The atonement for Zihar takes different forms: freeing a male or female slave, fasting two consecutive months, or feeding 60 needy people, atonement is obligatory to resume marriage.

Atonement for Zihar

As is clear from the above-quoted verses, the atonement for Zihar takes different forms which are in the following order:

1- The freeing of a male or female slave who is a believer and who is without defects;

2-If he cannot find such a slave, or cannot find the money to buy such a slave if available, then he must fast for two consecutive lunar months. This consecutive fast cannot be interrupted except by obligatory fasting, such as the fast of Ramadan, or by obligatory non-fasting such as the day of the Eid and the four days of Eid al-Adha, or by illness or travel;

3-In the case of one being physically unable to fast, the feeding of 60 needy people.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered Salamah ibn Sakhr, who said zihar to his wife, to free a slave, and if he cannot find one to fast two consecutive months, and if he cannot then to feed 60 needy people.

A person who says this to his wife and yet has sexual intercourse with his wife before he has completed the atonement, his deed constitutes a grave sin. Nevertheless, he only has to do one atonement, and his wife remains unlawful to him until he has completed the atonement.[1]


  1. [1] Al-Nadawi, Al-Fiqh al-Muyassar, p. 321.