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Why some Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, divorced their wives

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Although Talaq (divorce) is not encouraged, even disliked, in Islam, I read that a lot of the Prophet's (PBUH) companions and other people living in his time divorced their wives. How could this be explained?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.


Divorce is not disliked in all cases. It can be disliked, forbidden, obligatory, desirable or permissible, depending on the circumstances.

Divorce is permissible for a need, like due to the misconduct of the wife, and when the husband is harmed by her while the objective of marriage is not achieved. Divorce is disliked when there is no need for it, as this will terminate the marriage contract which has many desirable benefits. Divorce can also be desirable due to an existing harm, and it can be obligatory for a necessity, like when the husband swears not to have sexual intercourse with his wife and refuses to approach her, in which case the judge would order him to have sexual intercourse with her or oblige him to divorce her.

Divorce when the wife is in menses is forbidden, and this is called an ‘innovated divorce’, that is, it does not take place according to the Sunnah, (Prophetic tradition) and in which case it is forbidden due to the way it takes place, although the actual divorce is valid.

Undoubtedly, the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, were the most knowledgeable people among the Muslim nation after the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and they were the most pious of people. Therefore, the things which they did and which one would mistakenly think are disliked should be considered in a positive way. In addition to this, they were people like us and they were not infallible.

Even if one of them had sinned, he would have undoubtedly repented from his sin or performed good deeds that would have wiped out that sin. It is possible that they would be forgiven due to their previous record of good deeds or due to the intercession of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, as they were the most deserving his intercession, or that he had been afflicted in this worldly life and as a result he was forgiven. Hence, Allaah The Almighty is pleased with them as they pleased Him, and we hope that Allaah The Almighty will gather us with them in Paradise.

Allaah Knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb