Why divorce given 3 times in one majlis (one sitting) takes effect as 3 divorces


Salaam Mufti Sahab,

Can you give information regarding why divorce given 3 times in one majlis (one sitting) takes effect as 3 divorces.



Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

الجواب و بالله التوفيق

It is narrated in a tradition from Aisha (R.A) that a man gave his wife three divorces. Then the wife married another person, and he divorced her. Upon this, the Prophet ﷺwas asked, ‘Is it halal (permissible) for the woman to re-marry her first husband?’  The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘No, until the second husband consummates the marriage with her (and then divorce her).’ (Sahih Al Bukhari – باب من اجاز طلاق الثلاث)

While explaining the above tradition, the great Commentator of Sahih Al Bukhari, Hafiz ibn Hajar Al Asqalani (A.R) says, ‘The words clearly describe that three divorces were given at one time (i.e in one Majlis). (Fath Al Bari, Vol.9, Pg.367 Lahore).

In another tradition, Sahl Bin Saad (R.A) narrates that when lian (mutual imprecation) occurred between Uwaimir (R.A) and his wife, then before the Prophet ﷺ ruled on the matter, Uwaimir (R.A) pronounced three divorces on his wife at one time.’ (Sahih Al Bukhari – باب من اجاز طلاق الثلاث). While commenting on this narrator, Allama Aini, the great Commentator of Sahih Al Bukhari wrote, ‘Uwaimir pronounced three divorces and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ endorsed it and did not reject it. This clearly indicates that whoever pronounces three divorces, it will occur.’ (Umdah Al Qari, Vol.14, Pg.238 Multan).

Suwaid bin Ghafla has narrated that Hassan Bin Ali (R.A) after having divorced his wife said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ saying, ‘Whoever divorces his wife with three divorces, giving her one in each period of purity or at the beginning of each month or has divorced her with three divorces altogether at one time, then she (the wife) is not permissible for him until she marries to another husband.’ (Dar Qutni-Chapter on Talaq & Khul’a; Baihaqi-The Chapter that three divorces occur. Hafiz Ibn Rajab has stated that the sanad of this hadith is Sahih (sound).)

The above traditions make it evident that three divores given at one time (in one sitting) occur as three divorces. Ijma (consensus) of the Sahabah (R.A) and the pious predecessors has also been on this. While highlighting this, the great Mufassir, Muhaddith and Faqih, Abu Bakr Jasas (died 370 A.H) has written, ‘The Quran, the Sunnah and the Ijma of the pious predecessors establish that three divorces given at one time occur as three, even though it is sinful.’ (Ahkam Al Quran, Vol.1, Pg.377, Suhail Academy Lahore, Pakistan 1991).

While commenting on the verses, ‘The divorce is twice, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness…. And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful to him thereafter until she has married another husband.’ (Sura Baqara (2), V.229,230), the great Commentator and Jurist expert, Allama Abu Bakr Al Jasas writes, ‘The verses indicate to the fact that three divorces given at one time occur. Allah has established the ruling that the wife will become haram upon the husband with the third divorce after two which were given before. Here, Allah did not differentiate between the divorces given in one period of purity or in different periods. Hence, the ruling becomes established that three divorces will occur in whatever manner they are given. Whether they are given in accordance to the Sunnah or not, or they are given in an allowed or prohibited way, they all will take effect.’ (Ahkam Al Quran-Vol.1, Pgs.386-387, Suhail Academy, Lahore, Pakistan 1991).

The great Commentator of Sahih Al Bukhari, Allama Badrudeen Al Aini writes, ‘The verdict of all the scholars from the Tabi’een and those after them like Imams Awza’ee, Nakhi, Thauri, Abu Hanifa and his companions, Malik and his companions, Shafi and his companions, Ahmad Ibn Hambal and his companions, Ishaq, Abu Thawr, Abu Ubaid and many others, is that whoever gives his wife divorce with three divorces, they occur (take effect), and the man becomes sinful. The Scholars have stated, ‘Whoever opposes this verdict, then he has detached himself and opposed the Ahlus Sunnah.’ (Umdah Al Qari-Sharh Sahih al Bukhari, Vol.14, Pg.236 – Multan).

Shaikh Muhammad Ameen Ash Shanqeeti has narrated the statement of Ibn Arabi Al Maliki in this Tafseer in which he (Ibn Arabi) said, ‘All the Scholars of Islam and those of authority in the rulings/verdicts, are unanimous upon the verdict that three divorces given in one statement becomes binding (and take effect as three), although it is called it haram by some and biddah by others. Whatever some people have attributed to the Sahabahs (against this verdict) is a pure lie. There is no source of any such statement in a book, and there is no narration from anyone.’ (Adhwa Al Bayan Vol.1, Pg. 136).

There are many other official statements from the great scholars of Islam which highlight the fact that three divorces given in one Majlis occur as three. In fact, there is a narration from Ali (R.A) with clear words which establishes this. Imam Al Baihaqi has narrated in his Sunan Al Kubra that Ali (R.A) said, ‘When a man divorces his wife with three divorces in one Majlis (one sitting), then she becomes separated from him and she is not halal for him until she marries to another husband.’ (Sunan Al Kubra Vol.7, Pg.339).

From these explanations, it is evident that three divorces given in one majlis (sitting) occur as three. With respect to divorce given in anger, then this also takes effect. In this regard, the great jurist expert, Allamah Ibn Abideen Shami (A.R.) has written, “And divorce given in anger will occur” (Fatawa Shami Vol.3, Pg 224, H.M. Saeed Publishing Company).

The celebrated Jurist Mufti Mahmood has also written, ‘Divorce occurs in the state of anger.’ (Fatawa Mahmoodiya Vol.12, Pg. 308, Idara Al Farooq Karachi 2009). Many other formal verdicts of our great and reliable scholars are given, which all establish the fact that divorce given in anger occurs and takes effect in the manner the person pronounced it.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.