Reliable, verifiable facts gathered through consistent arbitration in marital matters have shown that it is now a common practice among our sisters to quit their marriages without recourse to the Qur’ān and the Sunnah, yet they take pride in referring to themselves as ahlus-sunnah. Sunnah by claim, bid’ah by practice! While some of them seem arrogant and hell bent on righting this shameful wrong, some are rather ignorant of the spiritual implications of the mess. The act is worse and excruciating that some even go into another marriage without a proper, Sharī’ah-compliant disengagement from the previous one, innā liLLāhi wa innā ileiHi rāji’ūn!

“I packed my baggage and quit the marriage because I was fed up of the carnage.” “Were you divorced by him?” “I asked him for a divorce but was hell bent on keeping me in his den, so I left.” “Did you approach the Sharī’ah court?” “No, I didn’t.” “So, how was the marriage dissolved?” “I did myself.” “You as what? And what about ‘iddah (the waiting period – three menstrual cycles under his roof)? Was it done at all?” “No, it wasn’t.” “Why?” Because we were more than three months away from sex before I quit, so, I don’t think there was any need for ‘iddah.” “Says who? Whose fatwā is that?” “I don’t really know, but I think the essence of ‘iddah is to know if the woman is pregnant, and we were more than three months away from what could get me pregnant. What then would the ‘iddah have been about?”

The above is just one out of the many unscrupulous ways our sisters quit their marriages. The most laughable are those who claim to know when they apparently know little or nothing: they speak nonsense with confidence. They are usually pushed by their emotions, rather than their gumption.

A marriage solemnized as enshrined in the Qur’ān (and in the Sunnah) can only be discontinued following the same Scripture. As Allāh commanded that nikāh be done to make the coming together of the man and the woman legal and Godly, so He allowed divorce between them with certain underlying conditions. Why would a muslimah adhere to the former and jettison the latter? Is that fair to her Lord?

May I briefly educate those who have ears. Divorce is not in the hand of the Muslim woman. A woman does not pronounce divorce. That is the sole prerogative of the man with certain conditions attached. A woman who has one reason or the other to quit her marriage is only allowed to seek divorce from her husband. If the man does as requested, the marriage stands dissolved after the observance of ‘iddah; if otherwise, the woman approaches the Sharī’ah court wherein the man is summoned and the marriage either repositioned, the man caused to do the wish of his wife, or the qādī (judge) exercise his powers and have the union dissolved. In this case, the woman observes an ‘iddah of one mentrual cycle (according to majority of scholars) and the mahr (bridal gift) received from the man returned.

Leaving your husband without proper adherence to the Sharī’ah and getting married to another man is, in my debatable parlance, a display of glorified adultery. As far as Islām is concerned, you are a wife to the former and a zinā-mate to the latter. You had better right the wrong before your last is breathed.

Sanni Kay Yūsuf


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