Sura Al-Baqarah (Tafseer-ul-Maariful Quran), Part-240



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The basic rules of giving a divorce
The third rule identified in this verse is: Should a man be left with no other option but divorce, then the basic and true method in the view of Shari'ah and Sunnah is that he should give one revocable divorce in clear and unambiguous words so that the choice of taking the wife back remains open. Words that cause sudden severance of marriage relationship should not be spoken. This is known as al-talaq al-ba'in, the divorce that cannot be revoked. In addition to this, reaching three talaqs must be avoided following which even fresh marriage between the couple becomes haram (unlawful). This point is indicated by the use of the universal and unqualified words in طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ (when you have divorced women), because the injunction contained in this verse covers only one or two revocable talaqs. It does not concern the irrevocable three talaqs; but the Holy Qur'an, by not mentioning any related qualification, has suggested that the real talaq (divorce)is none other than the revocable talaq as approved by the Shari'ah. Other forms are not. devoid of repugnance or undesirability.

Rules of the remarriage of the divorced women
The second verse stops the unjust treatment meted out to divorced women, that is, they are discouraged to marry again. In some cases the first husband generally opposes the idea of his divorced wife marrying someone else and considers this to be a violation of his honour. In some families, even guardians of the divorced woman stop her from marrying a second time some of them often do that out of greed hoping to let her marry only when there is some financial gain for them. There are times when the divorced woman agrees to remarry her former husband but the guardians and relatives develop a sort of hostility towards him after the incident of divorce. As such, they oppose their remarriage even after both of them agree to it. Stoppling free women, without any valid reason admitted by Islamic law, from marrying at their choice, is a grave injustice whether it comes from the former husband or from the guardians of the woman. This injustice has been prevented through this verse.

This verse was revealed in the background of an incident of this nature. It appears in Sahih al-Bukhari that Sayyidna Ma'qil ibn Yasar رضي الله عنه had given his sister in marriage to someone. He divorced her and the period of 'iddah expired as well. Following that, this man was sorry for what he did and wished to remarry her. His wife, that is, the sister of Ma'qil ibn Yasar رضي الله عنه also agreed to it. When this man talked to Ma'qil about it, he said, of course, in anger against the man's act of divorce: 'I did you an honour. I gave you the hand of my sister and you did this to me. You divorced her. Now you have come again to me so that I can let you marry her once again. By Allah, she will not go back in your nikah now.'

There was another incident concerning a cousin of Sayyidna Jabir ibn 'Abdullah رضي الله عنه similar to the one above. Thereupon, this verse was revealed in which the approach of Ma'qil and Jabir رضي الله عنهما was declared to be undesirable and impermissible.

The noble Sahabah (Companions) were true lovers of Allah Almighty and His Messenger (SM). Such was the beneficence of the verse that Ma'qil ibn Yasar's anger cooled down as he heard it. He himself went to his former brother-in-law and gave his sister in his marriage once again and then gave kaffarah (expiation) for his oath. Similarly, Jabir also carried out the instruction.

Keeping in view the form of address used here, this verse includes husbands who have given a divorce as well as the guardians of the  women. Both have been commanded: فَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ أَن يَنكِحْنَ أَزْوَاجَهُنَّ إِذَا تَرَاضَوْا بَيْنَهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ that is, 'do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they mutually agree with fairness.' They may even be their previous husbands who had divorced them or they may be others. But a condition has been imposed here which is: إِذَا تَرَاضَوْا بَيْنَهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ that is, 'when they mutually agree with fairness.' It means: When a man and woman agree to marry in accordance with the rules set by the Shari'ah, then, do not stop them from getting married. Here it was hinted that the absence of an agreement between the two, or compulsion from any quarter, is a valid reason for people around to stop them. Or, it may be that there is mutual agreement of the couple but it is not in accordance with the method prescribed by the Shari'ah. For instance, the couple may agree to live together without marrying; or may, in between them, enter into a new nikah illegitimately after three talaqs. Still more, should there be an intention to marry another husband during the period of 'iddah, every Muslim, specially those closely related to the man and woman concerned, have a right to stop them from doing so. In fact, it is wajib or obligatory to stop them within the limits of one's ability.

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