Wife doubting whether she is divorced or not
Fatwa No: 366040

  • Fatwa Date:5-12-2017 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 17, 1439
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Question

Once, I was very depressed and was always very afraid about divorce taking place due to a threat of my husband. I suffered constant Waswaas (obsessive doubts) and feared going near my husband due to the suspicion that we might have been divorced although we were not and these were merely doubts. My husband, however, could not bear my situation. He wanted me to be normal with him, but I was not able to do so. One day, he told me in frustration, "Why do you not come close to me? Out of fear of fornication? Do you think that I am not your husband and that it will constitute fornication if we have sex? I cannot take this insult. I will not be fornicating. I will not have sex with you until you become normal and accept me as your husband. If I have sex with you while you are like this, then it will be fornication for me." I do not remember exactly, but it sounded like he wanted to promise that he would not have sex with me unless I was happy and willing and that if I feared fornication, then he did not want it. I asked him about his intention, and he did not answer. He was just angry. If he meant that if he had sex with me in that condition, the sin equivalent of fornication would be on him, what would be the effect of that? It took me a lot of time to get better. I do not remember how my mental condition was when we first had sex after this. I probably stopped telling him about my fears, and he got close to me again. What is the ruling? I am afraid to bring this up again with him.

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 ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Divorce does not take effect by the husband's mere threat to divorce or by making it conditional. The basic principle is that the marriage bond is intact until the opposite is proven, based on the established principle that 'Certainty is not overruled by doubt'. This is a fundamental Shariah rule and one of the best means to treat Waswaas (obsessive doubt), so adhere to it in all your affairs and you will be safe from this distress which you have previously caused to yourself and to your husband. Reciting Thikr (expressions of remembrance of Allah) and Ruqyah (healing through Quranic recitation and supplication) is also one of the best treatments for Waswaas. Please, refer to fatwa 88660 about the legitimate Ruqyah.

Your husband's statement to you "If I have sex with you while you are like this, then it will be fornication for me" does not make him guilty of fornication if he had sex with you, because you are his legitimate wife. And divorce is in the hand of the husband, not the wife, so if he does not issue a divorce using explicit words or using a metaphor by which he intends to issue a divorce, then the marriage bond is intact, as we said above, and the wife's doubts are not taken into consideration.

Allah knows best.

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