The Kitáb-i-Aqdas
Notes
however, antipathy or resentment develop between the marriage partners, divorce is permissible after the lapse of one full year. During this year of patience, the husband is obliged to provide for the financial support of his wife and children, and the couple is urged to strive to reconcile their differences. Shoghi Effendi affirms that both the husband and wife “have equal right to ask for divorce” whenever either partner “feels it absolutely essential to do so”.
In Questions and Answers, Bahá’u’lláh elaborates a number of issues concerning the year of patience, its observance (Q and A 12), establishing the date of its beginning (Q and A 19 and 40), the conditions for reconciliation (Q and A 38), and the role of witnesses and the Local House of Justice (Q and A 73 and 98). In relation to the witnesses, the Universal House of Justice has clarified that in these days the duties of the witnesses in cases of divorce are performed by the Spiritual Assemblies.
The detailed provisions of the Bahá’í laws on divorce are summarized in the Synopsis and Codification, section IV.C.2.a.-i.
101.The Lord hath prohibited ... the practice to which ye formerly had recourse when thrice ye had divorced a woman. ¶68
This relates to a law of Islám set out in the Qur’án which decreed that under certain conditions a man could not remarry his divorced wife unless she had married and been divorced by another man. Bahá’u’lláh affirms that this is the practice which has been prohibited in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Q and A 31).
102.He who hath divorced his wife may choose, upon the passing of each month, to remarry her when there is mutual affection and consent, so long as she hath not taken another husband ... unless, clearly, her circumstances change. ¶68
Shoghi Effendi states, in a letter written on his behalf, that
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