MUHAMMAD DIVORCING AND REMARRYING HAFSAH

ANOTHER CASE OF MUHAMMAD’S HYPOCRISY AND INCONSISTENCIES

The Quran states that when an irrevocable divorce occurs the only way for a man to eligibly take back his wife is if she marries someone else and has sex with him:

The divorce is twice, after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness. And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of your Mahr (bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) which you have given them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah (e.g. to deal with each other on a fair basis). Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or a part of it) for her Al-Khul’ (divorce). These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allah, then such are the Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.). And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she has married another husband. Then, if the other husband divorces her, it is no sin on both of them that they reunite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. These are the limits of Allah, which He makes plain for the people who have knowledge. S. 2:229-230 Hilali-Khan

The so-called sound narrations emphasize the point that the woman must have had sex with the man she has remarried, otherwise she can never lawfully return to her former spouse:

The Wife cannot be taken back after the Third Divorce

Allah said…

(And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful for him thereafter until she has married another husband.)

This Ayah indicates that if the man divorces his wife for the third time after he divorced her twice, then she will no longer be allowed for marriage to him. Allah said…

(…until she has married another husband.) meaning, until she legally marries another man. For instance, if she has sexual intercourse with any man, even her master (if she was a servant), she would still be ineligible for marriage for her ex-husband (who divorced her thrice), because whomever she had sexual relations with was not her legal husband. If she marries a man without consummating the marriage, she will not be eligible for her ex-husband. Muslim reported that `A’ishah said that Allah’s Messenger was asked about a woman who marries a man who thereafter divorces her (thrice). She then marries another man and he divorces her before he has sexual relations with her, would she be allowed for her first husband Allah’s Messenger said…

<<No, until he enjoys her `Usaylah (sexual relation).>> Al-Bukhari also reported this Hadith.

Imam Ahmad recorded that `A’ishah said, “The wife of Rifa`ah Al-Qurazi came while I and Abu Bakr were with the Prophet and she said, `I was Rifa`ah’s wife, but he divorced me and it was an irrevocable divorce. Then I married `Abdur-Rahman bin Az-Zubayr, but his sexual organ is minute like a string.’ She then took a small string of her garment (to resemble how small his sexual organ was). Khalid bin Sa`id bin Al-`As, who was next to the door and was not yet allowed in, said, `O Abu Bakr! Why do you not forbid this (woman) from what she is revealing frankly before the Prophet?’ The Prophet merely smiled. Then, Allah’s Messenger asked her:

<<Do you want to remarry Rifa`ah? You cannot unless you experience his `Usaylah and he experiences your `Usaylah (i.e., had a complete sexual relation with your present husband).>>

Al-Bukhari, Muslim, and An-Nasa’i also recorded this Hadith. Muslim’s wording is “Rifa`ah divorced his wife for the third and final time.”

The word `Usaylah mentioned in the Hadith means sexual intercourse. Imam Ahmad and An-Nasa’i reported that `A’ishah said that Allah’s Messenger said…

(`Usaylah is sexual intercourse.)

The Curse on the Participants of Tahlil/Halalah

The reason for the woman (who was divorced thrice) to marry another man must be that the man desires her and has the intention of having an extended married life with her. These are the legal goals and aims behind marriage. If the reason behind the second marriage was to make the woman eligible for her ex-husband again, then this is the Tahlil that the Hadiths have cursed and criticized. In addition, when the reason behind this marriage (if it was Tahlil) is announced in the contract, it would make the contract invalid according to the majority of the scholars.

Imam Ahmad reported that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “Allah’s Messenger cursed the one who does Tahlil, the one in whose favor it is done, those who eat Riba (usury) and those who feed it (pay the usury).” At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i reported this Hadith and At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is Hasan.” He said, “This is what is acted upon according to people of knowledge among the Companions, among whom are `Umar, `Uthman and Ibn `Umar. It was also the saying of the scholars of Fiqh among the Tabi`in (second generation of Islam). And it has been reported from `Ali, Ibn Mas`ud and Ibn `Abbas”.

In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim reported that Nafi` said: “A man came to Ibn `Umar and asked him about a man who divorced his wife three times. Then, his brother married her to make Tahlil for his brother, without the brother knowing this fact. He then asked, ‘Is she allowed for the first (husband)?’ He said, ‘No, unless it is a marriage that involves desire. We used to consider this an act of adultery during the time of Allah’s Messenger.’” Al-Hakim said, “This Hadith has a Sahih chain although they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.” The wording of this Hadith indicates that the ruling came from the Prophet. Abu Bakr bin Abu Shaybah, Al-Jawzjani, Harb Al-Kirmani and Abu Bakr Al-Athram said that Qabisah bin Jabir said that `Umar said, “If the participants to Tahlil are brought to me, I will have them stoned.”

When does a Woman who was divorced Three Times become Eligible for Her First Husband

Allah said…

(And if he has divorced her) meaning, the second husband after he had complete sexual relations with her…

(it is no sin on both of them that they reunite) meaning, the wife and her first husband…

(provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah.) meaning, they live together honorably. Mujahid said, “If they are convinced that the aim behind their marriage is honorable.” Next, Allah said…

(These are the limits of Allah,) His commandments and legislation…

(He makes plain)…

(for the people who have knowledge.) (Tafsir Ibn Kathir https://www.alim.org/quran/tafsir/ibn-kathir/surah/2/229/; bold emphasis mine)

This shameful degradation of women as a means of punishing and humiliating the husbands for divorcing them is actually condemned by the true God in his only inspired Scriptures:

“When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.” Deuteronomy 24:1-4

“’They say, “If a man divorces his wife, And she goes from him And becomes another man’s, May he return to her again?” Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me,’ says the LORD. ‘Lift up your eyes to the desolate heights and see: Where have you not lain with men? By the road you have sat for them Like an Arabian in the wilderness; And you have polluted the land With your harlotries and your wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, And there has been no latter rain. You have had a harlot’s forehead; You refuse to be ashamed. Will you not from this time cry to Me, “My Father, You are the guide of my youth? Will He remain angry forever? Will He keep it to the end?” Behold, you have spoken and done evil things, As you were able.’” Jeremiah 3:1-5

What makes this practice all the more reprehensible is that Muhammad’s god allowed his “messenger” to take back one of his wives whom he had divorced, without requiring her to fulfill this command of needing to first get married and have sex with another man.

Note what the proceeding Muslim sources state:  

HADITHS

13 Divorce (Kitab Al-Talaq)

(754) Chapter: Regarding Taking Divorced Women Back

Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab:

The Prophet divorced Hafsah, but he took her back in marriage.

Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)

Reference: Sunan Abi Dawud 2283

In-book reference: Book 13, Hadith 109

English translation: Book 12, Hadith 2276 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/abudawud:2283; bold, italicized emphasis mine)

10 The Chapters on Divorce

(1) Chapter: Divorce

It was narrated from ‘Umar bin Khattab that:

the Messenger of Allah divorced Hafsah then took her back.

Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

Reference: Sunan Ibn Majah 2016

In-book reference: Book 10, Hadith 1

English translation: Vol. 3, Book 10, Hadith 2016 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:2016)

27 The Book of Divorce

(76) Chapter: Taking The Wife Back

It was narrated from ‘Umar that the Prophet -‘Amr (one of the narrators) said:

“The Messenger of Allah- had divorced Hafsah, then he took her back.” And Allah knows best.

Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

Reference: Sunan an-Nasa’i 3560

In-book reference: Book 27, Hadith 174

English translation: Vol. 4, Book 27, Hadith 3590 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/nasai:3560; bold, italicized emphasis mine)

MUSLIM COMMENTATORS/SCHOLARS

Then the Messenger of God married Hafsah bt. ‘Umar b. al-Khattab b. Nufayl b. ‘Abd al ‘Uzza b. Riyah b. ‘Abdallah b. Qurt b. Ka’b.884… (The History of al-Tabari: The Last Years of the Prophet, translated and annotated by Ismail K. Poonawala [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany, NY 1990], Volume IX (9), p. 131)

884. The Prophet married her in Sha’ban 3/February 625 before the battle of Uhud. She was his fourth wife. One day, when she returned from her father’s house, she found the Messenger of God with Mariyah in her house and burst into hysterical behavior. The situation was further aggravated by ‘A’ishah ‘s chattering tongue. According to Ibn Ishaq (Kitab al-Mubtada’, 240) the Prophet had divorced her once but then took her back. She died in Shabin 45/665 . Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, VIII, 56-60; Baladhuri, Ansab, I, 42;-27; Gaudefroy-Demombynes, Mahomet, 230-31; Rodinson, Mahomet, 317-20; E12, s.v. Hafsa. (Ibid., pp. 131-132; bold emphasis mine)

O Prophet! When ye (men) put away women, put them away for their (legal) period…) [65:1]. Qatadah reported that Anas said: “The Messenger of Allah divorced Hafsah and so Allah revealed this verse. It was said to him: ‘Take her back, for she is one who fasts often and stands up in night vigil prayer’ often, and she is one of your wives in the Garden’”… (‘Alī ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi, Asbab al-Nuzul https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=86&tSoraNo=65&tAyahNo=1&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2; bold emphasis mine)

The Messenger of Allah divorced Hafsah and then she went to her family. On that occasion, Allah revealed this Qur’anic Verse. It was said to him: “Take her back since she is in the habit of observing fasts and standing (the night in prayer)”. [Ibn Abu Hatim] (Jalal Al-Din Al-Suyuti, Reasons and Occasions of Revelation of the Holy Qur’an (Lubab An-Nuqul Fi Asbab An-Nuzul), translated by Dr. Muhammad Mahdi Al-Sharif [Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah, Beirut 2015], Q. 65:1, p. 406; bold emphasis mine)  

It is said that from the beginning of the surah up to here was revealed about the Prophet when he divorced Hafsah, and also about six prophetic Companions, among whom was Ibn ‘Umar, who divorced their wives when they were in their periods, and so Allah forbade them from doing so, because it does not comply with the prophetic practice of divorce, and taught them about the latter… (Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs, Q. 65:2 https://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=73&tSoraNo=65&tAyahNo=2&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2; bold emphasis mine)

The narrator says that the Prophet divorced Hafsa, the daughter of Umar. When this news reached Umar he put dust in his head and said ‘now Umar has no respect in the justice of Allah.’ (Hilayah tul Awliyaa, Volume 2, p. 51; bold emphasis mine)

Hafsa had a reputation for her bad temper amongst the wives of the Prophet and this often shocked the Prophet. He divorced her and when Umar came to know this he wept and put dust in his head. (Ma’arij un-Nubuwwa, Part 4, Chapter 5; bold emphasis mine)

Here’s a final reference:

We learn from the book of Imaam Al-Bukhari that Hafsah was a bit short-tempered and sometimes would even answer the Prophet back. One day, her father, ‘Umar bin al-Khattaab who had come to know this, went to her and asked: “I have heard that you talk to the Noble Prophet as if you were on an equal footing with him. Is it true?” Hafsah: “Of course! I do”.

’Umar said: “My daughter, I warn you of Allah’s punishment. Do not compete with ‘Aa’ishah, who is proud of her beauty due to the Prophet’s love for her.”

Hafsah would never hesitate in asking the Noble Prophet questions on any topic or problem. Once the Prophet said: “The companions of Badr and Hudaibiyyah will not enter Hell.”

Hafsah, may Allah be pleased with her, quickly said: “O Prophet! Allah Says that everyone of you will pass over Hell.”

The Prophet answered her: “Yes! But Allah also says in Soorah Maryam (what means): “Then We will save those who feared Allah and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees.” [Quran 19:72]

The Prophet divorced Hafsah once when she sided against him and disclosed his secret (mentioned before, in the story regarding ‘Aa’ishah and the Prophet ’s oath not to drink honey). But Jibreel came to him, and told him to take her back and said: “Take Hafsah back because she is keeping fasts and is observing prayer in the last parts of the night, and she is going to be your wife in Paradise.”…

Hafsah realized the gravity of what she had done to her noble husband when she disclosed his secret. However, after the Prophet forgave her, she lived in tranquility and repose again…

Before her death, she made a will to ‘Abdullaah bin ‘Umar that her property at Gahba should be donated in charity. Hafsah had no children from the Prophet.

Hafsah lived with the Prophet in Al-Madeenah for eight years, and lived on for another thirty-four years after his death; witnessing with joy the victories and expansion of Islam under her father’s guidance, and with sorrow the troubles that beset the Muslim community after the murder of ‘Uthmaan. She passed away during the reign of Mu’aawiyyah bin Abu Sufyaan in 47 AH at the age of sixty-three. (Islamweb.net, Hafsah Bint ‘Umar the Prophet’s wife in Paradise; bold emphasis mine)

Hence, not only does Muhammad’s deity command an act which the true God detests and abhors, one which humiliates women and shames men, he even goes as far as to permit his “prophet” to violate the very rule he imposed on others.

Allah allowed his “messenger” to remarry Hafsah without requiring her to marry and have sex with someone else, which proves that even Muhammad knew just how degrading and humiliating this is to both the husband and the wife. I.e., to have a woman sleep with another man before returning to her previous spouse.

And yet Allah and his “messenger” imposed this very detestable and abominable practice upon the rest of the Muslims, showing that neither the Islamic deity nor his “prophet” have any problems with shaming and humiliating their own followers who love(d) them more than their very own lives.

A REVOCABLE DIVORCE?

Muslims may get around Muhammad’s inconsistency by saying that he didn’t divorce Hafsah irrevocably, and therefore could take her back without her being required to marry and have sex with someone else.

The main problem with this assertion is that this claim is based primarily on the wording employed in the fn. from The History of al-Tabari cited earlier, where the translator states that Ibn Ishaq noted that Muhammad divorced Hafsah once.

Yet this need not imply or suggest that Muhammad made a single pronouncement of divorce as opposed to three which is required, but rather may simply mean that at one time Muhammad had divorced Hafsah only to take her back.

Besides, none of the other sources claim that this was a revocable divorce, but expressly insinuate that it was final, since Allah had to send Jibril to command Muhammad to take her back after divorcing. This only makes sense if the divorce was irrevocable.   

This brings me to my next point. Muslim scholars/jurists have argued that even one pronouncement of divorce or declaring one’s spouse to be unlawful for the husband mounts to a dissolution of the marriage. As the following Muslim scholar explains:  

Here, for the benefit of the common man, it would be useful to tell what is the legal command according to the jurists in respect of forbidding oneself one’s wife and forbidding oneself other things besides the wife.

Here, for the benefit of the common man, it would be useful to tell what is the legal command according to the jurists in respect of forbidding oneself one’s wife and forbidding oneself other things besides the wife.

The Hanafis say that if without the intention of divorce somebody forbade himself his wife, or swore an oath that he would not have conjugal relations with her, this would be ila (temporary separation), and in this cast he would have to expiate his oath before having the sexual relation. But if with the intention Of divorce he said: “You are unlawful to me,” it will have to be ascertained what was his actual intention. If his intention was of three divorces, the three divorces will take place, and if the intention was of a lesser number, of one or two divorces, only one divorce will take place in either case. And if some body says: “I have forbidden myself whatever was lawful for me, this would not apply to the wife unless he said these words with the intention of forbidding himself the wife. Apart from the wife, one cannot use the thing one has forbidden oneself until one has expiated the oath. Badai as-Sana’i: Hedayah; Fath Al-Qadir,’ al-Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur an.

The Shafe’is say that if one forbids oneself the wife with the intention of divorce or zihar, the intended thing would become effective, whether it is a revocable divorce or an irrevocable divorce, or zihar. And if a person used the words of tahrim with the intention of both divorce and zihar, he would be asked to choose one, or the other, for both divorce and zihar cannot be established at one and the same time. Divorce dissolves marriage but in case of zihar it continues and if without any intention the wife is forbidden, she would not become forbidden, but expiation of the oath would become necessary. And if another thing, apart from the wife, is forbidden, it would be meaningless; there is no expiation for it. (Mughni al-Muhtaj).

The Malikis say that if a person forbids himself anything other than the wife, it neither becomes forbidden nor entails an expiation. But if he says to the wife, “You are unlawful, or unlawful for me, or I am unlawful for you,” this would amount to a triple divorce in any case whether this was said to a wife with whom marriage has been consummated, or to one with whom it has not yet been consummated, unless his intention was of less than three divorces. Asbagh says: ‘If a person says: whatever was lawful for me, is unlawful, the wife also becomes forbidden unless he makes an exception of the wife.” In al-Mudawwanah, distinction has been made between the wife with whom marriage has been consummated and the wife with whom it has not been consummated. If one forbids oneself the former, a threefold divorce will take place irrespective of the intention, but in case of the latter the same number of divorces would take effect as was intended, and if there was no intention of any particular number, it would be considered a triple divorce (Hashiyah ad-Dusuqi). Qadi Ibn al-‘Arabi in his Ahkam al-Qur’an has cited three statements of Imam Malik: (1) That forbidding oneself the wife amounts to an irrevocable divorce; (2) that it amounts to three divorces; and (3) that in case of the wife with whom marriage has been consummated it amounts to three divorces, bat in case of the one with whom it has not been consummated, to only one divorce if one was intended Then he says: ‘The correct thing is that forbidding oneself the wife amounts to one divorce only, for if the man uses the word divorce instead of calling her unlawful without specifying the number, only one divorce will take place.”

Three different views in this regard have been reported from Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal: (1) That to forbid oneself the wife, or to make a lawful thing absolutely unlawful for oneself, is zihar, whether zihar was intended or not; (2) that this is an express allusion to divorce, and it amounts to pronouncing a triple divorce whether only one divorce was intended; and (3) that it is an oath, unless the man had the intention of divorce or zihar and in this case the same would take effect as was intended. Of these only the first one is the best known view among the Hanbalis. (Al-Insaf) (Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, Tafhim al-Qur’an, At Tahrim (The Prohibition), fn. 4 – see also https://quranx.com/Tafsir/Maududi/66.1; bold emphasis mine)

Hence, no matter what Muslims may try to come up with to salvage their prophet’s hypocrisy, the evidence is massively against them at this point.

The fact is Muhammad was an inconsistent hypocrite who did not practice what he preached.

FURTHER READING

Muhammad’s Inconsistency (in making laws binding upon the Muslim community but granting exceptions to himself)

Muhammad’s Sexual Privileges

MUHAMMAD: A BEWITCHED SEXUAL DEVIANT

MUHAMMAD: AN IMMORAL ADULTEROUS MISOGYNIST

Muhammad: An Example of Moral Corruption and Sexual Deviancy

The Prophet of Sensuality and Inconsistency

Muhammad the Womanizing Sensualist

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