The Muhallil—Men Who Make Something Lawful
Who is a Muhallil? A person who marries a divorced woman even for one night in
order to make it possible for her ex-husband to reinstate her.
The Qur’an, as well as Muhammad say clearly that if a man divorces his wife, he
can reinstate her, but if he said to her: "You are divorced three times" or if he
divorces her three times, he would not be able to get her back easily. In order to
reinstate her, she has to get married to another man and have sex with him at least
once before the second man divorces her, then she can go back to her first husband.
This practice is in vogue all over the Islamic world and is practiced whenever
there is a need for it because there is a well-known Qur’anic verse on this subject.
Was this the verdict of Muhammad and the Qur’an? Muhammad not only supported it, but
even ordered a woman to practice it if she wished to go back to her first husband.
It is recorded in an episode which all Muslim scholars acknowledge as authentic.
But let us first scrutinize the Qur’anic verse. It is recorded in the Sura of Cow:
"And if he divorced her, then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she
has wed another husband" (Surah 2:230).
This second husband is called by Islam "The Muhallil" because he makes the woman
lawful to go back to her ex-husband by marrying her for only one night, then later
divorcing her so that she can go back to her first husband. All the scholars agree
on this interpretation of that verse. An example is found in the Zomokchory (Vol.
1, p.368, Alkashaf), Jalalan (page 32), and al-Baydawi (page 50). The Baydawi says
plainly that a real marriage (not a marriage in name only) must take place between
the Muhallil and the wife. Also, the Baydawi recounts for us the famous episode
which occurred between Muhammad and the wife of Rafa’a. This incident is recorded
in most of the Islamic books such as Asbab al-Nuzl by al-Suyuti (pages 45,46),
also Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya alluded to it several times in part 5 of his book,
"Zad al-Ma’ad". In part seven (page 136) Sahih al-Bukhari quoted it several times.
This is the story as it is recorded in the Shih and other books:
"The wife of Rifa’a Al-Qurazi came to Allah’s apostle and said, ‘O Allah’s
Apostle, Rifa’a divorced me irrevocably. Afterward, I married Abdul-Rahman
bin Az-Zubair, who proved to be impotent.’ Allah’s apostle said to her,
‘Perhaps you want to return to Rifa’a? Nay, you cannot, until you and
Abdul-Rahman consummate your marriage.’"
In his book, "Asbab al-Nuzul" (p.46), the Suyuti states that this woman came to
Muhammad and told him:
"‘Abdul-Rahman (the Muhallil whom she wed after she was divorced) has divorced
me without having any sexual intercourse with me. May I go back to my
ex-husband?’ Muhammad said to her: ‘No, that is not permissible until
Abdul-Rahman has sex with you first, then you may go back to Rafa’a."’
This incident is confirmed and recorded in al-Baydawi, al-Suyuti, al-Bukhari and
the rest of the sources. Al-Bukhari mentions another similar story in which the
woman receives the same answer from Muhammad because the order of the Qur’anic
verse is very plain: "... until she has wed another husband."
We wonder (and the free human conscience wonders with us) if there is more insult
and more humiliation to the dignity and honor of a woman and her husband than this?
Muhammad is supposed to either allow her to return to her husband, Rafa’a, or to
stay away from him, but to impose such a condition on her is to humiliate her, her
husband and children, for who is the man who would allow such things to happen to
his divorced wife? Or is there a respectable woman who would be inclined to carry
out such a practice?
The contemporary scholars who defend this verdict argue that Muhammad enacted this
law to make it difficult for a husband to divorce his wife three times. A man,
according to Islamic law, may divorce his wife by saying: "You are divorced... you
are divorced... you are divorced" or "You are divorced by three" in a moment of
anger which he later regrets and makes every effort to restore her for himself and
her children. Of course, she would like to go back to her husband and her children
who might be still very young or teenagers. Thus, is it comprehensible, according
to all standards of mercy, chastity, purity and dignity of a woman, her husband and
children, for Muhammad to state that it is not permissible for her to return to her
husband and children unless she has sexual intercourse at least once before she is
restored to her husband and children. Would the reader agree with this verdict
imposed on a mother, wife or daughter? Oh God have mercy on these people and
protect them from the laws of the Islamic religion.
You may say, "All the evidence which you have presented concerning the alleged
claim that Islam honors women is sufficient to remove this deceptive veil.
Muhammad’s perspective towards women has become very apparent. Why do you want
to present additional arguments?" True, the aforementioned issues are sufficient,
but after you read the following discussions, the picture will become even clearer
concerning this vital and basic issue in every religion, that is women.
Taken from http://answering-islam.org/BehindVeil/btv3.html#CH3 (Note: We do not necessarily endorse this site or its views.)