That is, "O believers, you should not make undue haste in the Matter of pronouncing divorce: your minor family quarrels should not so incite you that you should pronounce the final divorce in a fit of anger and there remains no chance for reconciliation. However When you have to divorce your wives, you should divorce them for their prescribed waiting-period." Pronouncing divorce for the waiting period has two meanings and both are implied here.
This is the first meaning "divorcing for the prescribed waiting-period", which applies only to those women marriage with whom has been consummated, who menstruate and may possibly conceive. As for its second meaning it is this: "If you have to divorce your wives, you should divorce them till the expiry of their waiting-period". That is "Do not pronounce three divorces all at once leading to permanent separation, but pronounce one, or at the most two divorces, and wait till the end of the waiting-period, so that there remains some chance for reconciliation for you at any time during this period." According to this meaning; this commandment is also useful in respect of those woman marriage with whom has been consummated and who menstruate as well as of those who no longer menstruate, or those who have not yet menstruated, or those whose pregnancy at the time of the pronouncement of divorce is known. If this Divine Command is rightly followed, no one will regret after having pronounced divorce, for if divorce is pronounced in this way, there remains room for reconciliation within the waiting. period, and even after the expiry of the waiting-period the possibility remains that the separated husband and wife may remarry if they wish reconciliation.
The intention of this verse was best explained by the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) himself on the occasion when Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Umar had divorced his wife while she was discharging the menses.. The, details of thin incident have been reported in almost all collections of Hadith and the same. in fact. are the source of the law in this connection. It so happened that when Hadrat `Abdullah divorced hi: wife while she was menstruating, Hadrat Umar came before the Holy Prophet and mentioned it to him. The Holy Prophet expressed great displeasure and said: Command him to take her back and keep her as his wife till she is purified, that she again menstruates and is again Purified: then if he so desires he may divorce her in her state of purity without having any sexual intercourse with her. This is the waiting-period which Allah Almighty has prescribed for the divorce of women." In a tradition the words are to the effect: "Either one may pronounce the divorce in the woman's state of purity without having a sexual intercourse, or in the state when her being pregnant becomes fully known".
In the details of the incident concerning Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Umar, which have been related in Daraqutni and Ibn Abi Shaibah, another thing also is that when the Holy Prophet commanded Hadrat `Abdullah bin `Umar to take his wife back, he asked: Had I pronounced three divorces on her, could I have taken her back even then? The Holy Prophet replied: No, she would have stood separated from you, and this would have been an act of sin." In another tradition the Holy Prophet's words are to the effect: “Had you done this, you would have committed disobedience of your Lord while your wife would have been separated from you.”
Sa'id bin Mansur has related this very thing from Hadrat Anas on sound authority. In this connection. the general opinion of the Companions. which Ibn Abi Shaibah and Imam Muhammad have related from Ibrahim Nakha'i (may Allah bless them) was: "The Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) approved of this method that one may pronounce a single divorce on the wife and leave her alone till she completes three monthly courses." These are the words of Ibn Abi Shaibah. The words of Imam Muhammad are to the effect: '`The approved method with them was that in the matter of divorce one should not exceed one divorce tilt the waiting-period is completed."
According to Imam Malik also divorce is of three kinds. Sunni, bid'i makruh and bid'i haram. The divorce according to the Sunnah is that a single divorce be pronounced on the woman marriage with whom has been consummated and who menstruates, during her state of purity without having had sexual intercourse, and the woman be left to complete her waiting-period. The bid'i makrnh form is that divorce be pronounced in the period-of purity during which one may have had sexual intercourse, or more divorces than one be pronounced in the period of purity while there was no sexual intercourse, or three divorces be pronounced, one each in separate periods of purity within the waiting-period, or three divorces be pronounced alI at once. And bid i haram is that divorce be pronounced during menstruation. (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi alal-Sharh-al-Kabir Ibn aI- Arabi, Ahkam al-Qur an).
Ta'us and 'Ikrimah say that only one divorce takes place if divorce is pronounced thrice at once, and this very view has been adopted by Imam Ibn Taimiyyah. The source of his this opinion is that Abu as-Sahba' asked Ibn 'Abbas: 'Don't you know that in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) and Hadrat Abu Bakr and in the early period of Hadrat 'Umar a triple divorce was considered a single divorce? He replied: Yes." (Bukhari, Muslim)..And in Muslim, Abu Da'ud and Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Abbas's this statement has been cited: "In the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) and Hadrat Abu Bakr and during the first two years of the caliphate of Hadrat `Umar a triple divorce was considered a single divorce. Then Hadrat `Umar expressed the view: As the people have started acting hasty in a matter in which they had been advised to act judiciously and prudently, why should we not enforce this practice? So, he enforced It."
Ibn 'Abbas says that this implies calling to witness two men both at divorce and at reconciliation. (Ibn Jarir). Hadrat `Imran bin Husain was asked: "A man divorced his wife and then took her back, but he neither called anybody to witness pronouncement of the divorce nor resumption of the relation." He replied: “You pronounced the divorce against the Sunnah and you took your wife back against the Sunnah. You should call to witness men both at divorce and at resumption of relation, and you should not commit this mistake again." (Abu Da'ud, Iba Majah). But the four Sunni Imams are agreed that to call men to witness the divorce and the resumption and separation is no condition for these acts to be valid, so that if there was no witness, neither divorce should take place nor resumption should be valid nor separation. But this condition has been enjoined so that the parties may not deny any of the facts later and in case there was a dispute the matter might be settled easily and any suspicions and doubts might also be removed. This Command is just like the Command "Have witnesses in case of commercial transactions." (AI-Baqarat: 282). This does not mean that it is obligatory to have witnesses at business transactions, and if there was no witness, the transaction would be invalid; but this is a wise instruction which has been given to prevent disputes and it is good to follow it. Likewise, in the case of divorce and resumption also although a person's act and conduct would be legally valid even without the witnesses yet caution demands that whatever is done, it should be witnessed, simultaneously or later, by two just men.