Praise be to Allaah.
Your saying to your wife, “Get out of the car and I will send
you your papers, and it’s over” may be regarded as a metaphor for divorce,
and it depends on your intention. If you meant to threaten her with divorce,
then divorce has not taken place until it happens, but if you intended to
divorce her by these words, then one divorce has taken place, and you have
the right to take her back during the ‘iddah. It is well known that the
‘iddah of a pregnant woman lasts until she gives birth. If the ‘iddah ended
without you taking her back, then she cannot come back to you except with a
new marriage contract and a new mahr.
Some scholars are of the view that a metaphor for divorce
counts as a divorce regardless of intention, if he said those words during
an argument or at a moment of anger.
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in
al-Mughni (7/306): As for that which is not clear, divorce does not take
place unless he intended it, or the circumstances indicate that. See:
Sharh Muntaha al-Iraadaat (3/87).
It says in Zaad al-Mustaqni’: Divorce does not take
place if a metaphor is used, unless he intended it, except in the case of an
argument or anger, or in answer to her question. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in
his commentary: In these three cases, what is meant is that divorce by
metaphor counts as such regardless of intention:
an argument, i.e., with his wife, in which he says “go to
your family.” Divorce takes place even if he did not intend it, because we
have a situation which indicates that he wanted to leave her.
Or anger: i.e., in a moment of anger even if there was no
argument, such as if he told her to do something and she did not do it, so
he got angry and said “Go to your family.” Divorce takes place even if he
did not intend it.
Or in answer to her question, i.e., she said “Divorce me” and
he said, “Go to your family.” Divorce takes place…
But the correct view is that in the case of a metaphor,
divorce does not take place unless that is what he intended, even in these
cases, because a man may say “Get out” and the
like out of anger, with no intention of divorce at all. End quote from
al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (13/75).
Based on what the Shaykh (may Allaah have mercy on him)
regards as most likely to be correct, we say: If you did not intend divorce
by the words you said, then divorce did not take place. If you do not know
what your intention was, then the basic principle is that there was no
intention of divorce, so divorce did not take place in that case.
And Allaah knows best.