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Explanation of the Concept of Halalah


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Why must the wife consummate with new husband before she remarries?




Let's say that the husband has devorced his wife. You have said in many times that if the woman wants to remarry her first husband she has to get married to another person intending to remain in his marriage forever, however he divorces her (with the condition of consummating the nikah), for whatever reason or passes away, then she becomes halaal for her first husband? Why must she consummate the nikah with the new husband??


Does that not cause more harm than good? For sure I know that I would never go near a non-virgin, so what hope is there of her remarrying her first husband, with him knowing that she has been with another man. Any man who does such a thing should not even call himself a man, she has been used and has been dirtied by another man and I can't reiterate enough, what good will come from that. Won't it cause more temptations in the future for her? Won't the first husbands conduct towards her change for the worst, the love been them the first time round and after would surely decrease dramatically. Please don't take questions that seem stupid as a time waster.


I ask questions because I want to be armed with knowledge so when the devil next goes on the offensive I shall be ready to fight with knowledge. Confusion and misunderstanding of Islam aids the devil to attack an individual. For the reasons stated above please provide me with details answers.



The concept of halalah, where the divorcee of three times (Talaq-e-Mugallazah) is required to marry another man and have the marriage consummated as a precondition for her to revert to her husband is expressly mentioned in the Quran and many Ahadith.


Allah is Al-Hakeem (The All-Wise). Every decree of Allah is filled with Hikmah and wisdom. The full depth of the wisdom of Allah can never be fathomed by all the most intelligent people of the world. We as the slaves of Allah are duty bound to express submission to Allah. He is our master and we are His slaves. We have to simply obey the orders of Allah whether we understand them or not. Allah out of infinite mercy has also granted the understanding of deen to the Ulama. That understanding creates a sense of fulfillment in expressing servitude to Allah. The practice of halalah is the express order of Allah. This was also advised by Rasulullah (Salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam) to a woman called Imrat Rifa’ah Al-Qurazi who was previously married to Abdul Rahman Ibn Zabeer. This incident is recorded in almost every book of Hadith and several places in Bukhari. Let us briefly discuss the wisdom of this decree of Allah.


Shariah has granted a lofty position to a woman as a daughter, as a wife, as a sister and as a mother. She ascends on the throne of nobility as she passes the different phases of a woman. My focus here is only on her position as a wife and maintaining the marriage bond. It is mentioned in Bukhari that at the time of Jaahiliyah a man could divorce his wife for any number of times and take her back as he wished to. Any noble woman would understand the trauma of this practice. She can never be focused in life. There is absolutely no dignity or honor for her if one time she is regarded as a wife, then not, then wife again. All this being against her will. She was no more than a cheap commodity, in fact worse. The reasons for that are clear as she is a human being with feelings equal to a man. Shariah has restored her with a right of dignity and restricted the unlimited number of divorces. If a man wants her as a wife, he must understand the commitment of marriage and the respect of his wife. He knows ahead of time that the limit of divorce is three. Shariah has advised him that it is the most abhorred thing. He must exercise restraint and tolerate his wife just as she too, tolerates him. If he divorces her expressly two times in one sitting or in different sittings then he can unilaterally take her back within the period of iddat. He cannot take her back thereafter without her consent. It is now her independent right. She must decide whether she wants to live with the man that divorced her and abused her. Once he gives her three divorces, he just cannot have her back. Now it is not even her right to decide to go back to her ex-husband. Shariah steps in to protect her dignity and honor and stop abuse against her. A woman by nature gives in more often and easily than a man. It is possible she may simply subject herself to her abusive husband. Shariah considers her nature and now throws a strong armour around her. She now is the sole right of the Shariah. Now nobody owns her. Her abusive husband needs to be treated with contempt. Any noble man who knows the consequences of three divorces and the process to have his wife back will never divorce his wife. He will respect her and tolerate her. The purpose of halalah is clearly misunderstood. It is to protect a woman against the abuse of divorce. If a man cannot respect his wife, he is not worthy of respect. He must be taught the hard way. This does not mean that halalah is a punishment to the woman. Shariah does not impose on her to remarry. It is her right. She can choose not to re-marry. If she does marry, it should not be to merely fulfill a prerequisite to revert to her ex-husband. It is to be a marriage of honor and dignity. A permanent and normal marriage with all its rights. If this marriage happens to be unsuccessful , then again she has the right to marry her ex-husband. She does not have to if she chooses not to remarry him. It is clear from the above explanation that the concept of halalah is:


1. To actually avoid abuse of wives by giving the husband a limited number of divorces.

2. The noble husband should understand the implications of three divorces and exercise restraint.

3. If he does not contain himself, he cannot be given an unlimited right of divorce.

4. His feelings of his divorced wife marrying another man cannot be considered. Why shouldn?t he consider his wife?s feelings when she was with him. If he is not good to his wife, Allah will create somebody better for her. She could lead a life of respect and honor.


I hope the above explanation and subsequent points fulfill you. Now reverting to your points.


1. You enquire why must she consummate her marriage with her new husband. Our response is why not? Why did she re-marry? Just to legitimize her return? She should not enter into a marriage with that intention. If she does so, what remedy is there for a woman who does not accept the dignity granted to her by Shariah. She is subjecting herself to a process for her abusive ex-husband.


2. You state you will never go to a non-virgin. If you feel like that, you can be a perfect husband and never divorce your wife for her to be “dirtied” by another man. If you do divorce her, why would you be worried about her being dirtied for you. You did worse to her by your abuse to her than her merely being dirtied. An abusive husband probably needed more psychological punishment but Allah restricted it only to halalah which you refer to as dirtied. If the ex-husband feels she is dirtied he doesn’t have to take her back if he doesn’t want to. Nobody forces him to do so. It is his choice. He must decide. If he takes her back, why call her dirty.


3. You enquire that her sleeping with another man creates more temptations for her. That is correct. The husband must realize all this ahead of time and exercise control. A chaste woman will only fulfil herself in a legitimate avenue. She will look after her chastity and respect. We are discussing the preservation of the dignity and honor of an Allah fearing chaste woman, not just any woman.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai


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