Saying to The Wife: ‘Get Out’ or ‘Leave’, without the Intention of Divorce
Fatwa No: 432442

  • Fatwa Date:23-11-2020 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 8, 1442
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Question

There is a fatwa of Ibn Qudaamah which states that if a husband says to his wife, "Israh" (you may leave), then this counts as an explicit statement of divorce. Now, previously I had said to my wife, "Get out" (but not with the intention of divorcing her). We know that an imperative statement of divorce does not count without the intention being there. So, does this mean that what I had said to my wife did not count as divorce even according to Ibn Qudaamah (since my statement was an imperative one and not accompanied by the intention of divorcing)?

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.

First of all, the scholars differed in opinion regarding the term "leave" whether it is an explicit word of divorce or is a metaphor of divorce.

As for the term "get out", it is not an explicit wording of divorce, but rather a metaphor that does not lead to divorce without the intention of divorce, according to Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him and other scholars.

Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Al-Mughni’ when speaking about the kinds of divorce:

"….and the hidden metaphor, such as leave, go away, taste [the bitterness of separation], swallow [the bitterness of separation], …etc.

One of the conditions for the occurrence of divorce is that he should intend divorce with the metaphor, unless he says it in the event of dispute and anger, according to two different narrations.

However, if such a metaphor is a response to her request for divorce, then our Companions [i.e. the scholars of our school] said that divorce takes place. It is with greater reason that intention is required in regard to terms (expressions) that are frequently used in other than divorce, such as: get out, go, and leave; that divorce does not take place until he [the husband] has intended it.” [End of quote]

Allah Knows best.

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