Saying 'yes' to wife's question: 'Is this Talaaq?'
Fatwa No: 355621

Question

Shaykh, what if he only said, "Yes, it is that," or just, "Yes," or "Ok," when I said, "I am considering this a divorce," and, "This is a divorce"? In the argument, I also said, "Is this a divorce?" and, "I am considering this a divorce." (I am not sure about "is this a divorce?") He said, "Yes, it is that." When he again said, "Go," I called his name and said, "Waqas this is a divorce." He said, "Yes, it is that." He again said, "Go." I said, "This is a divorce for me." He said, "Ok." Shaykh, you only answered regarding, "I am considering this a divorce," because I could not write it. I wrote it back but got redirected. Shaykh, saying "This is a divorce for me," is not like saying, "I am divorced from you," is it? I read a fatwa which says that if the wife says, "I am divorced from you?" and he replies, "Yes," or, "Ok," divorce comes into effect. (Al-Fatawa Al-Hindiyya 1/356). Do his above statements constitute acknowledgement, and is ot the same as if he uttered the statement? Your fatwa 302737 says:
She said, "If you do take a second look at... then it is three divorces, OK? I had no intention of divorce but reluctantly answered "yes". You replied, "Your respond to your wife with "yes" is an acknowledgement on your part of whatever her statement implies. It is the same as if you uttered the statement yourself, so the divorce was made conditional."
Shaykh, I presented my query to a scholar, and he said that it is a divorce. I read some fatwa; if one asks, you are divorcing her, and he merely says, "Yes," it is a "Sarih" statement. If one asks, "You are divorcing your wife?" or, "Am I divorced?" and the husband responds to a Khabar (informative statement), and if he says "yes" to a khabar, it will be a divorce, because saying, "Yes," implies, "Yes, you are divorced." If he says, "Yes," to, "Divorce me," it is not a divorce. Shaykh, if I ask him, "Is this a divorce?" "This is a divorce?" This is a divorce for me?" or, "This is a divorce from me?" and he says, "Yes," or, "Ok," or, "Yes, it is that," will his statements be implicit or explicit? What If I only say, "This is a divorce" without a question and he says, "Yes," or, "Ok," or, "Yes, it is that"? Please explain this to me. I am so worried.

Answer

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

Dear Sister, you should know that there is no way out of these worries and confusion as long as you seek the fatwa of different scholars, keep asking about this incident, or search for similar fatwas. It is sufficient to seek the fatwa of a reliable scholar and act upon his fatwa. Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {So, ask the people of the message if you do not know.} [Quran 16:43]

Al-Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "The layman who does not have adequate knowledge to practice Ijtihaad (independent reasoning) given his lack of qualification to do so is obliged to consult the most knowledgeable scholar of his time and country and follow his fatwa; Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {So, ask the people of the message if you do not know.} [Quran 16:43] He has to strive in looking for the most knowledgeable scholar until he finds the scholar upon whose knowledge most people agree." [Tafseer Al-Qurtubi]

It is better if you could find a reliable scholar in your country in the Islamic centers or elsewhere whom you can consult directly (orally) because he would be able to ask about the necessary details and you can clarify to him what needs clarification.

Allah knows best.

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