If a marriage dissolves without being consummated, can the woman remarry her previous husband who had divorced her irrevocably (talaq al-battah)?


An Arab lady wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa and asked if there was any iddah period for a woman whose marriage dissolved before consummation. She also asked if in such a case the woman could remarry her previous husband who had divorced her irrevocably [talaq al-battah]. 

Huzooraa, in a letter dated 20 July 2020, gave the following reply to this question: 

“[…] The answer to your second question is that in such a case, the woman cannot go back to her previous husband who has divorced her irrevocably [talaq al-battah] because, after such a divorce [and the new marriage], it is necessary to have the marital relationship with the [new] husband [before the possibility of returning to the previous husband]. 

“Hence, it is narrated in ahadith that a woman, who was divorced irrevocably [talaq al-battah] by her husband, married another man, and after the marriage, she came to the Holy Prophetsa and complained about her husband’s [alleged] impotence. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said to her, ‘Perhaps, you wish to return to your first husband, but this cannot happen until this second husband has established the marital relationship with you.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-talaq, Bab man ajaaza talaqa th-thalaath)

“In such a situation, it is also very important to keep in mind that marrying another man after talaq al-battah with the intention of later getting a divorce from him to return to the first husband, or for the man to marry the woman for that same purpose that he may divorce her after marriage so that she may return to her first husband, this kind of plotting is strongly detested by the Shariah. The Holy Prophetsa cursed the man or the woman who entered or arranged such a marriage.” (Sunan Tirmidhi, Kitab al-nikah, Bab al-muhilli wa l-muhallali lahu)

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