Divorce given by a drunkard
Fatwa No: 87585

  • Fatwa Date:25-4-2004 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 6, 1425
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I want to know fatwa for the following two issues.
1. Divorce given by a Drunkard.
2. Forced to give divorce by mother and other members of the family.
The actual issue is that a person who is an intoxicant, basically weak-minded, used to get angry very often, and does not realize his sayings and doings in the state of intoxicant.
One day when the person was at home, his mother told to him to divorce his wife otherwise he and his wife should leave the house. The person had borrowed some money from his wife's family and there were some disputes between his family and her family. After listening to his mother he became angry, left his house and drank and in that state he went to his wife's house and said TALAQ to her. He did not know how many times he gave TALAQ and his wife was also not in front of him, but when he saw the people of his place he began saying " I have left my wife".
His wife's family approved this divorce and did not let him to take his wife back. He is very much ashamed of his deed, and now he is suffering for what he did. He is working in Qatar and requests you to look into this matter and reply as per Islamic law regarding this issue.


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.


The majority of Muslim scholars are of the opinion that divorce delivered in the state of drunkenness is effective. This is the opinion of al-Ahnaf, al-Malikiyah, al-Shafi’eyah and a narration from Imam Ahmad.

However, some scholars are of the opinion that the divorce given in the state of drunkenness is not effective.  This is also narrated from Imam Ahmad and an opinion of Hanifa and Shafi’e Madhab.

As for the divorce delivered in the state of such severe anger that a person becomes like an insane, or a drunken person then the divorce is not valid.  If he does not reach this state the divorce is valid.  Know that this ruling applies only to the one who gets angry without using any intoxicant; otherwise he is as the one who divorces in the state of drunkenness.

However, the divorce of a drunkard is effective.  If it is the first or second divorce the person may take her back during Iddah.  If the Iddah is finished then he may take her back with a new marriage contract and provided if the woman expresses her consent to that.

If it is the third divorce then he cannot marry her unless she marries a person and separates from him willingly after having sex with him.  This marriage should take place with the aim of marriage, not to make her Halal for her first husband.  After completing her Iddah from her second husband she may marry the first husband.

If one is not certain how many times he had divorced his wife then he has to consider the lesser number of Talaq since he is certain of them.

Everything we mentioned is according to the opinion of the majority of Muslim scholars, otherwise one should refer to the nearest Islamic court or Islamic Center in order to look into the circumstances and get a more specific Fatwa.

Know that drinking or using alcohol is a major sin and one should make a sincere repentance from that.


Allah knows best.  

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