What is the reply to the doubt (of the fake Salafis) that Omar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him changed Shariah and signed on three divorce?
Question Number: 7163
Peace be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings We find in the sunnah that the Prophet – peace be upon him – he regards three divorce on a sitting as just one single divorce, but it was narrated from Ibn Abbas – may Allah bless them both- he said:
“the divorce at the time of the Messenger of Allah – peace be upon him – and Abu Bakr and two years of Omar’s rule was that three divorce on a sit regarded as one, Omar bin Khattab then said: «The people have rushed in an issue they might have had patience, may be we should sign it for them», so, he signed it for them”
Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, Book of divorce, chapter on three divorce(#3746).
The doubt of those misguided ones is that Omar ibn al- Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him changed the Sharia of Allah in this judgment by virtue of his own ruling?
In the name of Allah the Merciful Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings on the Holy Prophet and his family and companions.
This talk may be understood literally that Omar may Allah be pleased with him made a legislation contrary to the legislation which was established in the era of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and this meaning is corrupt and rejected in the Shariah .. Said al-Baghawi:
(people (scholars) are of different opinion on the interpretation of this hadith, because the abrogation of rulings does not take place after the death of the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him, and the interruption of Revelation.)
[Sharhu Sunnah of Imam Baghawi (9/229)].
For that reason, the scholars have made a number of comments on this hadith, among of which are regarding the content and others regarding the chain of narration.
These are some of the comments mentioned by Ibn Hajar “in Fath al-Baari” and An-Nawawi in Sharhu Muslim:
1 – The meaning of the hadith is that the one who issues three simultaneous divorces in the time of the Prophet peace be upon him had to say: (you are divorced .. you are divorced .. you are divorced) without intending confirmation of the first one nor a restart of new rounds, rather his intention was just normal, and the norm during the time of the Prophet peace be upon him was the confirmation of a single divorce.
But when it was the time of Omar the norm was that people resumed new rounds of divorce immediately, so, Umar did this due to the change in intention.
Or that people in the time of Umar, there was much deception and trickery with the Shariah which prevents accepting the claim of anybody who claims he was just stressing the first divorce so, Omar took the apparent repetition as three different divorce so, he signed it for them. And this answer was favored by Qurtubi and he strengthened it with Umar’s words: “that people rushed in a command they might have had patience” and An-Nawaawi said that this is the healthiest of answers.
2 – That the words of Ibn Abbas:
(divorce was at the time of the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him …) was refering to the change in attitude of people and not a change in the legal judgment, which means that people in the time of the Prophet, peace be upon him, did not make on a single sitting more than one divorce, but during the time of Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, they started issuing three different divorce on a sitting instead so, Umar signed it for them because of this new custom.
So, the hadith talks about the change in people’s attitude and not about change in legislation.
Said Albajee in Al-Muntaqi:
(The meaning of the hadith is that they were signing it as one divorce before instead of the signing as three divorce for the people now and what demonstrates the validity of this interpretation is that Omar ibn al-Khattab may Allah be pleased with him, said: The people have rushed in an issue they might have had patience he opposed them for innovating a rush in divorce, an issue they should have handled with patience and if that has been their manner at the beginning of Islam at the time of the Prophet, peace be upon him, he wouldn’t have said what he said, he would not have blamed them that they rushed in an issue in which they should have been patient)
[Al-Muntaqi – Sharhu Muwatta (3/238)].
And Zarqaani said:
(the meaning is that the divorce that is signed as three divorce during the time of Umar used to be signed before as just one divorce because they were not intending it to be three different divorces and they rarely use it as such, but during the era of Umar, there was widespread usage of it as such ie. as three different divorces)
[Sharhu Zarqaani ala Muwatta Imam Malik (3/218)].
3 – Ibn Abbas said that about the bride that is yet to be consummated, which shows that if her husband says to her, you are divorced, if said three times the number is not considered because it occured after the Bainunah.
And this is the same explanation of Ishaaq bin Raahawiyah, and a group and this is what is asserted by Zakariya As-Saagee of the Shaafieeyah.
It was reported in a narration: “Do you know that if a man had divorced his wife three times before he touches her, it is regarded as one at the time of the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr and in the early days of Omar’s rule, Ibn Abbas said: Yes, if a man divorces his wife three times before he touches her, it is regarded as one at the time of the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr and the early years of Umar’s rule but when he saw that people had progressed in it, he said: seperate them from them.
[Narrated by Abu Dawood].
4 – his words “three times” was interpreted to mean “totally” . It is as if some narrators replaced the word “totally” by “three times” because of the popularity of interchanging and equating between the two words. So, it was narrated with the wording of “three times” but the meaning intended is the word “totally” so, in the early period the statement of the one who says “I divorce you totally” is regarded as just one divorce but during the era of Umar, it was regarded as three divorces based on the apparent ruling.
This is supported by the fact that Bukhari placed under this section other narrations that contains the word “totally” and ahadith that contains clear declaration of three divorce, as if was indicating that there is no difference between the two and that if the word “totally” is used, it is taken as three, except if the man says he intended just one then it would be accepted.
5 – claims of abrogation:
Bayhaqi quoted Shafi, he said it’s likely to be that Ibn Abbas is aware of something that abrogates it.
Bayhaqi said: and what strengthens that is what was narrated by Abu Dawood through Yazeed an-Nahwi from Ikrimah from ibn Abbas who said: if a man divorces his wife, he is deserving of her back and if he divorced her three times that is abrogated.
So, it was not Omar who changed the rule, but it was possible that he saw what abrogated the rule. And the words of ibn Abbas: it was done at the time of Abu Bakr is interpreted as what was being done before being informed of abrogation. And the consensus of the companions at the time of Omar indicates the presence of an abrogation.
Ibn Hajar said in Fath: “At a whole, What took place in this matter is similar to what happened in the issue of Mut’ah, I mean the word of Jaabir that it was being done at the time of the Prophet, peace be upon him and Abu Bakr and at the early days of the succession of Umar then Omar forbade us from it and we stopped so, the most correct in these two cases is prohibition of Mut’ah and the acceptance of the three simultaneous divorce as three divorces due to consensus that took place during the reign of Umar on it and it is not known that anyone opposed Umar in either of the two issues. Their agreement has therefore proven the availability of an abrogating text though it might be hidden to some of them before that until it later appeared clear to all of them in the era of Umar therefore, whosoever contradicts this ruling after this consensus is excluded “.
6 – the claim that the narration of Tawoos is shaadh (wired, isolated) and that is the approach of Bayhaqi… he then quoted Ibnl-Mundhir as saying: he does not think the son of Abbas, learns a thing from the Prophet, peace be upon him and gives verdict with otherwise it is therefore binding to outweigh them and taking the words of the majority is better than taking the word of a single person if he contradicts them and Ibn Arabi said: there is irregularity in the authenticity of this hadith, so how can it be placed above the consensus. he said and the hadith of Mahmoud bin Lubayd which was reported by Nisaai contradicts it, and in it is a clear statement that a man divorced his wife three times on a sitting and was not returned by the Prophet, peace be upon him, but he accepted it (signed it as three).
Ibn Hajar said: It is not indicated in this khabar any opposition to signing or not signing.
7 – [item not available]
8 – claim of Mawquuf:
some said there is nothing in the context of the hadeeth of Ibn Abbas that the issue reached the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him for approval. And it would only become evidence if he had approved it.
But that claim is objected to because of the words of any companion saying: “We do such and such at the time of the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him” is judged as Marfoo’ based on the most correct opinion.
It is said in Alfiyatul-Iraaqi:
And his saying we such and such … if it is coupled with the era of the Prophet, it is under Marfoo’.
And Allah knows best Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
Answered by a member of the Shariah Committee:
Sheikh Abul-Mundhir As-Shinqeeti
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