Praise be to Allaah.
The most beloved deed of the troops of Iblees to him is
causing separation between man and wife. The devils keep competing in that
so as to attain the honour of being close to Iblees and gaining high status
It was narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him)
said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said: “Iblees places his throne over the water, then he sends out his
troops, and the one who is closest in status to him is the one who causes
the greatest amount of fitnah (tribulation or temptation). One of them comes
and says, I have done such and such, and he says: You have not done
anything. Then one of them comes and says: I did not leave him until I
separated him and his wife. Then he draws him close to him and says: How
good you are.” Narrated by Muslim (2813).
What we see, hear and read of the actions of husbands and
wives points to the success of the devils in achieving their aims. The
divorce rate in Muslim countries is frightening. And if you look for the
reasons you will see that it rarely has to do with religion. Most of it has
to do with insignificant worldly matters, so the husband acts in haste, gets
angry and divorces his wife, then the family is divided and scattered, and
the children are lost.
Perhaps the one who reads this will think carefully before
divorcing, and he will strive to do that which will make his family happy
and avoid divorce, so that he will not bring misery upon himself and his
In general terms, there are differences of opinion among the
scholars concerning many cases of divorce. Whatever the husband knows of the
rulings before he utters the words of divorce, he should adhere to what he
knows, and whatever he does not know about, if he asks someone whose
religious commitment and knowledge he trusts, then he has to follow the
fatwa he issues, and it is not permissible for him to move from one scholar
to another in order to find another fatwa. He should not have any doubts,
for he has done that which Allaah has enjoined of asking the people of
knowledge, and it is obligatory for him to follow the ruling, especially if
there is a ruling issued by an Islamic judge, because the ruling of the
judges is decisive in cases of differences of opinion, and the questioner
must accept the answer of a trustworthy scholar.
What the scholars said about a divorce issued to an
already-divorced woman not counting as such is a view that was favoured by a
number of scholars, including Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, and by Shaykh
Ibn ‘Uthaymeen among contemporary scholars.
What the scholars said to you that your having intercourse
with your wife is regarded as taking her back is the view of the Hanafis and
Hanbalis, and there is nothing wrong with you following this opinion,
because you did what you were enjoined to do, namely asking the people of
knowledge, and asking about a matter that is subject to ijtihaad in which
the scholars have differed.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The apparent meaning of the words of al-Khuraqi is that
taking back is only achieved verbally. This is the view of al-Shaafa’i and
is one of the two views narrated from Ahmad.
The second view is that taking back is achieved by means of
intercourse, whether or not he intended to take her back. This view was
favoured by Ibn Haamid and al-Qaadi. This is the view of Sa’eed ibn
al-Musayyab, al-Hasan, Ibn Sireen, ‘Ata’, Tawoos, al-Zuhri, al-Thawri,
al-Awzaa’i, Ibn Abi Layla and ashaab al-ra’i. End quote.
We think that your telling your wife of the fatwa and taking
her back, and bringing two witnesses to the taking back, may have been
another way to confirm that you were taking her back, in addition to having
intercourse. Your telling her and the two witnesses is a clear statement
that you took her back.
Whatever the case, you asked for advice and were told that
she had been taken back, and you told her and bought witnesses to confirm
the taking back.
Based on this, the fact that your wife says that she
consulted one of the scholars who gave her a fatwa saying that your taking
her back did not count as such because you had intercourse without the
intention of taking her back is of no significance, because you consulted
someone and told her of the fatwa and brought witnesses to that, thus the
taking back was done in the proper manner, and there is no way for your wife
to disagree with that.
Telling your family and your wife’s family is not a condition
of taking her back, and in fact it is not a condition that the wife tell
them herself. A husband may take back his revocably-divorced wife (first or
second talaaq) even if she is far away from him, and it is not a condition
that she be told or even agree to it.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And their
husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they
wish for reconciliation” [al-Baqarah 2:228].
Al-Qurtubi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The scholars are unanimously agreed that if a free man
divorces his free wife, and he had consummated the marriage with her, and it
is a first or second talaaq, then he has more right to take her back so long
as the ‘iddah has not ended, even if the wife disagrees.
Tafseer al-Qurtubi (3/120).
But it would have been better to tell her family that you had
taken back your wife back. The fact that you did not tell her may have
caused them to do this terrible evil, which is marrying her to someone else,
thinking that your divorce and your absence meant that their daughter was
divorced fully and was able to remarry.
Allaah has enjoined bringing witnesses to taking back a wife
in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “And take as witness two
just persons from among you (Muslims)” [al-Talaaq 65:2], so as to put an
end to disputes, inform people and alert the heedless to the number of
The fuqaha’ indicated that if there are no witnesses to the
taking-back, that may result in disputes and arguments as to whether the
wife has been taken back or not, and the woman may end up marrying another
man, thinking that she has not been taken back (by the first husband).
In al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (22/114) it says:
The majority of fuqaha’ are of the view that it is mustahabb
to tell the wife that she has been taken back, because that will put an end
to the disputes that may arise between man and wife.
Al-‘Ayni said: It is mustahabb to tell her (i.e., to tell
the wife that she has been taken back), because otherwise she might get
married on the basis of her belief that her husband has not taken her back
and her ‘iddah has ended, and she may have intercourse with the new husband,
thus she will be sinning for not asking her husband, and he will be sinning
for not telling her. But even if he does not tell her, the taking-back is
still valid, because it is the continuation of an existing marriage and is
not the initiation of a new one and the husband is exercising his rights,
and for a man to exercise his right he does not need to inform others. End
Now what you must do is refer the matter to the sharee’ah
court, and present the written fatwa from this scholar, and bring the two
witnesses, to prove that you had in fact taken your wife back.
If you can inform everyone of the matter without going to the
sharee’ah court, that is fine.
We should point out that if you do not want to take her back,
it is not permissible for you to keep quiet about the matter. After setting
things straight, you can divorce her if you wish, but you should understand
that if you keep quiet, her second marriage will remain invalid, and this is
a serious evil.
We ask Allaah to help you to do that which pleases Him and to
make good easy for you.
And Allaah knows best.