divorced his wife under coercion when she seized him by the throat. If she was serious and he feared that she might harm him, (Part No. 20; Page No. 43) and he could not avoid this harm except by divorcing her, this is considered a coerced divorce. Some scholars mentioned that the criterion of coercion is torture, such as hitting, strangling or using physical violence. Others ruled that coercion is only when one's life or property is at stake by a person who will most probably carry out the threat. In this case, it is considered coercion, and a coerced divorce is not effective. The author of "Al-Sharh Al-Kabir" wrote that the narration related by
Ahmad is uncontested and that coerced divorce does not stand. This was narrated on the authority of
Ibn `Abbas and
Jabir ibn Samurah. This was also the opinion of
`Abdullah ibn `Ubayd ibn `Umayr,
Jabir ibn Zayd,
`Umar ibn `Abdul-`Aziz,
Abu Thawr and
Abu `Ubayd. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
"Allah overlooks what my people do by mistake, forgetfully and under coercion."
Ibn Majah and
`Abdul-Haq commented: It has a Sahih (authentic) and continuous Sanad; chain of narration)
However, if it does not reach the degree of coercion, such as if he is able to free himself without being harmed, and still he divorces her, the divorce takes place. If he intends to utter the pronouncement twice, these are considered two pronouncements of divorce. If he only means to confirm that she is divorced, it is considered only one (Part No. 20; Page No. 44) pronouncement of divorce. In addition, if he has not divorced her in return for a consideration, and he has not divorced her before, this divorce is revocable, and he can return to her as long as she is still in her `Iddah (woman's prescribed waiting period after divorce or widowhood). If her `Iddah expires before he returns to her, or if he has divorced her for a consideration, it is permissible for him to remarry her after concluding a new contract and paying a new Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) subject to her consent and provided that all other conditions and elements of the marriage contract are fulfilled. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.