Can My Husband be Intimate with Me after an Irrevocable Divorce?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat


My husband sent me an irrevocable divorce (talaq ba’in), and I was advised to sit through ‘the idda. During this time, my husband came to see me, and we were intimate. We continue to live separately, and he still meets me and talks to me on the phone. He claims that it is only one divorce, and the doors are open for him. What is the ruling on this?


Types of Divorce

There are two types of divorce when it comes to the permissibility of intimacy: the revocable divorce (raj‘i) and the irrevocable divorce (ba’in). The difference between the two is the wording with which it was issued and the number.

Saying just the word “divorce,” or “I divorce you” are examples of a revocable divorce. If two or more of these are given – at once or separately – it becomes an irrevocable divorce. Irrevocable divorces have a stronger wording.

Intimacy After Divorce

Intimacy after one or two revocable (raj‘i) divorces is permitted, but any display of physical affection automatically revokes the divorce. They become a married couple again.

Intimacy is not permitted after an irrevocable divorce. If he has given only one or two in total, then they can only be intimate if he marries her again with a fresh nikah and mahr.

Based on how you phrased your question, it would appear that intimacy with him is impermissible.

Please let him know. If he disagrees, tell him to consult a local scholar. If it was a revocable divorce, you are now married again. [Maydani, al-Lubab]

I suggest you repent from the act of intimacy, and ask Allah for forgiveness. He forgives all sins. “Indeed, He is the All-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.” [Quran, 39:53]

May Allah facilitate all matters for you.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.