Here in Pakistan, we are taught that when we divorce our wives, we must issue a pronouncement every 40 days until we complete three pronouncements. Is this true?
Sheikh Hânî al-Jubayr, judge at the Jeddah Supreme Court
This is not correct.
The proper divorce in the Sunnah is to divorce the woman one time only, then to leave her until her full `iddah elapses without reiterating the pronouncement. He may return her to himself during the `iddah if he wishes to do so. Even after the `iddah has elapsed, the couple can remarry if they wish by way of a new marriage contract. This is the only way recognized as proper by the Mâlikî, Shâfi`î and Hanbalî schools of law.
The Hanafi school, on the other hand, recognizes two grades of divorce; valid and preferrable. The preferable way of divorce is the one we have described above. Even after the divorce, the two parties can remarry with a new contract if they elect to do so.
The merely valid approach is to divorce the woman one time in each pure period between her menstrual cycles until the man completes the three divorces within the time of a single `iddah. This type of divorce mentioned in your question is an irrevocable divorce according to the Hanafî scholars, and this seems to be the school of thought of the questioner. Therefore, the woman may never return to her husband unless she marries another man, consummates the marriage, and then gets divorced from him.
This manner of divorce is valid but clearly not preferable, since the man is unnecessarily denying himself the option to marry that woman again in the future. This situation has caused much pain and sorrow for many people, and we heartily discourage this manner of divorce.
And Allah knows best.
Source: Islam Today
-- Al Arabiya Digital