She Jokingly Asked Her Husband for Divorce
Fatwa No: 429157

Question

Assalamualaikum. Me and my husband had a small fight on 17/05/2020. I jokingly asked for 3 talaaq and I don't remember exactly what he said jokingly (could have been ''I give 10 times'' but I do remember I replied saying this may invalidate our nikah. I happened to remember of the fight on 26/05/2020. When I asked him, he denied saying that and he cant remember of the fight and he should be believed. Please tell me if our nikah is still valid.

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.

The words “I give ten times,” uttered by your husband as an answer to your request, are in the present tense. Assuming that he truly said these exact words, divorce (Talaaq) does not take effect because a divorce pronounced in the present tense is considered a mere metaphor of divorce (i.e. implicit wording of divorce), with which the divorce does not take effect unless the husband held the intention of issuing a divorce when he said it.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “As for the wording of divorce in the present tense, like ‘You are to be divorced’, divorce does not take place, because it is a statement indicating that she will be divorced, and the husband is the one who issues the divorce. However, if he intends to issue an immediate divorce by pronouncing these words, divorce takes effect because the present tense could denote the present time or the future.” [End of quote]

If your husband denies saying these words, there is no way to know his intention, and therefore, the relationship between you remains as it was before he said those words; i.e. your marriage bond remains intact. In addition, the uncertainty about the nature of the husband’s response is sufficient to prove that divorce did not take place given the response’s ambiguity.

We would like to warn against taking the matter of pronouncing divorce lightly, even in jest, whether the wife requests it or the husband initiates it, as this could incur unfavorable consequences.

Allah Knows best.

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