Her husband divorced her while in a state of anger
Fatwa No: 243088

  • Fatwa Date:15-3-2014 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 14, 1435
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Question

Salam alaykum My husband said in extreme anger (extreme of the kind that we were physically hurting each other) "we are divorced". We therefore thought it counted, although he only said it out of anger. I started observing iddah because we thought we were divorced. We later learned that under extreme anger, divorce does not take place. But, during these 3 weeks that we were unaware of this ruling, he several times said while talking "since we are divorced now, you need to move out", and other similar things. Does those words mean the divorce became effective, since he said it while thinking we were actually divorced? I appreciate your answer. Thanks.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Marriage in Islam has great objectives. One of the most important of these objectives is mental stability of the spouses and happiness of the Muslim family. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought.} [Quran 30:21]

Therefore, Islam urges the spouses to live with one another in kindness and to fulfill their rights over one another duly and completely. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {… And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, but the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allaah is Exalted in Might and Wise.} [Quran 2:228]

The loss of such refined concepts in the marital relationship and the heedlessness of the spouses of them incur grave evils that cannot be conceived in a marital relationship and you are a living example of that fact. For further benefit, please refer to Fataawa 85308 and 83157 about the due rights of the spouses over one another.

Islam is a realistic way of life; it does not assume that no marital problems occur between the spouses. On the contrary, Islam acknowledges that a wife or a husband may be recalcitrant and disobedient and, therefore, the Islamic Sharee'ah prescribed wise provisions to address such problems. Please refer to Fatwa 85402 about the recalcitrance and rebellion of the wife and Fataawa 97217 and 89973 about the remedy for the recalcitrance on part of the husband.

Indeed, a husband often utters the words of divorce in a state of anger. Mere feelings of anger do not prevent the effectuation of divorce unless the anger of the husband is so extreme that he becomes unaware of what he is saying. We have underlined that in Fatwa 121374.

If this was not the third occurrence of divorce, then it is incumbent on the wife to remain in the marital house; it is impermissible for her to leave it (during the ‘Iddah) and it is impermissible for her husband to ask her to leave, as highlighted in Fataawa 10508 and 89529. The husband, in this case, is entitled to revoke the divorce and take his wife back in marriage without a new contract. Also, refer to Fatwa 82541 about the types of divorce.

Divorce can be revoked by means of intercourse or foreplay according to the opinion of some scholars. For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 89845.

Some scholars maintained that the divorce does not count if the husband utters the words of divorce while in a state of extreme anger even if he is aware of what he is saying. This is contrary to the opinion adopted by Islamweb. If you had consulted a scholar and he advised you that the divorce has not been effectuated, then there is no harm in following his Fatwa.

However, the opinion adopted by Islamweb is that the divorce has been effectuated in this case. When the husband informs his wife of the divorce after divorcing her in such a manner, it does not constitute a new divorce.

Lastly, we advise you to handle your marital problems wisely and to be heedful of what leads to divorce. Divorce often incurs regret, especially if the couple has children.

Allaah Knows best.

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