I have read your answers to various questions regarding divorces given in extreme anger to be held as valid. However, you mention that the only way the divorce would not be valid if one is insane at the time. However, you fail to define what is insanity. In most jurisdictions and indeed it is supported by and clinically proved by psychologists that a person can become temporarily insane out of anger in situations where the person loses touch with their rational self, where the emotional & mental balance has been tipped away from the normal. Where both emotional perceptions, responses and mental thinking can become distorted. Where the irrational self takes over, where the line between what is real and what is unreal becomes blurred. This is largely accepted in situations involving domestic violence especially in the English legal system. As such there are two types of insanity, one which you refer to which is terminal insanity and the other is temporary insanity. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was aware of this due to his divine nature, albeit it has been proven much later.
So my question is in light of the advances in psychology and acceptance of extreme anger leading to temporary insanity, would your answers differ to what you have provided previously?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh
The issue of extreme anger leading to temporary insanity has been discussed by the scholars in the past. Hereunder is the ruling:
Anger is categorised into 3 stages:
1. The person in anger is in total control of his state of affairs and knows what he is doing and saying.
Talaq given in such a state is valid.
2. Anger leads the person to temporary insanity and the mental thinking is distorted.
Talaq is invalid in such a state.
3. One that is between the above mentioned two stages. i.e. one is not in total control of his state of affairs, but does not reach the stage of insanity.
There is a difference of opinion on Talaq given in this state, but the most correct opinion is that Talaq will be valid.
Raddul Muhtar Vol:3 Pg:244 (H.M. Sa’eed Company)
قلت : وللحافظ ابن القيم الحنبلي رسالة في طلاق الغضبان قال فيها : إنه على ثلاثة أقسام : أحدها أن يحصل له مبادئ الغضب بحيث لا يتغير عقله ويعلم ما يقول ويقصده ، وهذا لا إشكال فيه .
والثاني أن يبلغ النهاية فلا يعلم ما يقول ولا يريده ، فهذا لا ريب أنه لا ينفذ شيء من أقواله .
الثالث من توسط بين المرتبتين بحيث لم يصر كالمجنون فهذا محل النظر ، والأدلة على عدم نفوذ أقواله .ا هـ .
ملخصا من شرح الغاية الحنبلية ، لكن أشار في الغاية إلى مخالفته في الثالث حيث قال : ويقع الطلاق من غضب خلافا لابن القيم ا هـ وهذا الموافق عندنا لما مر في المدهوش
It is understood from the above mentioned that Talaq given in anger will not be valid only when the person has reached insanity. Therefore, the reason for Talaq not being valid is insanity and not anger.
Moreover, the issue of Talaq is a very delicate one; so it will not be appropriate to make a general statement that Talaq given in extreme anger is invalid. However, if it is proven by a reliable source that the person did reach the status of insanity, then the Islamic scholars can analyse the situation and render the Talaq invalid.
To end thereof, we appreciate your input in this issue, as understanding the nature of the issue helps in making the proper ruling; and we would humbly request you to keep us updated with such
And Allah knows best
Ml. M. Jawed Iqbal,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah