed by the Meccans who were mostly pagans. Muhammad left Mecca to the city of Medina where he established his religious base and gained more followers. Eventually Muhammad conquered all Arabian tribes and united them under Islam. He conquered the city of Mecca, his birthplace, and destroyed the Pagan gods and established Islam as the only religion of Arabia.

According to Islam, revelations were sent to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. It is these revelations that eventually were gathered and put together in a book known as the Quran. These revelations came sporadically throughout Muhammad's prophetic life. The Quran, however, is not in any chronological order, instead, the editors of the Quran decided to put the chapters by order of their size, from the longest chapter to the smallest chapter.

Muhammad died of illness on 632 CE from illness in the city of Medinah. He was buried in Medinah and currently Medinah is one of the pilgrimage destination of Muslims.

To learn more about or to discuss about Islam visit http://www.faithfreedom.org

July 14, 2009

Journey Through To HELL Jahannam (subhannallah)


The believers are the ones who believe in the unseen. Those who do good will be rewarded with what no eyes have ever seen, in Paradise those who do evil will be under the threat of punishment beyond imagination, in Hellfire.

In these khutbah, Abu Hasnayn provides the listeners with a vivid description of Hellfire.
He discusses its different names, location, inhabitants, food & drink and more. The journey takes us through examples of punishment in Hell and concludes with advice on how to save oneself from the Fire, whose fuel will be men and stones.

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nomaru-sensei 2009. Let's Yell Together: Let's Bring Islam in Eyes of The World!! and Let's Rise Rebuilding for Gaza!!