Dear Mufti Sahab!
I work in Saudi Arab. On 06-07-2020 my wife and my mother had a quarrel at the time when I was talking to my mother. Then suddenly my mother screamed and the phone was disconnected. I do not know what my wife said to my mother. I am a diabetes patient. I did not know what happened and I called on phone again and told my wife that she is divorced nine times if she did not apologize with my mother – and I abused her a lot – and only after that she will be accepted. Please issue a verdict in light of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
All praises belong to Allah, may the Salah and Salam be upon the one after whom there is no prophet! As for what proceeds.
- The issue of divorce is very sensitive but we deal with it in very careless manner. To utter Talaq (divorce) multiple times at once due to small conflict is very common among us even though it was very much disliked by the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). He declared such a way of giving divorce as a mockery with the book of Allah. [Sunan Nasai, book of Talaq, 343]
However, in the light of Qur’an and the Sunnah the three Talaq uttered in a sitting is counted as a single reversible (Raja’i) divorce if the Talaq is being uttered during the first or the second occasion. The evidences for this are as follows:
- Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates that during the time of Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), the time of the caliphate of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) and in the early two years of the caliphate of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) the uttered three Talaq were considered as one Talaq. But because of excess in the cases of such divorce ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said “People have been hasty in a matter in which Allah gave ease for them, therefore it shall be better if I enforce it.” Then he enforced it. [Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Talaq, 1472]
However, this act of ‘Umar was from the discretionary and administrative act and this is also accepted by several Hanafi scholars. (See: Jami’ al-Rumuz, Kitab al-Talaq; and Hashiya Tahtawi ‘ala ad-Durr al-Mukhtar)
- Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, says: Sayyiduna Rukana (may Allah be pleased with him) gave divorce to her wife thrice in a single sitting. But then he regretted and so the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) asked him, ‘How you divorced her?’ He said, ‘Three times.’ The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) then aske, ‘Did you divorce her thrice in a single sitting?’ He answered, ‘Yes.’ Then the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘Only one divorce has occurred. If you wish to take her back then you can do so.’ According to Ibn’Abbas, the narrator of this hadith, he took her back and settled with her. (Musnad Ahmad 4/123, Ahmad Shakir Ed.)
Hafiz Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy on him, says regardin this narration:
هذا الحدیث نص فی المسئلة لایقبل التاؤیل
“This narration is a decisive proof on the matter of threefold divorce which cannot be interpreted in any other way.” (Fath al-Bari 9/362)
- It is clear from above discussion that you have the right to do Ruju’ which you can use. You have also done well by asking the scholar before taking any decision. Your decision to learn Qur’an and Sunnah and to live your life based on it is also praiseworthy.
- Here it is very important to know that Divorce is of two kinds: One is “Munjaz” which occurs instantly and the other one is “Mu’allaq”’. The meaning of Mu’allaq is to connect the occurrence of divorce with the occurrence of a specific thing, just as the questioner has said to his wife ‘If you do not apologize to my mother you are divorced. So if the woman apologizes then the divorce will not occur at all. Similarly, if the woman does not apologize but the husband is regretful on his statement then this condition (Ta’liq) of him shall be considered as an oath, and so if he wishes he may give expiation of his oath and do Ruju’ from it. The divorce will not happen even in this case. However, if either of these cases is not there then one divorce will occur as it has been explained earlier.
- It is also to be kept in mind that the respect of the step-mother is necessary. Therefore, if the woman has caused any kind of harm to her then she should apologize to her in this world so that she may be saved from the trials of Hereafter. It is also befitting for the step-mother to show signs of greatness and to ignore shortcomings and mistakes of the step-daughter. She should solve the dispute like it happened with her own sons and daughters. The act of abusing by the questioner to his wife is very inappropriate and wrong act. The questioner should seek forgiveness from Allah and apologize with his wife regarding it.
- We would also like to tell that to have conflict among husband and wife is not an extraordinary incident. But to take extreme steps by getting out of control in condition of anger or sorrow is dangerous. Therefore, look for the cause of it then whatever the problem may come out – be it physical, mental or spiritual – try to solve it. Be punctual with prayer, fasting, remembrance of Allah and the recitation of the Qur’an. Keep giving charity from time to time and deal with your relatives (especially parents) in a good way. Hopefully, with the blessings of these good acts Allah will solve all your problems and difficulties. We ask Allah to bless your family members with long life full of happiness and obedience to Allah. Aameen.
His excellence Shaykh Abu Muhammad AbdusSattar Hammad (President of the Lajnah)
Shaykh Abul Hasan Mubashshir Ahmad Rabbani may Allah protect him
His excellence Shaykh Abdul Haleem Bilal (may Allah preserve him)
His excellence Shaykh Javed Iqbal Sialkoti (may Allah preserve him)