Zhihar has three pillars:

The first is: The one who practices Zhihar who has the same conditions of the one who divorces his wife which are: He must be an adult, a reasonable, and a Muslim.

Case: It is a condition that the one who practices Zhihar should be a man, in other meaning: Is it permissible for a woman to practice Zhihar from her husband?

The first view which is correct, it is not permissible for a woman to practice Zhihar from her husband because Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Those among you who make their wives unlawful to them by Zihâr (i.e. by saying to them "You are like my mother's back,")" and did not say: Those women who practice Zhihar from their husbands.

And because the entire matter of lawful and prohibition in marriage is in the hand of men not women which is the view of the majority of scholars. However if a woman practices Zhihar from her husband, the majority of scholars such as Abu Hanifah, Malik, Ash-Shafi`y, and others held the view that her Zhihar is invalid and has no ruling.

Al Awza`y, Ishaq, Az-Zuhry, `Ata', and Al Hasan ibn Ziyad said: If a woman said to her husband: You are like my mother, it will be an oath and she has to pay the penance of an oath.

Az-Zuhry said: I see that she has to pay the penance of Zhihar and her saying does not prohibit her husband to have sexual intercourse with her.

The second view is: Abu Yusuf, the student of Abu Hanifah, said: It is not a condition that the one who practices Zhihar should be a man, so the Zhihar of women is considered and they have to pay the penance of Zhihar. They said: Zhihar is a type of prohibition that is removed by the penance, and women normally pay the penance if they break the oath, so they may practice Zhihar.

The second pillar is: The wife whose husband commenced marriage with her or did not and Zhihar is made from a husband who has the legal capacity of divorce.

The third pillar is: The form of Zhihar which is of two types: Explicit and implicit.

As for the explicit form, a person likens his woman or part of her with the back of the female who is not permissible for him to marry such as the saying of a husband to his wife: You are prohibited to me like the back of my mother.

As for implicit forms, you are to me like my mother, this form is not a type of Zhihar except after asking about the husband's intention because it is probable that he meant “like my mother in prohibition or in respect,” so it is not considered Zhihar except after asking about the intention as the case in divorce.

However, if there is a proof to Zhihar such as an oath, like his saying: If you do such and such, you shall be like my mother or if he says that word during dispute or in the state of anger; in this case it will be Zhihar because it is considered a type of an oath because an oath is meant to stop or exhort to do something which is done by prohibiting her to himself. Moreover, likening her with his mother in respect or dignity is not connected with a condition, it indicates that the husband meant Zhihar. Furthermore, uttering these words during dispute and in the state of anger is a proof that the husband wants to harm her or avoid touching her and that is the meaning of Zhihar.

If the case is not as mentioned and does not meet these conditions, it is not a kind of Zhihar because there are many possibilities.


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