Praise be to Allaah.
A man should
not use divorce every time there is an argument between him and his wife,
because of the negative consequences that result from divorce. Many men take
the matter of divorce lightly and every time there is an argument between
them and their wives, they swear to divorce them, and every time they have a
disagreement with their friends, they swear to divorce their wives, and so
on. This is a kind of toying with the Book of Allaah, because the Messenger
of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) regarded the one
who divorced his wife three times in one go as toying with the Book of
Allaah. So how about one who makes divorce his habit, and every time he
wants to stop his wife doing something or urge her to do something he swears
that he will divorce her? Al-Nasaa’i narrated that Mahmoud ibn Labeed said:
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was
told about a man who divorced his wife three times in one go. He got up
angrily and said: “Will the Book of Allaah be toyed with when I am still
among you?” A man stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, shall I kill
said: The men of its isnaad are thiqaat (trustworthy). End quote. It was
classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Ghaayat al-Maraam (261).
‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: These foolish men whose
tongues utter the words of divorce for every issue, great or small, are
going against the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) who said: “Whoever wants to swear an oath, let him swear
by Allaah or else remain silent.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2679). If the
believer wants to swear an oath, let him swear by Allaah, may He be
glorified and exalted. It is also not right to swear a great deal, because
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
protect your oaths (i.e. do not swear much)”
One of the
interpretations of this verse is that it means: do not swear a great deal.
But if they
swear an oath of divorce, such as saying, “I will divorce you if you do such
and such,” or “I will divorce you if you do not do such and such,” or “If
you do such and such my wife will be divorced,” or “If you do not do such
and such my wife will be divorced,” and other such phrases, these go against
the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
from Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah (2/753).
When a man
says to his wife, “If you do such and such then you are divorced,” or, “If
you do not so such and such then you are divorced,” this is a conditional
divorce. The majority of fuqaha’ are of the view that this divorce counts as
such when the condition mentioned is fulfilled. Some of the scholars – and
this was the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and others – were
of the view that this condition is subject to further discussion, and it
depends on the intention of the one who said it. If he meant what is
intended by the oath, which is to encourage someone to do something, or to
stop someone from doing something, or to affirm something or deny something,
then it comes under the ruling on oaths and no divorce takes place, but he
must offer the expiation for breaking an oath when it is broken.
intended thereby to divorce his wife, then she is divorced when the
condition is fulfilled. His intention is known only to Allaah from Whom no
secret is hidden. So the Muslim should beware of trying to deceive his Lord
and of deceiving himself.
Committee was asked about a man who said to his wife: “Come with me or you
are divorced,” and she did not go with him. Does that count as a divorce?
If you did
not intend that as a divorce and you only wanted to urge her to go with you,
then that does not count as a divorce, but you have to offer the expiation
for breaking an oath (kafaarat yameen) according to the more correct
scholarly view. If you intended that to count as a divorce if she did not
respond to you, then that counts as one divorce. End quote from Fataawa
al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (20/86).
It should be
noted that most cases of divorce occur at moments of anger, stress and
agitation, not when one is feeling happy and relaxed. If a husband divorces
his wife at a time of anger, that does not mean that the divorce does not
count, as many people think, except if the anger reaches such an extent that
the man loses his reason and is not aware of what he is saying, in which
case it does not count as a divorce according to scholarly consensus.
But if it
has not reached such an extent that he loses his reason, but the anger is so
intense that the man is no longer in control of himself, then the majority
of scholars are of the view that this anger does not mean that the divorce
does not count.
scholars are of the view that it does mean that the divorce does not count.
This was the ruling issued by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have
mercy on him) and his student Ibn al-Qayyim, and it is the correct view in
sha Allah. See the discussion on that in question no.
45174. We have only referred to the view of the majority so that the questioner and readers may understand the seriousness of uttering the word of divorce, at times of anger and at other times. It may lead to the breakup of his family and to
harm for himself and his family because of his haste and his unruly tongue.
We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.
If the oath
that he swore concerning his wife happened when his anger had reached such an extent, then it does not count as a divorce, in sha Allaah.
And Allaah knows best.