Unspecific Cases of Divorce
Fatwa No: 382177

Question

I would like to know the value of promise in Islam. When I got married with my husband, I asked as my mahr to be his wife in this life and in the hereafter. He agreed. Then one year later because of a misunderstanding he pronounced divorce in anger. Short time after he had sexual relation with me. Then he told me that he will not divorce me as long as I wish to stay married. I have never said that I want a divorce. Then again in a state of anger during a dispute he pronounced the divorce. Witin few days he had sexual relation with me. Later on we had a debate and he promised that if I win him, he cannot divorce ma as long as I live. I won that debate. Then once again during a quarrel he pronounced a divorce in anger. Few days later he had sexual relation with me. My question is, which is stroger, the three promises that he gave me of not divorcing me or the uttering of divorce. I beg you to answer as soon as possible. I have to know if I am married or not. May Allah guide you to that which pleases 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  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

You mentioned that your husband had pronounced divorce in anger in all the three cases. There are different situations regarding an angry person:

In some cases, his divorce is effective according to the agreement of the jurists. In other cases, his divorce is not effective according to their agreement as well. Yet in other situations, the scholars hold different opinions, whether or not his divorce is effective. For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 121374 and 83467.

We do not know the situation of your husband in the three divorces that he had uttered. We also do not know the exact wording of divorce that he had uttered, and whether it is an explicit word of divorce or a metaphor. In case it was a metaphor, did he intend divorce or not?

This is in addition to the fact that the validity of taking the wife back (after divorcing her) by means of having sexual intercourse with her is also an issue about which the scholars differed.

Therefore, we cannot assert whether or not you are still in bond of marriage with your husband. Thus, it is better if your husband would orally ask one of the trustworthy scholars in your country or consults one of the Islamic Centers in this regard.

Since he has promised you not divorce you, then fulfilling the promise is desirable according to the view of the majority of the jurists but not obligatory.

If by your question you are comparing between promises and divorce, and you think that the promise can prevent the divorce from being effective, then this is a wrong. If your husband had uttered divorce, then it takes place even if he has promised to keep you in bond of marriage his whole life.

It should be noted that the husband should avoid uttering divorce and not making it a way of solving marital problems, as he may regret it.

He should also avoid anger as much as possible, as this is a dangerous means for the devil to influence the person. It is for this reason that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) advised one of his companions not to get angry, and he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) clarified how to treat anger.

For more benefit on how to treat anger, please refer to Fatwa 86681.

Also, refer to Fataawa 243088, 245707, 233290, and 220696 for cases of divorce issued in anger.

Allah knows best.

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