Divorce given when a wife threatens to kill herself
Fatwa No: 259711

Question

Your Fatwa No: 106429 .. Samething has happened to me then I give her a divorce..I am not telling you the whole thing but it was all exactly like that. I already told you the way after divorce, but this was the main reason to give. The same story appears to me on the fatwa 106249.. Her parents said that she has a evil eye of somebody and someone is controlling her mind. She was soo soft and loving, nobody has ever seen her behavior like this. When she came to Pakistan she was just like I need divorce.. Divorce .. Divorce.. Yelling and shouting, all the time and threatening me. And saying I will kill myself if you don't do it.. It was my love marriage.. Then I give her a divorce on stamp paper with her name same as above fatwa. Her families were forcing calling me every single day for asking divorce, and saying that she is not ready to live with you so leave her. it was too much pressure and coercion on me.. I was not ready to give her divorce, I didn't uttered verbally. Nor written the divorce paper. Somebody else wrote it in my behalf. I Just signed it. It was against my will, and my intention was not to give her a divorce. After that I told her to come back,Sometimes she says yes, and sometimes no, I told her we are still husband and wife and done the Rajju when we met. I know she wants to come but something is bothering and stopping her to come back. When she went back to USA, After that she said to give me a divorce again if you don't let me to come back. I didn't UTTERED the word once not even before. And she is ok and talking to me like nothing was happened. And wants to come back. Please tell me according to Quran and Sunnah is she still my wife?

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.

Writing the words of divorce or signing divorce papers is considered a metaphor (an indirect expression) of divorce. As per the Islamic Sharee'ah, the divorce does not take effect [by writing it] unless it is accompanied by the husband’s intention to divorce his wife. This has been underlined in some of the Fataawa to which we have referred you. If you did not utter the words of divorce and did not sign the divorce papers while holding the intention of divorce, it (divorce) did not occur and your marriage is still in effect.

It should be noted that if the wife threatens her husband to kill herself if he does not divorce her and he believes that it is most likely that she would carry out that threat and kill herself, so he divorced her, then this is regarded as a Sharee'ah-considerable incident of coercion. Divorce pronounced by force or under coercion does not take effect. Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked, “What is the religious ruling concerning a wife who threatens her husband to kill herself if he does not divorce her and she is able to carry out her threat, holding a knife in her hand, so her husband pronounces divorce; does this divorce take effect?” He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him answered, “Divorce pronounced by force or under coercion does not take effect because the husband was forced into it.” He was asked, “How was he forced into it (in this case)?” He  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him explained, “She would have killed herself, as she was able to carry out her threat. Verily, this is considered the highest degree of coercion, that is why we state that such a divorce does not take effect. Likewise, all legal rulings do not apply in case of coercion.” [Summarized from Ibn ‘Uthaymeen's Fataawa]

It is worth noting that if the husband believes that it is most likely that his wife is affected by the evil eye (or a magic spell), she should be treated by means of Ruqyah based on the Quran and Sunnah. However, you should avoid magicians and sorcerers. Please refer to Fataawa 88660 and 3273 about Ruqyah.

Allaah Knows best.

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