Three talaaqs in anger

Q: I have a matter that I require clarification on and hope you can help me. I married my wife last year and after a very heated argument due to her finding out I was still married to my first wife and demanding I do the right thing, in a state of utter anger I inadvertently uttered the phase “I give you talaaq” three times.  She was devastated as she had wanted to be with me and couldn’t believe I would go to such lengths of marrying me but then divorcing me after 5 days. As a result she has become very ill over this.  I too have not been sleeping well and although I uttered those words I did not mean it and have no recollection of even saying this. My end goal was to be with her and as I have kids I was trying to ensure they did not lose out on a mother and my execution of this event was obviously not carried out in the right manner but I assure you I was trying to ensure my kids were not affected and also trying to ensure I ended up with my new wife. I of course hurt her beyond doubt and she has been depressed ever since. I had not told my first wife that I had done nikaah either and she too also was hurt by this and in the process I have hurt so many people. I want to redeem myself and put things right. I was never happy in my first marriage and only remained in it for the sake of my kids. I wanted to be with my new wife but felt immense pressure by family, society and everyone to remain in this which is why I carried out my nikkah to my new wife in the way I did. The intention was to be with her though in the end I just didn’t know how to do this without hurting anyone and in the process ended up hurting so many. I really want to be with my new wife though and have been desperately upset over this as I did not mean the talaaq the first time. According to some Mashaikhs, although it was said three times, this is considered once only. I accepted that and believed that talaq has not taken place and continued to see her as my wife after doing a ruju and taking her back. Some members of her family and society disagreed as she is from the Hanafi madhhab (so am I). It came to a point where she was convinced by them that the nikaah is no longer intact. Her parents had  started looking for a groom for her as they believed talaaq had happened. Upon finding this out I gave her another three lots of talaaq to set her free so she could go and get married. I did this as I wanted to set her free to do what ever her family wants her to do. I have since gone back and resumed living with my first wife who I have kids with but don’t get along with. After I did that my wife cried to me and said that she was never wanting to marry another man and that she did not agree with what her family wanted to do. If  we consider talaaq in one sitting as one (regardless of how many times it was said) this would make it two.  Just the other day we had an argument as she is unhappy I have gone back to my first wife and in her anger said she does not love me, never did and that she is getting married. On hearing this I wrote her an email saying I give her talaq three times. Though I later found out she had said all that to hurt me as she is upset with the situation and doesn’t know what to do. She said she is frustrated with the fact I’m with the first wife and how she has been treated. She is now very upset because she keeps saying all she wanted was to be with me all along, but because of the first talaq has become very hurt and filled with anger. Based on the very first nikkah, a number of events have unfolded, my new wife become more and more upset and hurt by what has happened and things have become so strained. She doesn’t  understand why I am with the first wife if I keep saying I love her. I tell her for the sake of my kids I went back. Can you please advise if our nikaah is intact? As I really don’t even remember or realise what I was doing when I gave her the first talaaq. I was just under immense pressure. I want to be with her. Always have. I have a tendency to get worked up very easily and my anger makes puts me in a very bad state sometimes where I don’t even realise what I am doing until later on and by then the damage has been done. My new wife is suffering every day with her health as a result of all this and I really want to put things right.


A: Your nikaah has irrevocably broken down.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)