Exposition of the Holy Quran – 65 At-Talaaq (G A Parwez)

Surah 65: At-Talaaq
(Divorce)

(1) O Nabi! When you decide divorce cases of women, tell the people that the waiting period, idda (three menstrual periods) is of immense importance. You must observe this period. Accordingly, it is important that you count that period accurately; and thus fully guard the divine laws of your Rabb (2:228-237, 33:49). During this period, do not ask divorced women to leave their homes (65:6). (They have a right to stay in their homes for the period of idda.) Therefore, neither you should ask them to leave nor they should leave on their own (without a valid reason) unless they are being openly lewd (in which case they could be asked to leave). These are the limits prescribed by Allah Almighty, and whoever transgresses these limits, commits zulm on his own self (besides the damage he inflicts on others).
There is some wisdom in this provision for keeping women in their houses during the idda and of their staying therein. Even though during idda they do not live as husband and wife, it is possible that as a consequence of this separation, circumstances which bring them to reconciliation may be created (provided the divorce is such that further reconciliation is still possible).
(2) And when the idda period is about to end, then once again dispassionately re-examine the whole situation. If there is a possibility of maintaining the relationship, then why separate? It is better to live again like a husband and wife, according to the recognized procedure. However, if reconciliation is not possible, (then) separate according to the recognized procedure. While taking the final decision, let two persons from amongst you be witnesses. They should stay firm as witnesses, taking it as a sacred duty. This emphasis is being given to a person who believes in the divine laws and in the life hereafter.
It is just possible that you might experience some difficulty in complying with these instructions, but always remember that if there is any difficulty in adhering to the law, the divine system will provide some solution for the problem.
(3) You may face some financial difficulties in doing so. However, the divine system will alleviate these in a way that you may not expect! Remember, the system satisfactorily provides for whoever trusts it and ultimately leaves nothing undecided. This is so because Allah has devised measures (rules and regulations) for everything (and matters that are decided according to rules and regulations have neither uncertainty nor difficulty).
(It is important for the court deciding divorce cases to keep in view all these points and their implications; and to make suitable provisions for the difficulties and complications.)
(4) (As has been mentioned earlier in verse 2:228, the period of iddat should normally be three menstrual cycles) However, in cases where women have menopause, difficulty arises as how to calculate their iddat. In such cases instead of three menstrual cycles, it would be three months. This period would be the same for women who due to some medical reason have not been menstruating. And for pregnant women it is till the termination of pregnancy.
(Some persons may feel that the idda period is too long, as they have to bear the expenses of the divorced wife. But there is no need to be afraid.) The divine system would make things easy for whoever guards the laws of Allah. (The respective court should keep these matters in view and find solutions.)
(5) This is the commandment that Allah has sent down to you. For whoever guards these laws, the divine order removes the difficulties which result from such family maladjustments. Allah will greatly reward that person (who faces difficulties in carrying out these directives).
(6) You should keep divorced women in the same place and in the same standard and style of living, as you yourself live. Do not do or say anything which would harass or torture them. And if they are pregnant then you have to bear all expenses till the termination of the pregnancy. After the delivery, if they suckle the baby for you (with mutual consultation even after the divorce is final) then pay them for that. The details of this arrangement should be worked out by mutual consultation, according to prevalent norms. If any or both of you find it difficult to resolve this matter, then let some other woman suckle the baby.
(7) As regards fixing alimony for the women under divorce proceedings, or for suckling the child, you should let a wealthy man spend according to his means; while one whose means are limited should spend in accordance with what Allah has given him. Remember Allah’s law does not burden a human being beyond his capacity. If the man runs into some financial difficulty on account of this extra expenditure, then relief can be provided according to the divine laws. (This aspect should also be kept in mind when deciding the case.)
(8) (These laws pertaining to the private life of individuals seem like personal laws which have no effect on the public life of the nation. This is very superficial thinking and on this basis secular governments have divided their laws into public and personal. This is a mistake since life is an indivisible whole and it cannot be divided into segments, with each aspect not affecting the other. These matters have great influence on the social life of nations. Therefore the pages of history bear testimony to the fact that) Many nations rebelled against (these kinds of) divine laws and opposed His messengers. However, Our Law of Mukafat took a serious account of them and as a result they suffered chastisement.
(9) Thus they tasted the disastrous consequences of their self-made laws and regulations. It is obvious that when someone leaves the divine laws and starts formulating self-made laws, then the outcome can be devastation and destruction.
(10) According to Allah’s Law of Mukafat such nations suffer severe chastisement. Therefore, you who are endowed with insight, intellect and understanding, and have professed eiman, should always guard the divine laws. It is for this purpose that Allah has sent these guidelines to you.
(11) He has sent these through this Rasool, who conveys unto you the divine message which is very clear and explicit in its meaning. The purpose is that He may take the people who believe in the truth of the divine laws and do righteous deeds, out of the depths of darkness into enlightenment.
Remember, Allah’s Law of Mukafat admits the one who has firm conviction in the truth of the divine laws and acts according to the programme prescribed by Him, into a heavenly life that never fades in freshness. He will abide therein beyond the count of time; and Allah will provide him means of nourishment in the most magnificent and graceful manner (in this world as well as in the hereafter).
(12) This system of Rabubiyya is from Allah, Who has created several celestial bodies high up in the cosmos; and a corresponding lower one(1) for each. And He implements His programmes in all these celestial bodies (and they are continuously carrying out His programme).
(He has explained all these matters so that) You should understand that everything in the universe functions according to standards and measures set by Him; and nothing is ever outside His knowledge.

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(1) ‘High’ and ‘low’ are relative terms. Should you have three objects one above the other, the middle one will be lower than the upper one; and higher than the lower one. Thus every low has a high and every high has a low. The same is the case with celestial bodies. Every celestial body is higher than the lower one, and lower than the higher one. This is what is meant by an ard for every sama. Sama implies height and ard the lowness. Thus sama stands for higher celestial bodies and ard for lower ones.

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