QUESTION: There is a controversy prevailing on the question of three Talaaqs. Some
people say that three Talaaqs issued in a single session or all at once equal ONE Talaaq
whereas we have always known three Talaaqs to be counted as Three Talaaqs. In support
of Three Talaaqs uttered simultaneously being one Talaaq, they quote Shaikh Ibn
Taimiyyah. Please explain the Shariah’s viewpoint.
The Shariah’s viewpoint is what you and the entire Ummah have known and
believed in for more than fourteen centuries, namely THREE TALAAQS ARE THREE
TALAAQS regardless of the manner the three are issued, whether staggered over a period of
years or administered in one statement. When THREE Talaaqs have been issued it is termed
Talaaq Mughallazah which finally and irrevocably terminates the Nikah. Reconciliation is no
longer valid. Only if the woman marries someone else, and if after consummation of the
marriage, the second husband divorces her, may she again marry her previous husband.
It is our intention to, Insha’Allah, write a booklet in response and refutation of all the
baseless arguments which cranks in this age have acquired from the deviate Shaikh Ibn
Taimiyyah for the baatil contention of three talaaqs equalling one talaaq. The aim of this
article is to appeal to the intelligence of laymen who do not understand the technical and
academic dalaa-il (proofs). The arguments presented in this article are simple for
comprehension by unbiased intelligence uncontaminated by nafsaani dictates. Bear in mind
the following facts:
(1) Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Never will my Ummah unite on dhalaalah
(2) The Shariah of Islam is more than fourteen centuries old.
(3) Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The noblest of ages is my age (the age of
the Sahaabah), then the next age (the age of the Taabieen), then the next age (the age of the
Tab-e-Taabieen). Thereafter wll prevail falsehood.”
(4) All the greatest authorities of Islam, namely, the Sahaabah, the Aimmah Mujtahideen, the
great Fuqha, Muhadditheen and Mufassireen, appeared in these three noble ages collectively
known as Khairul Quroon.
On the basis of the aforegoing facts which every Muslim can comprehend, and for which
academic knowledge is not a requisite, the ruling of Islam was that Three Talaaqs issued in
any way whatsoever, even in a single statements, are THREE TALLAQS. There is Ijma’
(Consensus) of the Four Math-habs on the validity of three Talaaqs being three Talaaqs. All
Math-habs reject the notion of Three Talaaqs being one Talaaq if issued simultaneously.
The main argument which Ibn Taimiyyah and his followers who are today termed Salafis
present for their baseless view of three talaaqs being one talaaq is that during the lifetime of
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and during the Khilaafat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr
(radhiyallahu anhu) and during the first two and half years of the Khilaafat of Hadhrat Umar
(radhiyallahu anhu) three Talaaqs uttered simultaneosly were regarded as one Talaaq. This
argument is devoid of Shar’i substance for the following reason:
(a) The Khalifah of the time, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) had issued the final Fatwa
that three Talaaqs are three Talaaqs. He had greater awareness of the law which had prevailed
in the lifetime of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu
anhu) and during the first 2 years of his own Khilaafat. There is no one in the Ummah who
can teach Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) a lesson in the Shariah. Despite being fully
cognizant of the intial practice and ruling, he decreed that Three Talaaqs administeredsimultaneously are Three Talaaqs, no longer one Talaaq.
(b) All the Sahaabah during his time concurred with Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).
There were numerous great Ulama among the Sahaabah. The Sahaabah enacted
Ijma’(Consensus) on the decree of Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). Refer to fact No.1
above. Were all these illustrious Sahaabah who were the Students of Rasulullah (sallallahu
alayhi wasallam) in error manifest and Ibn Taimiyyah who appeared on the scene seven
centuries after Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) correct? Is it possible that all the Sahaabah
were in error, and a man seven hundred years later had understood the Shariah correctly?
(c) The first wrung of Aimmah Mujtahideen were the Students of the Sahaabah, then these
Students were the illustrious Asaatizah (Teachers) of the subsequent Mujtahideen and
Fuqaha. Thus they received their Knowledge and understanding of the Deen directly from the
Sahaabah, the Students of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Among these illustrious
Aimmah Mujtahideen are Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shaafi’, Imaam
Ahmad Bin Hambal and innumerable other Aimmah and Fuqaha. Then down the centuries
long before the appearance of Ibn Taimiyyah there were thousands of great Fuqaha whose
erudition in the realm of Shar’i Uloom is pheniomenal and mind boggling to the one who has
access to their academic Works. Were all of them in error, and only Ibn Taimiyyah managed
to stumble on the truth?
(d) Intelligence rejects the notion that an error had become part of the Shariah since the age
of the Sahaabah and that this error was perpetuated for the first seven centuries of Islam, then
discovered by Ibn Taimiyyah who is not among the Salfus Saaliheen of the epoch called
(e) The notion that error was made an integral constituent of the Shariah since the age of the
Sahaabah, and that all the Sahaabah had united on the error which supposedly Hadhrat Umar
(radhiyallahu anhu) had enacted, and such error was discovered seven centuries later by Ibn
Taimiyyah is absolutely preposterous and unsustainable. It flies in the face of the Qur’aan
and Ahaadith which announced the perfection and completion of Islam during the very age of
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
(f) The Principle of Ijma’ (Consensus), especially of the Sahaabah and the Aimmah
Mujtahideen (the Four Imaams), is the safeguard of the completion and perfection of the
Shariah. Since this principle was decreed by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself,
it may not be concluded that the Ijma’ of the Sahaabah, which promulgated the law of Three
Talaaqs being Three Talaaqs was in conflict of the Shariah. The Sahaabah and the Aimmah
Mujtahideen were the very foundations and bulwark of the Shariah whose perfection and
completion the Qur’aan had announced.
(g) It should not be difficult to understand that it is not possible for one man appearing
seven hundred years after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to be right – to have
understood the Shariah correctly – whilst the Shariah which had been extant for seven
centuries before him – the Shariah acquired from the Sahaabah – was wrong.
Today, every Tom, Dick and Harry who lack adequate knowledge of even the elementary
masaa-il of Tahaarat and Salaat, believe that they have the ability to refute the Shariah
handed to the Ummah by the Sahaabah in the first seven centuries. Their attitude is pure
satanism and nafsaaniyat.