Why does the Noble Qur’an ask divorced women to wait for three menstrual periods before the next marriage ?

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.

 O Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.

  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

 If it is a well-known fact that there can be no pregnancy with menstruation, nor can menstruation with pregnancy, why does Allah, All-Mighty, bid divorced women to wait as regards marriage for three menstrual periods? Is not one menstrual period enough for them to make sure that they are not pregnant?

 The answer to the above question is “No”, simply because cessation of menstruation for one menstrual period is not considered as sufficient evidence of pregnancy. In other words, there are certain cases in which a pregnant woman may, for many reasons, menstruate once, twice or even three times at the beginning of pregnancy. Therefore, the Quranic Verse comes to determine the time necessary to give definitive evidence that a divorced woman is not pregnant. To this effect, Allah, All-Mighty, says,

والمطلقات يتربصن بأنفسهن ثلاثة قروء ولا يحل لهن أن يكتمن ما خلق الله في أرحامهن إن كن يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر

“And divorced women must wait (as regards marriage) for three menstrual periods; and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day.” [Surat Al-Baqarah 228]

 In order to help us know that Islamic Religion is from the Lord, Allah, Creator of all worlds, in order to help us know that such uncommon cases among pregnant women really exist, and in order to help doctors, particularly obstetricians, know such rare cases, Allah, Most Gracious, desires to inform us, through His Divine Book, the Holy Quran, that a divorced woman has to wait for three menstrual periods until it becomes clear whether she is pregnant or not. Therefore, a divorced woman is not proved non-pregnant except after three menstrual periods, when pregnancy, if there is any, is shown clinically and eye-witnessed by both divorced husband and wife.

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