PUNE: Under the Islamic law, divorce is classified into three categories. Talaq understood simply, is a means of divorce, at the instance of the husband.
‘Khula’, is another mode of divorce, this divorce is at the instance of the wife. The third category of divorce is ‘mubaraat’ - divorce by mutual consent.
Talaq is also of three kinds - ‘Talaq-e-ahsan’, ‘Talaq-e-hasan’ and ‘Talaq-e-biddat’. The Quran and ‘hadith’ i.e. sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, approve of ‘talaq-e-ahsan’, and ‘talaqe-hasan’ as they are considered most reasonable form of divorce.
But ‘talaq-e-biddat’ i.e. triple talaq is neither recognized by the ‘Quran’ nor by ‘hadith’.
‘Talaq-e-ahsan’ is a single pronouncement of ‘talaq’ by the husband, followed by a period of abstinence. The period of abstinence is described as ‘iddat’. The duration of the ‘iddat’ is ninety days or three menstrual cycles or three lunar months.
If the couple resumes cohabitation or intimacy, within the period of ‘iddat’, the pronouncement of divorce is treated as having been revoked. Therefore, ‘talaq-e-ahsan’ is revocable. Conversely, if there is no resumption of cohabitation or intimacy, during the period of ‘iddat’, then the divorce becomes final and irrevocable, after the expiry of the ‘iddat’ period.
It is considered irrevocable because, the couple is forbidden to resume marital relationship thereafter, unless they contract a fresh ‘nikah’ (marriage), with a fresh ‘mahr’.
However, on the third pronouncement of such a ‘talaq’, the couple cannot remarry, unless the wife first marries someone else, and only after her marriage with other person has been dissolved (either through ‘talaq’ - divorce, or death), can the couple remarry. Amongst Muslims, ‘talaq-e-ahsan’ is regarded as - ‘the most proper’ form of divorce.
‘Talaq-e-hasan’ is pronounced in the same manner, as ‘talaq-e-ahsan’. Herein, in place of a single pronouncement, there are three successive pronouncements. After the first pronouncement of divorce, if there is resumption of cohabitation within a period of one month, the pronouncement of divorce is treated as having been revoked.
The same procedure is mandated to be followed, after the expiry of the first month (during which marital ties have not been resumed). ‘Talaq’ is pronounced again.
After the second pronouncement of ‘talaq’, if there is resumption of cohabitation within a period of one month, the pronouncement of divorce is treated as having been revoked. It is significant to note, that the first and the second pronouncements may be revoked by the husband. If he does so, either expressly or by resuming conjugal relations, ‘talaq’ pronounced by the husband becomes ineffective, as if no ‘talaq’ had ever been expressed.
If the third ‘talaq’ is pronounced, it becomes irrevocable. Therefore, if no revocation is made after the first and the second declaration, and the husband makes the third pronouncement, in the third ‘tuhr’ (period of purity), as soon as the third declaration is made, the ‘talaq’ becomes irrevocable, and the marriage stands dissolved. The wife has to observe the required ‘iddat’ (the period after divorce, during which a woman cannot remarry. Its purpose is to ensure, that the male parent of any offspring is clearly identified).
And after the third ‘iddat’, the husband and wife cannot remarry, unless the wife first marries someone else, and only after her marriage with another person has been dissolved, can the couple remarry. The distinction between ‘talaq-e-ahsan’ and ‘talaq-e-hasan’ is, that in the former there is a single pronouncement of ‘talaq’ followed by abstinence during the period of ‘iddat’, whereas, in the latter there are three pronouncements of ‘talaq’, interspersed with abstinence. As against ‘talaq-e-ahsan’, which is regarded as ‘the most proper’ form of divorce, Muslims regard ‘talaq-e-hasan’ only as ‘the proper form of divorce’.
TALAQ-E-BIDDAT OR TRIPLE TALAQ
The third kind of ‘talaq’ is - ‘talaq-e-biddat’. This is effected by one definitive pronouncement of ‘talaq’ such as, “I talaq you irrevocably” or three simultaneous pronouncements, like “talaq, talaq, talaq”, uttered at the same time, simultaneously.
In ‘talaq-e-biddat’, divorce is effective forthwith. The instant talaq, unlike the other two categories of ‘talaq’ is irrevocable at the very moment it is pronounced. Even amongst Muslims ‘talaq-e-biddat’, is considered irregular. There is no mention of ‘talaq-e-biddat’ in the Quran. It was introduced after the death of Prophet Muhammad in order to escape the strictness of law.