‘Halala Marriage’: Do not take the verses of God in Jest
The Marriage contract of the Quran is not something to be taken lightly according to God Almighty. Marriage is a solemn covenant, a strong commitment or a bond. Thus, it demands fidelity and integrity by all the parties of the contract.
There is no blame on you for subtly showing interest in ˹divorced or widowed˺ women or for hiding ˹the intention˺ in your hearts. Allah knows that you are considering them ˹for marriage˺. But do not make a secret commitment with them—you can only show interest in them appropriately. Do not commit to the bond of marriage (Arabic: AAuqdata alnnikahi) until the waiting period expires. Know that Allah is aware of what is in your hearts, so beware of Him. And know that Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Forbearing. [2:235]
And if you divorce them before you have touched them and you have already specified for them an obligation, then [give] half of what you specified - unless they forego the right or the one in whose hand is the marriage contract (Arabic: AAuqdatu alnnikahi ) foregoes it. And to forego it is nearer to righteousness. And do not forget graciousness between you. Indeed Allah, of whatever you do, is Seeing. [2:237]
And how could you take it while you have gone in unto each other and they have taken from you a solemn covenant (Arabic: meethaqan ghaleethan)? [4:21]
The consequence of such a contract is further affirmed by the fact that God took a solemn covenant (meethaqan ghaleethan) from the Prophets. This reflects the solemnity of such contracts.
And ˹remember˺ when We took a covenant from the prophets, as well as from you ˹O Prophet˺, and from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, son of Mary. We did take a solemn covenant (Arabic: meethaqan ghaleethan) from ˹all of˺ them. [33:7]
Thus, the objective and graveness of the marriage contract in the Quran is in stark contrast to the superficiality of the so-called Halala Marriage, practised (albeit controversially) by some Muslims. That is when a man has irrevocably divorced his wife, and then it is intentionally planned and arranged for another person to temporarily marry the (divorced) wife so that the wife can again become legal again for the first husband. This intentional plotting and planning for arranging the temporary marriage of the divorced wife with another person to intentionally circumvent the Laws of God and make her ‘legal’ for her first husband is what is known as Halala or nikah al-tahleel. Such a sham marriage is an antitheses to the teachings of the Quran and therefore invalid.
The Quranic injunction that is often abused is regarding the irrevocable third divorce taking place (since marriage and divorce should not be taken lightly in the first place) – the couple separate yet again (live apart for the third time) beyond the three monthly periods term (iddat), then they cannot remarry (to each-other for the third time) unless the following injunction is fulfilled:
If you then re-divorce her, you shall thereafter have no right to conjugal relationship with her until she marries another man - then if perchance that other man divorces her, there is no sin upon the two to return to each other if both think that they should be able to remain within parameters laid down by Allah. And He does explain in details those parameters laid down by Allah, for knowledgeable people. [2:230]
The injunction is clear and straightforward that is if perchance the ex-wife marries another man, it is reasonable that she cannot remarry her former husband unless (perchance) her second husband divorces her (or perhaps she is widowed).There is absolutely no endorsement here for the ‘halala marriages’.
However, there has always been people who deliberately distort the laws of God to suit themselves.
There are some who twist the Scripture with their tongues to make you [people] think that what they say is part of the Scripture when it is not; they say it is from God when it is not; they attribute lies to God and they know it. [3:78]
And Allah Knows best.