The 62nd Call: No Waiting Period for the Divorcee if there was no Consummation of Marriage
Almighty Allah says (what can be translated as): “O You who have believed, when you marry believing women and then divorce them before you have touched them, then there is not for you any waiting period to count concerning them. So provide for them and give them a gracious release.” (Al-Ahzab: 49)
Marriage here means the contract of marriage between the couple. Almighty Allah says to the believers if they marry the believing women and then divorce them before having sexual intercourse with them, then there is no waiting period for the husands on them (the majority of Muslim scholars agree with the consensus on that). But, the husband has to provide for the wife he is about to divorce and give her a gift of compensation (the wealthy according to his capacity and the poor according to his capacity) a provision according to what is acceptable, and that is a duty upon the doers of good. He also has to let her leave the house in a good and kind manner (i.e. a gracious release). So, he has to provide for her the mean of transportation, the provision, costs and good treatment so that she feels content and satisfied and not hurt and offended. That would make her family feel content too for the good treatment their daughter received. This can be a consolation for her and her family for the harm she felt due to the divorce.
This means that if a dowry has been agreed by the two parties in a marriage terminated before consummation, then the divorced woman is entitled to half the dowry. If the dowry has not been stated, then she is entitled to some provisions, in accordance with the means of the divorcing husband. Such a provision is binding on righteous people. The two verses in Surah 2 (Al-Baqrah) do not mention any waiting period for such a divorced woman, i.e. the one whose marriage was not consummated. We now have here a rule concerning this aspect, making it clear that such a woman has no waiting period to observe.
The waiting period is primarily to establish whether or not there is a pregnancy, so that no child is attributed to anyone other than its father, and no father is deprived of his child who might still be in the early days of conception. If the marriage has not been consummated, then no pregnancy has taken place, and there is no need for a waiting period. “…there is not for you any waiting period to count concerning them. So provide for them and give them a gracious release.” (Verse 49) This provision is according to what is mentioned in the other verses: half the agreed dowry or, if no dowry is agreed, a provision commensurate with the man’s financial status. The other obligation is to “give them a gracious release.” (Verse 49) There must never be any imposition of hardship. Divorced women should be released so that they can begin a new life with someone else. This rule applies generally to all Muslims, given here in the context of organizing the social life of the Muslim community.