Sura al-Talaq

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Talaq; to read its text see text:Sura al-Talaq.
Sura al-Talaq
Sura Number65
Revelation Number99
Verse Count12
Word Count289
Letter Count1203\

Sura al-Ṭalāq (Arabic: سورة الطلاق) is the sixty fifth Sura of the Qur'an. It is a Madani sura located in the twenty seventh juz' thereof. It is called "al-Talaq" (divorce) because the bulk of the sura is devoted to rulings of divorce. The first part of the sura provides outlines of the rulings of divorce together with warnings, threats, and good tidings, and the second part points to the greatness of God, the place of the Prophet (s), the rewards of righteous people, and punishments of wrongdoers.

Effects of the recitation of the sura are said to include being steadfast on the Tradition of the Prophet (s) and immunity from the fire of the Hell.


  • Naming

The sura is called "al-Talaq" because it presents the rulings of divroce, idda of divorce, and divorced women from its first verse up to about two-third of the sura.[1] Sura al-Talaq is also called "Nisa' al-Sughra" (the minor Nisa') as opposed to the Qur'an 4 which is the "Nisa' al-Kubra" (major Nisa').[2]

  • Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Talaq is a Madani sura. In the order of revelation, it is the ninety ninth sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the current order of compilation, it is the sixty fifth sura of the Qur'an, located in the twenty eighth juz'.[3]

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

Sura al-Talaq has twelve verses, 289 words, and 1203 letters. With regard to size, it counts as one of the Mufassalat suras. It is a relatively small sura of the Qur'an.[4] Sura al-Talaq is one of the Mukhatibat suras; that is, those opening with "O Prophet."[5] It also counts as one of the Mumtahinat suras,[6] since its content is close to Qur'an 60.[7]

Content of Sura

Sura al-Talaq contains outlines of the rulings of divorce together with advice, warnings, and good tidings.[8] In addition to rulings of divorce, idda of divorce, divorced women, Nafaqa of divorced pregnant women, and rulings of rida' (suckling),[9] the sura points to the fate of past names so that future people to take warning. The sura also talks about monotheism, resurrection, prophethood, characterizes the pious, and recommends piety and reliance on God.[10]

Content of Sura al-Talaq[11]
Importance of compliance with God’s command about the rights of divorced women
First speech: verses 1-7
Obligations of men towards their divorced wives
Second speech: verses 8-12
necessity of obeying God’s commands in one's life
First obligation: verse 1
Recitation of the sermon of divorce when the woman is not on her period
Second obligation: verse 1
Calculation of 'idda
Third obligation: verse 1
Not sending the woman out of home during her 'idda
Fourth obligation: verse 2
Good treatment of women at the time of divorce or revocation of divorce
Fifth obligation: verses 2-3
Having two witnesses for the divorce
Sixth obligation: verses 4-5
Observing the 'idda of women who do not have monthly periods
Seventh obligation: verses 6-7
Securing the housing and alimony of women during 'idda

The Occasion of the Revelation of the First Verse

It was revealed about Abd Allah b. Umar who had divorced his wife when she was on her period. When the verse was revealed, the Prophet (s) ordered Abd Allah to return to his wife and keep her at home until her monthly period ceases. Then, if he still wanted to divorce her, he could do so without sexual intercourse.[12]

Well-Known Verses

About the occasion of the revelation and interpretation of the last part of the second verse and the opening of the third verse, which are recited together, Quranic exegetes appeal to hadiths to reconcile between worship and piety, on the one hand, and efforts and trust in God on the other.[13]

About the occasion of the revelation of these two parts, it is said: the son of 'Awf b. Malik al-Ashja'i was captivated by polytheists. 'Awf consulted the Prophet (s) about his wife's impatience for their son. The Prophet (s) said, "be patient and recite the dhikr, 'la hawl wa-la quwwa illa bi-llah' (there is no might nor power except in Allah)." They complied with the Prophet's advice until their son managed to escape the enemy together with their herd of sheep. Then these two parts were revealed.[14]

Under this verse, Majma' al-bayan cites a hadith from the Prophet (s) according to which if one practices piety, God will bless his possessions.[15]

According to Tafsir-i nimuna, the recommendation of piety is because divorce and concerns about financial circumstances as mentioned in the preceding verses might lead to injustices by the wife or the husband or witnesses. Thus, the Qur'an commands piety.[16]

In his al-Mizan, Allama Tabataba'i says about these parts:

"if one avoids forbidden actions, God will find him a way out of the hardships of life. For God's religion is based on the human innate nature, leading one to what secures his happiness in this world and the afterlife. Thus, believers should not fear that, with piety, they might be deprived of a good life in this world".[17]

Jurisprudential Verses

The first seven verses of "Sura al-Talaq" concerning the rulings of divorce, idda of divorce, alimony of divorced pregnant women, and the rulings of rida' count as jurisprudential verses.[18]

Merits and Benefits

About the virtue of the recitation of "Sura al-Talaq", the Prophet (s) said: "if one recites "Sura al-Talaq", he will die on the Prophet's tradition."[19] Al-Shaykh al-Saduq cites a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) according to which if one recites Suras of al-Talaq and [[Qur'an 66] in his obligatory prayers, God will protect him against fears and sadness and the fire of the Hell on the day of resurrection, and will send him to the Heaven because of the recitation of these two suras, because these suras belong to the Prophet (s).[20]


  1. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1256.
  2. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 24, p. 217.
  3. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1256-1257.
  4. Ṣafawī, "Sura ṭalāq", p. 757.
  5. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1256.
  6. Rāmyār, Tārīkh-i Qurʾān, p. 360, 596.
  7. Farhangnāma-yi ʿulūm-i Qurʾān, vol. 1, p. 2612.
  8. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 19, p. 312.
  9. Ṣafawī, "Sura ṭalāq", p. 757.
  10. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 24, p. 217.
  11. Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
  12. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurʾān, p. 456.
  13. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 24, p. 236-240; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 10, p. 460-461.
  14. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurʾān, p. 457.
  15. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 10, p. 460.
  16. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 24, p. 234.
  17. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 19, p. 313-314.
  18. Ardibīlī, Zubdat al-bayān, p. 579-580, 539, 594.
  19. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 10, p. 454.
  20. Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmal, p. 119.


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