Maintenance Allowance for Divorced Women:
Islam safeguards the interest of a divorcee woman, by making it obligatory for the provision of maintenance allowance, Allah says: “Reasonable provisions (maintenance allowance) must also be made for divorced women (till she remarries). That is an obligation upon those who fear Allah.”(Qur’an;2:241). “Let those women, during their waiting period ('Iddat), live where you yourselves live according to your means. You shall not harass them so as to make life intolerable for them. If they are pregnant, maintain them until their delivery: and if, after that, they suckle your offspring, compensate them and settle the matter of compensation with mutual consultation and in all fairness. But if you cannot bear with each other then let another woman suckle the baby for you. Let the rich man give according to his means, and the poor man give according to what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a man with more than He has given him; soon Allah may bring ease after hardship.”( Qur’an;65:6-7).
Women Granted the Right to Divorce (Khula):
Islam granted the right of divorce to women 1400 years ago, once no woman could dream of this freedom. In the procedure for divorce by man, it was ensured that sufficient checks and balances are in built to avoid impulsive decision which may have to be regretted later. Allah says in Qur’an: “Pronouncement of revocable divorce is only allowed twice: then she should be allowed to stay with honor or let go with kindness after the third pronouncement. It is not lawful for husbands to take anything back which they have given them except when both parties fear that they may not be able to follow the limits set by Allah; then if you fear that they both will not be able to keep the limits of Allah, there is no blame if, by mutual agreement the wife compensates the husband to obtain divorce. These are the limits set by Allah; do not transgress them, and those who transgress the limits of Allah are the wrongdoers.”(Qur’an;2:229).
Where divorce for mutual incompatibility is allowed, there is danger that the parties might act hastily, then repent, and again wish to separate. To prevent such capricious action repeatedly, a limit is prescribed; two divorces (with reconciliation between) are allowed. After that the parties must definitely make up their minds, either to dissolve their union permanently, or to live honourable lives together in mutual love and forbearance - to "hold together on equitable terms," neither party worrying the other nor grumbling or evading the duties and responsibilities of marriage. However If a separation is inevitable, the parties should not throw mud at each other, but recognize what is right and honourable on a consideration of all the circumstances.
In any case a man is not allowed to ask back for any gifts or property he may have given to the wife. This is for the protection of the economically weaker sex. Lest that protective provision itself work against the woman's freedom, an exception is made. All the prohibitions and limits prescribed are in the interest of good and honourable lives for both sides, and in the interests of a clean and honourable social life, without public or private scandals. If there is any fear that in safeguarding her economic rights, her very freedom of person may suffer, the husband refusing the dissolution of marriage, and perhaps treating her with cruelty, then, in such exceptional cases, it is permissible for the woman to seek divorce (Khula) but she has to return the dower she received form the husband at the time of marriage as she is breaking the contract.
A divorce of this kind is called Khula. Divorce is most undesirable act, narrated by Muharib :The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah did not make anything lawful more abominable to Him than divorce. (Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith Number. 893). The women are free to marry any one else after divorce on completion of waiting period: “When you have divorced women and they have reached the end of their waiting period do not prevent them from marrying other men if they have come to an honorable agreement. This is enjoined on everyone amongst you who believes in Allah and the Last Day. This is more virtuous and chaste for you; Allah knows what you do not know.”(Qur’an;2:232)
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- Evidence by Women
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WOMEN IN ISLAM
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