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Religious Studies

Islam: marriage and divorce

Divorce, remarriage and cohabitation

Divorce [Divorce: The legal ending of a marriage before the death of a spouse. ] is allowed in Islam, although it is regarded as a last resort.

Muslims accept that sometimes marriages break down. As a legal contract between two people it can be ended. This is done if the marriage brings unhappiness to the couple and to their children and relatives.

A man cannot seek a divorce from his wife until it is certain that she is not pregnant, as he might then change his mind. During a period of three months (called iddah) reconciliation should be attempted. If reconciliation doesn't work then divorce can take place.

A man and a woman can remarry twice, but after a third divorce remarriage to each other cannot take place unless the woman has been married to another man in the meantime.

A woman can also obtain a divorce, either by an agreement with her husband or because of his treatment of her.

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