Starter: list the different reasons why
relationships break up, or people might want
a divorce.
Attitudes towards divorce have changed
over the last 50 years. Why do you think
this is the case?
What is your opinion on divorce?
In Pairs:
Come up with reasons for this change
From what you know of Islamic practices and
teachings about marriage and the family. What do
you think Islam would teach about divorce?
By the end of the lesson you will…
• explain how divorce
works in terms of the
Islamic religion.
• Have considered why
divorce is frowned upon in
terms of Muslim attitudes
to marriage and the family.
• Be able to give your own
opinion about the fairness
of divorce in Islam.
Islam and Adultery
Adultery (when a married person has an affair) is
seen as the most dishonourable thing a man can do.
Adultery is seen to be the most dangerous threat to a
family, often impossible to forgive as trust has been
Men are forbidden to tempt a married woman and a
wife should never betray her husbands trust. A good
wife should prefer death to dishonour.
Adultery is forbidden in The Qur’an, the punishments
should be a flogging of 100 lashes, but this is not
always used...
Shari’ah law treats adultery as a capital crime in
other words it is punishable by death.
“Either keep your wife honestly, or put her away
from you with kindness. Do not force a woman to
stay with you who wishes to leave. The man who
does that only injuries himself” Qur’an
Key words:
Iddah – This is a period of reflection that must take place
before a divorce can happen. It normally lasts three months
and gives the couple a chance to sort out their problems
Ta’alaq- The procedure of saying “I divorce” three times which
ends a marriage.
Divorce by Khul – A woman must put her case for divorce to a
Shari’ah court. The only other way she can divorce is to have
the right to do so written into her marriage contract (nikah).
Shari’ah (law/court) – This is Islamic religious law which is
based on the Qur’an. Scholars will interpret the verses of the
Qur’an and then apply them to real life situations.
Divorce rates are much lower in Muslim countries
than in the West, but the divorce process is much
more simple.
If a man or woman is unhappy, the only honourable
option is divorce.
HOWEVER even though it is “allowed” in Shari’a
law it is really disapproved of and should only be a
last resort.
What happens?
“I divorce you”
“I divorce you”
Two months – living in same house without physical
contact, if physical relationship resumes, the two months
must start again, or the marriage remains unbroken.
The whole family gets involved trying to reconcile the
If after three months there is no reconciliation, then
“I divorce you”
it is over.
The woman
Because divorce is meant to be fair the children
almost always go to the man, this is because it is not
seen as fair for an unmarried woman to have to try
to raise children on her own, both financially and
because without a father they may become ‘wild’. It
also puts her in a better position for finding another
Main task – Divorce time line
Men divorcing women
The couple go for
counselling at the
unhappy with
his wife and
says “I
divorce you”.
The husband is unhappy again, so
an Iddah period is started. His wife
is already two months pregnant so
the period must continue until she
has had the baby.
During the three
month period the
couple have sex
– ending the
The couple reconcile. The
birth of their baby brings
them closer again.
The husband is
unhappy again…
As this is the third
time he has said “I
divorce you” the
couple are now
officially divorced.
Create your own
time line for – Men
divorcing women
and women
divorcing men.
Include pictures
and dates.
Summing up …….
Do you think these divorce proceedings are fair?
Do they favour one party over another?