Q: I would like to know if triple talaq given in one sitting makes the marriage (nikah) null and void. Secondly, let me know if the woman who is given talaq can stay with this person who has pronounced talaq in writing but is not ready to accept this injunction of Allah.
Anjum Parveen, Allahabad
Islamic Voice replies:
A: The second part of your question is not clear. We looked for your address, email ID or phone number. The envelope bore none. Since the envelope carried the seal of Allahabad High Court post office, we presume you are from Allahabad. There is no way we can get back to you to get the question clarified. Let us reply to the part of the question that is clear to us.
To begin with, let us tell you that Islamic Voice is a magazine and can only offer its opinion which will be in line with its reformist viewpoint rather than the existing juristic opinion as is expected from the Qazi courts or sharii panchayats. Nikah and talaq are matters that make or break families. Let this opinion from us not be binding upon anyone in this matter. For adjudication of such matters you should still approach the institutions that are officially or socially recognized to carry out such assignments.
Having said this, let it be clear that if you ask any traditional aalim or qazi about the triple talaq in one go, they would affirm that the talaq (divorce) is final and irrevocable and the husband and wife should not stay together. We, and a growing body of people, are of the opinion that the holy Quran does not approve of such a talaq or divorce. Divorcing spouses should undergo an elaborate process in order to secure final separation. But the current body of ulema belonging to four schools of jurisprudence are unanimous that if uttered thrice in a rapidfire fashion, talaq is final. This is not Quranic and totally unjust. In the Quranic procedure of talaq, presence of two witnesses is mandatory (refer Surah Talaq).
If a marital discord happens between the husband and wife, they should mutually try to reconcile the differences (faizu hunna), physically separate (wahjuru hunna) from each other (in the hope that such a step would revive and reinforce the wish to reunite with each other and a third step of reconciliation (wazribu hunna). (refer 4: 34-35). In the fourth stage, they would appoint two arbiters from both families and place their differences before him to resolve.
If the above steps fail to bring about rapproachment, the Quran allows the first talaq to be pronounced followed by a waiting period called the iddat. Not more than two divorces can be pronounced during this period, the duration of which is three monthly courses, going by the verses 228 and 229 of the second chapter Baqrah. For women who have attained menopause the period of iddat is three month, and in the case of pregnant women it is till the termination of pregnancy (65: 4). If the spouse reconcile their differences after iddat, provided the third pronouncement of talaq has not been made, they can reunite after remarriage. The Quran says: “When you divorce women and they complete their term (iddat), do not prevent them from marrying their husbands if they mutually agree on equitable terms” (2:232). In other words, after the expiry of iddat, as per verses 2:231 and 232.
If the differences persist and reconciliation efforts totally fail, the final irrevocable talaq can be pronounced. This brings about the final separation of husband and wife.
With such elaborate process laid down in the Quran, the error of the ways of the current three talaqs in a row must be manifest for all of us. It is time all of us reconsider the juristic position and align it along with the will of God and the Divine revelation we all possess.