Have I Divorced My Wife by Singing Along a Song Mentioning Separation?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Does a divorce count when somebody is listening to a song which contains divorce-statements like “welcome to separation” or “it’s time for separation” etc. and sings along, and repeats it often, so that he has a song stuck in his head without reflection and without intending to divorce his wife?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

These would not count as an utterance of divorce.

There are two issues here:

(a) Jurists who stated that intention (niyya) is not required when using explicit utterances for divorce still affirmed the notion of qasd, which refers to one’s willing uttering a statement. For example, someone who utters divorce while asleep has no qasd. Similar is this case for a scholar who utters these words while teaching. The example you give is analogous to this and so no divorce will come into effect.

(b) The words that you mention are not properly viewed as talaq-statements. One cannot simply go by the potential wording of a word or phrase especially when they are not explicit, which “welcome to separation” and “it’s time for separation” are not. The rulings of divorce using English phrases are not the same as those for Arabic phrases especially as it relates to the types of statements you have mentioned.

[Ibn al-Humam, Fath al-Qadir (3:39); al-Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar (2:584)]

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.