Saying ‘I Divorce You’ Three Different Times
Fatwa No: 413662

Question

Salam Dear Brothers. I have a problem with understanding one thing. If I divorce my wife saying in one sentence: "i divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you". Does that count as one divorce or is it three divorces and then she will be haram for me and will have to remarry before I can take her back?

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, is His slave and Messenger.

When a husband says to his wife, “I divorce you,” in the present tense, it is not an explicit statement of divorce. Accordingly, divorce does not take effect with such an expression unless this is the customary wording of immediate divorce where you live, or if the husband intended to issue an immediate divorce when saying it. If this is the case, it is considered an explicit wording of divorce and it takes effect, even if he did not intend the divorce.

As for the repetition of the statement of divorce, saying: “I divorce you”, “I divorce you”, “I divorce you”, if the second and third statements were intended merely to confirm the first one and the husband did not intend to issue more than one divorce, then it counts as one divorce only. However, if his intention was to issue more than one divorce, it counts as many as he intended, according to the opinion of the majority of the scholars. Some scholars, however, held that repeated statements of divorce count as one divorce in all cases. This was the chosen opinion by Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him.

The view of the majority of the scholars is the one adopted at Islamweb. Based on this view, when a husband intends to effectuate multiple divorces using the statements of divorce that you mentioned, his wife becomes unlawful to him (irrevocably divorced) until she marries another man in a true marriage, not a marriage for the sole purpose of legalizing remarrying her ex-husband, and then the new husband happens to divorce her or die.

The opinion of Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him is strong, has authoritative weight, and is implemented by the Sharee‘ah courts in Muslim countries. You may refer to these courts or what serves as a substitute for them, like Islamic centers in non-Muslim countries. If they issue their judgment in accordance with this scholarly view, there is nothing wrong with acting upon it, Allah willing.

Finally, we warn against hastening to divorce carelessly while considering it to be a solution to marital problems. Instead, the spouses should resort to dialogue, foster mutual respect, and strive to solve their problems in a way that enhances the stability of their marriage.

For more benefit on irrevocable divorce, please refer to Fataawa 384739, 381389, 128967, and 116098.

Allah knows best.

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