Divorce according to the Imamiyyah 12er Shia

 

O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them for their (legal) period and reckon the period, and keep your duty to Allah, your Lord. Expel them not from their houses nor let them go forth unless they commit open immorality. Such are the limits (imposed by) Allah; and whosoever transgresses Allah’s limits, he surely has wronged his soul. You do not: it may be that Allah will afterward bring about a reunion. Then, when they have reached their term, take them back in kindness or part from them in kindness, and call to witness two just men among you, and keep your testimony upright for Allah. Whoso believes in Allah and the Last Day is exhorted to act thus. And whosoever keeps his duty to Allah, Allah will appoint a way out for him.” (Qur’an 65:1-2)

 

They are invited to the book of Allah to settle their dispute”. (Qur’an 3:23)

 

And this is a Book which We have revealed as a blessing, so follow it and be righteous, that you may receive mercy”. (Qur’an 6:155).

 

Lo! this Qur’an guides to that which is most upright”. (Qur’an 17:9)

If there is one thing that is destroying the Muslim community, in particular, it is the ease and speed of which a divorce can take place.  In particular, this entry will be taking issue with the jurisprudence of our brothers from the ‘Ahl Sunnah’ on the issue of divorce.  Their particular jurisprudence has all but crushed spirits left children without fathers and needlessly separated couples that actually needed more time to get their act together and overcome their immaturity.

In particular what I’m talking about is the juristic position in the Sunni denomination of Islam, which teaches that a man can simply say to his wife ‘I divorce you’ and she is divorced from him.

Worst still is the juristic view that if a man simply says to his wife ‘I divorce you’ three times in a row, that this man is now ‘irrevocably’ divorced from his wife. That means he cannot marry her again until another man has married and had sexual relations with this woman and then divorces her!

This has been abused by a system of ‘halala’ in which family relatives and some times even Imams will offer to marry the hastily divorced wife, have sex with her, divorce her and then give her back to her former husband for marriage!

Not only that but these depraved individuals will do so for a small fee!

The fate of so many marriages hinges upon oral traditions, that give credence to the rulings as already mentioned.

So let us give an example:

A man may have found out that his wife has cheated on him with another man. What human being wouldn’t be absolutely livid over such an incident? In the heat of overwhelming grief and anger, he curses his wife, and does the one thing was almost instinctively ingrained in him to say as a show of absolute disgust and displeasure, “TALAQ”.  Those dreaded words are enough to make any woman shudder in fear.

Let us say in this particular example because it is an extreme case, the man says, “I divorce you I divorce you I divorce you, I never want to see your ____ (fill in the blank) face again!

Later, after Abid calms down he has the ‘oh my goodness moment’. That is to say, he REALIZES what he said. Oh no! So now guilt and more grief sets in. According to the ‘Ulemah, his marital union must now be dissolved.’

Abid is very distraught by this. He has had a wonderful 9 years of marriage. Sure it has been riddled by bumpy rides along the way. He and his wife Aisha, a convert to Islam, have five beautiful children together, one is only 6 months old.

But now the whole of their lives are thrown into disarray and chaos.

Now, I have already given a very plausible and believable scenario above.

However, a divorce could be done in an instant, just because Abid is having a bad day, or who knows!  Being a computer engineer and living in Athens can be stressful! Abid! has had enough!

However, now after Abid REALIZES what he has done he goes and talks to his shaykh or imam.

I’m sorry but you are divorced.” Says, the shaykh. Abid related that he said the divorce three times in one go! “Oh, its really over but don’t worry Allah will provide for her and for you.”

Abid goes home and he is very grief-stricken. His children are going to call someone else ‘daddy’

His, wife whom he is more than willing to patch things up with is now beyond reach. He was willing to forgive her for her human frailty and shortcomings. But sadly, she must now be married and have intimate relations with another man. All the while Abid’s only hope is that this new marriage ends in utter failure; so that he may have the hope of taking his wife back.

Some imams and shaykhs are so heartless as to just give you the cold reality of their juristic school’s position. Some may have the heart to comfort you by a few passages of the Qur’an, or some hadith attributed to the Blessed Messenger (saw).

Yet, Abid will not give up. He deeply regrets what he said and even though his wife, Aisha cheated on him, she is deeply remorseful as well. They truly love one another and want what is best for their five beautiful children.

Abid has a conversation with his long time close friend Hassan. Hassan is a Muslim from the Shi’a denomination. Abid confesses the whole thing to Hassan. Hassan seems bewildered by such a proposition. “We do not do that according to our imams”, says Hassan.

But” Abid protest, “it’s in the Sahih hadiths“. Hassan does not seem to be impressed. “Yeah maybe but they are not in our hadiths and our scholars say that there must be two witnesses as per the statement in the Qur’an 65:2:

Thus when they fulfill their term appointed, either take them back on equitable terms or part with them on equitable terms; and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice, and establish the evidence (as) before Allah. Such is the admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out.”

Hassan then goes on to explain to Abid how in Shi’a jurisprudence there is no such as ‘instant divorce’.

In fact during the idda period, we believe as much as possible that the couple should try and reconcile.”

Abid is now very distraught. He researches about the Shi’a views.

Abid hasn’t been sleeping well for two weeks. His “wife” is now at her mother’s place with the kids. Abid is having a crisis of faith.

Abid turns to Allah in his prayers and asks for guidance. Suddenly, Abid gets the overwhelming urge to pick up the Qur’an from his shelf. Abid begins to weep as he realizes it has been a while since he opened the Qur’an.

The white pages have yellowed since he first handed his wife this beautiful revelation, as a wedding gift. Abid felt a deep sense of shame as he dusted off the Qur’an.

Page by page, he began to read into the night, and it became painfully obvious to Abid that the divorce methodology described by his Sunni scholars was definitely at odds with what his Shi’a friend and their scholars had determined to be true.

He also found various passages in the Qur’an that showed that divorce is a long thought out process; and not as Hassan put it ‘instant process’.

Now here are some questions for you the reader.

Let us imagine that there are Muslims who never heard of this idea of ‘instant divorce’ how would these people seek to initiate a divorce if they never heard of the ‘instant talaq’?

Why would there be a sage saying attributed to the Blessed Messenger (saw) that says, “The lawful thing which Allah hates most is divorce.”

Source: (Sunan Ibn Majah Vol 3, Book 10, Hadith 2018 Book 10, Hadith 2096)

Yet, the act of divorce is such a simple utterance?

Why do scholars of the Sunni denomination continue to acknowledge and allow a divorce to take place even though they admit, ‘it is not in accordance with the Sunnah’?

Wouldn’t you want to comply with the Sunnah rather than your juristic opinions?

For the Muslims out there reading this, do you really think that Allah (swt) would let the fate of children, a wife, her husband, the entire family hang in the balance of some hasty utterance made by a husband in a state of frailty?

This is fiqh according to the Imamiyyah or 12er Shi’a denomination.

 

The author of al-Jawahir, citing a statement from Al-Kafi, says: “There can be no divorce except (in the form) as narrated by Bukayr ibn A’yan, and it is this: The husband said to his wife (while she is free from menses and has not been copulated with during that period of purity (You are divorced), and (his pronouncement) is witnessed by two just (‘adil) witnesses. Every other form except this one is void”.  then the author of Al-Jawahir quotes al- ‘Intisar to the effect that there exists a consensus on this issue among the Imamiyyah.”

“Consequently, the Imamiyyah have restricted the scope of divorce to its extreme limits and impose severe conditions regarding the divorcer, the divorcee, the formula of divorce, and the witnesses to divorce. Allah this is because marriage is and of love and mercy, and a covenant with Allah. The Qur’an says:

“How can you take it back after one of you has gone into the other, and they (the wives) have taken a strong pledge from you?” (Qur’an 4:21)

“And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find tranquility in them, and He ordained between you love and compassion.” (Qur’an 30:21)

“And hold not to the ties of marriage of unbelieving women.”  (Qur’an 60:10)

“Therefore, it is not permissible in any manner that one breaks this bond of love and compassion, this pledge and covenant except with a knowledge that leaves no doubt that the Shari’ah has surely dissolved the marriage and has broken the tie which it had earlier established and confirmed.”

“But the other schools allow divorce in any manner in which there is an indication of it, either by oral word or in writing, explicitly or implicitly (such as when the husband says: “You are haram for me”, or “You are separated” or “Go, get married”, or “You are free to go wherever you want,” or “Join your family,” and so on).”

“Similarly, these schools allow an unconditional as well as a conditional divorce such as when the husband says: “If you leave the house, you are divorced,” or “If you speak to your father you are divorced,” or “If I do this, you are divorced,” Or “Any woman I marry, she is divorced;”  in the last case the divorce takes place as soon as the contract of marriage is concluded!)”

“There are various other pronouncements through which divorce is effected, but our discussion does not warrant such detail. These schools also permit a divorce in which the wife of someone else has been authorized to initiate it. They also allow a triple divorce by the use of a single pronouncement. The legist of the schools has filled many a long page with no result except undermining the foundation of the family and letting it hang in the air.

“The Egyptian government has done well to follow the Imamiyyah in most aspects of divorce. Apart from this, the four schools do not consider the presence of witnesses a condition or the validity of divorce, whereas the Imamiyyah consider it an essential condition We hand over the discussion to al-Shaykh Abu Zuhrah regarding this issue.”

Divorce and Witnesses:

Inal-Ahwal Al-Shakhsiyyah (p.365), Al-Shaykh Abu Zuhrah has observed: “The Twelve-Imami Shi’i legists, and the Ismailiyyah state: A divorce does not materialize if not witnessed by two just (‘adil) witnesses, in accord with the Divine utterance regarding the rules of divorce and its pronouncement:

“O Prophet! When you divorce women, divorce them for their (legal) period and reckon the period, and keep your duty to Allah, your Lord. Expel them not from their houses nor let them go forth unless they commit open immorality. Such are the limits (imposed by) Allah; and whosoever transgresses Allah’s limits, he surely has wronged his soul. You do not: it may be that Allah will afterward bring about a reunion. Then, when they have reached their term, take them back in kindness or part from them in kindness, and call to witness two just men among you, and keep your testimony upright for Allah. Whoso believes in Allah and the Last Day is exhorted to act thus. And whosoever keeps his duty to Allah, Allah will appoint a way out for him.” (Qur’an 65:1-2)

“This command about the witnesses in the Qur’an follows the mention of divorce and the validity of revoking it. Therefore, it is appropriate that the calling in of witnesses should be related to divorce. Moreover, the reason was given for calling in the witnesses, that Allah seeks thereby to admonish those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, confirms this interpretation, because the presence of just witnesses is not without the good advice which they would offer to the couple, and this could bring about for them an escape from divorce, which is the most hated of lawful things in the eyes of Allah. If it were for us to choose the law to be acted upon in Egypt, we would choose this opinion, which requires the presence of two just witnesses for effecting a divorce.”

Source: [Page 386-388 The Five Schools fo Islamic Law: al Fiqh’ Ala’L-Madhaahib Al-Khamsah) by Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah

 

I just wanted to say that this book was given to me by my good friend Dr. Ali Al-Ausi, upon request to his mother that he had a friend wanting to know more about the 12er jurisprudence. Ali is one of the kindest, honest, generous, and most truthful Muslims I have ever met.

 

It is really rather sad that many Muslims from other denominations will not give serious consideration to the Imamiyyah (Shi’i) denomination simply because they are from historically rival denominations.

My appeal to Muslims reading this is simple:

Let us put the label aside and look at the evidence.

If we do that we will not only find that they have a very sound position in fiqh on this issue. It is based primarily on evidence in the Qur’an. Insh’Allah if applied we will find that a lot of marriages in the Muslim world will be saved.

will not help but feel ashamed that you have ignored its guidance for so long.

Our brothers from ‘Ahl Sunnah’ may have many ahadith that speak on the issue of divorce.  Yet these narrations are lone narrator reports that have come down through various chains with various grades of authenticity.  Most of all they do not give us any context.  It was if the scholars of the Sunni schools were given ‘snippets‘ and had to construct a schema-based upon these ‘snippets.’

These lone narrator reports are  (dalil dhanni) indefinite proof.

Whereas Allah’s revelation is decisive text (dalil qati‘).

Yet, we have what Allah (swt) has said.

“These are the verses of Allah which We recite to you in truth. Then in what hadith after Allah and His verses will they believe?” (Qur’an 45:6)

 

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

7 responses to “Divorce according to the Imamiyyah 12er Shia

  1. Abdullah

    Salaam alaykum brother,

    As always, you’ve enlightened us with your words of wisdom. I never understood why Sunni’s don’t follow Qur’an directly but rather follow their juridical positions on such important matters. I don’t know if you’ve ever read about an incident reported in a news paper that occurred in either India or Pakistan where a man had pronounced talaq 3 times in his SLEEP and the courts counted it! Can you believe this?? I cannot imagine what these people will say to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) on the Day of judgement for ruining peoples lives and breaking up families!

    Although I never knew about the Shia position of divorce brother and found it interesting that it aligns with the Qur’an. SubhanAllah, that’s an eye opener indeed! But Shhhh! Please don’t tell Sunni’s that because all Shia are evil brother and we shouldn’t be listening to them at all! But it’s perfectly OK for Sunni’s to take the Kuffar as their awliya (Allies) and fight against Muslims! SubhanAllah, how lost we are as an Ummah! May Allah guide us and wake up with Ummah.

    Jazaakum Allahu Khayr

    Abdullah.

    • Walakum salaam wr wb.

      Thank you! Always thankful to read your comments.

      There are always three scenarios concerning the Shi’a , Sunni and Ibadi.

      1) Their juridical positions are found in the Holy Qur’an itself. Has weight and support from the Holy Qur’an.

      2) Their juridical positions clash with the Holy Qur’an. In this case we take the Holy Qur’an over their juridical positions.

      3) Their juridical position either finds support in the Holy Qur’an, nor does it clash with it. In this case one is free to follow their ijtihad or not.

      Allah knows best.

  2. Rider

    I find it very interesting to see what love people like you have for Shiites. In fact whenever there is some secularist reformer of Islam we can find some Shiah connections or beliefs.

    But regarding the issue you display the typical misunderstanding about the difference between the rules the Shariah sets for this world and what one will be asked on the Day of Judgement. The rules of the Shariah are limits for the society. A moral person does not always go to these limits but stops already before.
    Divorcing without sufficient reason is something valid in legal terms. But that does not mean one may not have to answer for it in the afterlife.

    The vilest of your arguments is the one about the halalah. You know very well that this is not allowed. It being practiced is another issue but no moral Muslim would do it.

    Your Abid should have learned the rules before marriage and then everything he does is in his responsibility. It is his fault.

    • Hello Rider

      “I find it very interesting to see what love people like you have for Shiites. In fact whenever there is some secularist reformer of Islam we can find some Shiah connections or beliefs.”

      I hope that my heart has room to love all people who say la ilaha il law lah.

      If you search a little further you might find a great deal in common yourself with Shiah. For example your particular idiosyncratic Sunni denomination as well as the Shi’ah both believe in death for apostasy, you both believe in stoning people for adultery.

      “The vilest of your arguments is the one about the halalah. You know very well that this is not allowed. It being practiced is another issue but no moral Muslim would do it.”

      I really wasn’t quite aware that this was put forth as an argument. Thank you for allowing me to clarify. This was commentary on a practice that you have put rather bluntly as being vile. I quite agree with you, it is vile.

      As far as being a ‘secular reformist’ personally I don’t think Islam is in need of any reform. Reform to me suggest that something is not perfect and I believe Islam to be perfect.

      However, where the argument between is found is on what actually constitutes Islam.
      For example you obviously take issue with the Shi’ia perspective on divorce (which aligns with Prima Qur’an in some ways).

      You would think that perspective needs ‘reformed’ you simply think it’s wrong to begin with.

      Like wise the issue of ‘stoning for adultery’ or ‘death for apostasy’ these are not issues I think need to be ‘reformed’. I think think they are wrong to begin with.

      If I’m not mistaken you have had opportunity to engage with those subjects before.

      Thank you for your comments.

      • Rider

        Thank you for accepting my comment.

        Just let me explain what I meant with you being a secular reformist. I do understand that you try to go back to that Islam you consider to be original. But please understand that in my opinion your understanding is based upon modern secular values and you interpret the Qur’an in that sense.

      • Well, let me say thank you for being respectful in your perspective.

        I understand that is how you see it. I am also thankful that you at least understand what I am trying to do (albeit you feel I am basing on modern secular values).

        Let me tell you this and hopefully it will give you a perspective on who I am as a person.

        #1) I do not condone or believe in homosexuality, lbgt+ or any of that. Never will you see me trying to find any interpretation to justify it.

        #2) I am not for the Capitalist interest -based system.

        #3) I am not a puppet for any western world view. I prefer to see the Muslim nations to be a very strong polity and very strong economically and spirituality.
        In fact I think it is sectarianism that Western powers use to divide Muslims further.

        #4) I believe that Hell is a real place and not a metaphor.

        #5) I believe that Islam does prescribe what otherwise might be termed “harsh” punishments but I obviously do not believe that death for apostasy, or stoning for adultery are among them.

        #6) I think perennial philosophy is a trojan horse aimed at undermining tradition.

        #7 I don’t believe the niqaab to be a requirement but I have no issue with any sisters wearing it and I am not part of any movement trying to ban it or discourage it.
        I find it odd people who claim to embrace freedom dictate what others choose to wear.

        I could go on….

      • Kamileray

        Brother @PrimaQuran,

        I appreciate this post very much(and your page in general) but also as I am a perennialist I would advice to spend some time on studying what perennialism is because it has nothing to do with secularism(well I bet at least 1/3rd of perennialist books are exclusively criticism of secularism) nor it is some kind of syncretism and love-everyone hippie ecumenism.

        @Rider “secularism” argument gets boring. There is literally no relationship between having a secular world view and seeing the ease of divorce as problematic for family life(contrary could be argued actually). There are people who do want to imply secular values on islam but stop accusing anyone starting revisiting some concepts of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s