Touching With Desire Count As Taking Back A Divorced Wife?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
For about 2 years now my husband and I have been
having extreme marry difficulties, the problems have
gotten soo bad that it has ended up in 2 divorces, the
first divorce he took me back (having intercourse with
me), the second divorce he just touched me (without
having intercourse),but the touch was in a romatic
way. He claims that I am still divorced, because he
says that he has to have actual intercourse with me, I
have passed one period, so he says that I have 2 more
left and my iddah is over, is he right? or did he take
me back even though he did not have intercourse with
me he just touched me?.
Praise be to Allaah.
Taking back the wife during the ‘iddah period is a
right which sharee’ah gives to the husband. If he
wants, he may take her back and if he wants, he may
leave his wife until the ‘iddah period is over. Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And their husbands have the better right to take them
back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation”
So Allaah has given the husbands of divorced women the
right to take them back during this period [i.e., the
‘iddah] if they intend reconciliation thereby.
This taking back may be achieved in two ways: by word
or by deed.
Taking the wife back by word means saying, for
example, “I take back my wife” or “I am keeping my
wife,” etc., or saying to her: “I take you back,” or
“I am keeping you,” etc.
Taking back is achieved by means of these phrases,
according to the consensus of the fuqaha’.
Writing may take the place of speaking, and a gesture
may take its place on the part of one who is unable to
speak these words, such as one who is mute.
Taking the wife back by deed means intercourse, so
long as that is with the intention of reconciliation.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’di said:
If the husband had divorced her with a revocable
talaaq, then if the ‘iddah is over she is not
permissible for him unless a new marriage contract is
done, fulfilling all necessary conditions. If the
‘iddah is not yet over, and if the intention behind
intercourse is reconciliation, then this is taking her
back and intercourse is permissible. If there is no
intention of reconciliation then according to the
madhhab this means that he has taken her back, but
according to the correct view this does not mean that
he has taken her back, therefore intercourse is haraam.
Al-Irshaad ila Ma’rifat al-Ahkaam.
Based on this, then your husband’s merely touching you
is not regarded as him taking you back.
See also the answer to question no. 11798.
This is the view of the majority of scholars
(including Imam Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad), that
taking back the wife is not achieved by merely
touching with desire. But Imam Maalik said: Taking
back is achieved by touching with desire if the
intention is to take the wife back. So long as your
husband says that he that he did not intend to take
you back, then he did not take you back by doing that.
See al-Mughni, 7/404; al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah,
With regard to the ‘iddah of a woman divorced by a
revocable talaaq, it is three menstrual cycles for
women who menstruate, so there are two cycles left for
you as your husband said, then your ‘iddah will be
over. If he took you back during this time then this
divorce is counted as one of the three talaaqs, and he
has to bring people to witness that he is taking you
back. So he has one talaaq left, and if he does not
take you back during the ‘iddah period then you are
divorced from him, and it is not permissible for him
to go back to you except with a new marriage contract
and a new ‘iddah, and the marriage cannot be completed
except with your consent and the agreement of your
And Allaah knows best.