Divorce Takes Place Only with an Explicit Wording of Divorce
Fatwa No: 432574

  • Fatwa Date:26-11-2020 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 11, 1442
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Question

Assalam walekumI want to know if my nikkah is still valid or the divorce has taken place.Ive been married for 15 years and have 2 kids.My wife and i always fight and during those fights i have said i am giving you talaq. I never said talaq 3x in one sitting. So i gave talaq then i did riju and then we got into arguement again next month lets say and i said again that im giving talaq and did riju again after and same thing kept going on and on for 15 years basically. Our arguments made me say divorce words because i was in anger. About 50 times i have done this. Is my nikkah still valid if i never said divorce 3x in one sitting? But said it 1 to 2 times each time we argued. So is the nikkah valid or the divorce has taken place many years ago but we continued to live together? Is she halal for me still.The terms i used for 15 years were mostly that i am giving you talaq in urdu and i will divorce you. Please let me know i would be greatful.

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.

Saying to your wife: “I will divorce you,” does not make divorce take place, because it is merely a promise of divorce, which does not constitute a divorce. Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Majmoo‘ Al-Fataawa: “A promise of divorce does not take effect even if it is uttered many times; it is neither an obligation to fulfill this promise nor is it desirable to do so.” [End of quote]

As for saying: “I am giving you a divorce”, it is a metaphor of divorce and is not an explicit expression of it, and therefore divorce does not take effect based on that statement if you did not intend it.

This is because a divorce issued in the present tense is considered a metaphor of divorce and is not effective without the intention to initiate a divorce, as was previously explained in Fatwa 198269.

But if you uttered an explicit wording of divorce in your language, then divorce has taken effect even if you were angry, as long as you uttered it while being aware of what you were saying and not overwhelmed by extreme anger that made you lose control over your mind.

The fact that you did not utter the words of divorce thrice in one session does not prevent the occurrence of divorce, nor does it prevent the occurrence of an irrevocable divorce of a major degree if the words of divorce are repeated three separate times. Rather, a husband should not utter the words of divorce thrice in one session.

What we advise you to do is to refer your question directly to a scholar in your country whose religiosity and knowledge you trust.

For more benefit that anger does not prevent divorce from taking place, please refer to Fatwa 121374.

Allah Knows best.

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