59) Does woman have a right to divorce like man? What is the Qur’anic recommendation in this matter?

 The woman does have the right to divorce. The divorce initiated by the woman is of two types: Khul and Fasq. The woman who hates her husband and dislikes to live with him can ask for a divorce from him.This is Khula. The condition for Khula is that she has to return the dowry which was given her by the husband.
This then means that she is to return the wealth that she had acquired by way of marriage. Observe the verse of the Qur’an which describes the matter: “A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness. It is not lawful for you, (men), to take back any of your gifts (from your wives ), except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by God. If ye (judges) do indeed fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by God, there is no blame on either of them if she give something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by God; so do not transgress them if any do transgress the limits ordained by God, such persons wrong (themselves as well as others).” (2:229).

The following constitute the conditions associated with Khula:

One: Like Talaq, Khula is not allowed except in the most compelling of situations. The Prophet had said, “The woman who demands a divorce from her husband except in extreme conditions will not even smell the fragrance of paradise.”(Abu Dawood).

Two: It is the obligation of the husband to release the woman if she demands Khula.

Three: The man has the right to ask for the full or partial repayment of his marriage dower. He cannot, however, demand anything above the value of the dower.

Four: The Khula becomes valid the moment the man gets back the amount that he asks for. That is to say that the woman then ceases to be the wife of the man. It can be seen that such divorces did take place during the time of the Prophet himself. Moreover, the practice of compelling the wife, who displeases oneself, to undertake Khula was also prevalent in those times. This was mainly done in order to take back the dower which the man had given her at the time of their marriage. The Qur’an has strictly prohibited such practices: “O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them,- except where they have been guilty of open lewdness;
on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equality. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. “ (4:19) Fasq is the second form of divorce that can be used by the woman. This is the type of divorce that can be wrested, with the help of the judge, from the man who denies the wife her rights and refuses to grant her divorce as well. The wife can go in for a separation with the help of the judge in all cases where the husband is proven to be barren, where he is found to be incapable of sexual relations, indulges in extra marital affairs, treats her cruelty, forces her into immoral ways, denies her basic amenities of life, uses her wealth unlawfully, treats her unequally where there is more than one wife involved and wherein he converts to another religion. This is Fasq. The wife can also use Fasq in a situation where she has been compelled by her guardian to accept a husband whom she dislikes and when she is unable to trace the location of her husband beyond a reasonable stretch
of time.
The condition for Fasq is that it must be carried out through the offices of the judge. For it is the judge who decides whether the reasons being raised by the wife provide sufficient cause for the promulgation of Fasq. If such is, indeed,the case then she has the provision to separate from him without parting with the dower money. Briefly put, therefore, it is clear here that it is the Lord Creator, Who is best aware of the nature of both man and woman, Who has devised methods of divorce that are best and most suitable for mankind.

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