Why only man has power to divorce?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

why a man have full power to divorce a woman so please expalin me bit a clearly. 


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Why men have complete power to Divorce?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Islam allows both the man or the woman to initiate a divorce; the only difference being that a man can do it by simply declaring the words “I divorce you” to his wife and wait the ‘waiting period’,  and a woman has to go to a Shariah Court or Judge to initiate a divorce proceeding.   


In Islam, all the financial responsibilities of running and providing for the family,  wives,  children, etc. are laid on the man.   All the marriage expenses are also laid upon the man; the woman does not have to spend even one cent on her marriage.   Whatever expenses occur during the marriage;  mehr,  feast,  walima, etc. are to be borne by the man in Islam.    When the man divorces his wife, the wife does not have to pay or return back anything that her husband might have given her.  But when the wife divorces her husband, she has to pay back the mehr and the gifts that her husband gave her, unless he forgives or lets go part or all of it.  


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 229:Divorce may be pronounced twice (by the husband); then either keep the wife with honor,  or let her leave gracefully.   And it is not lawful for you to take back anything out of what you have given them.   There is however, an exception to this; if you fear that they might not be able to keep within the limits imposed by Allah,  there is no harm if both agree mutually that the wife should obtain divorce by giving something as compensation to the husband.   These are the bounds set by Allah; therefore do not violate them!   For those who violate the bounds of Allah are the transgressors.



Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 231:And when you have divorced your wives and they are about to complete their prescribed terms, then either retain them gracefully or release them generously.   It is transgression to retain them merely for harassment.  And whoever does that indeed wrongs his own self!   Do not play with Allah’s Commandments, and remember that Allah has blessed you with a great favor.   He admonishes you to show due respect to the Book and the Wisdom He has sent to you.  Fear Allah and know that He is fully aware of everything.


One of the main reasons Allah has given the ties and responsibilities of the marriage in the hand of the man, is to protect the rights of both, the man and the woman.    Since all the financial responsibilities pertaining to the marriage are to be borne by the man, it is assumed that a man will think deeply before he pronounces a divorce; as he stands to lose considerably.   If the woman was given the same rights of divorce as the man, it would be unfair to the man, if after all that he has spent on the marriage,  housing, etc.;  the wife could simply divorce him the next day by pronouncing a divorce, and simply walk out of the marriage without any responsibility or loss.


We must understand that the  Creator who created everything between the heavens and the earth, is the same Creator who created man and women, and honored them to be His slave-servants.   The One Who Created women is the One Who created their nature, and no one understands the nature of women better than the One Who Created them.  The same All Merciful, All Knowing Lord also made laws for everything in this universe according to their nature.    We must also understand that whatever laws Allah makes, they are based on His Wisdom and His Knowledge,  although sometimes humans in their weak and finite knowledge,  fail to understand the full wisdom behind these laws.


Contrary to the popular belief on this un-godly world, man and women are not equal, but rather they are balanced!   Each has a set  responsibilities laid down upon them by the Creator so that the harmony and peace in a family can be established for the betterment of society. 


Just take a look at the state of the marriages and the number of divorces in the societies, where they have allowed the man and the woman same rights to divorce!   The other day, I was amongst a group of people (some good believers, and some not so good),  who were discussing this same subject of the wisdom behind Allah’s command to give the man the power to divorce by simply declaring the words, “I divorce you”,  and why the woman was not given the same right.   One of the brothers, who is happily married for 12 years and Allah has blessed him with three beautiful children, made a passing comment on the issue, which I can still remember distinctly.  He said, “If Allah had given the woman the rights to divorce, my wife would have divorced me at least 10 times by now!!!”   It was obviously said as a joke or a passing remark, but something that made me think deeply and realize the wisdom behind this command of the Merciful.     


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,







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