Answered by Ustadha Mahdiyah Siddique
Assalamu Alaikum Shaykh,
I have been married for the past 6 years but my wife’s parents have been a major negative influence in my life. They often provide negative advice her and seek to meddle in our affairs leading to conflict between me and my partner. It also causes her to be rude and disobedient to the effect that she often provokes reactions and fans the flames causing me to extremely angry.
During a recent heated argument with my wife I said if she tries to contact her father behind my back it will come in to effect alluding to divorce/separation. My intention in this instance was not to issue a conditional divorce. I simply wanted to ensure she wouldn’t do what I didn’t want her to do as she was provoking me to the point of not allowing there to be separation during the argument so things can calm down.
I was careful not to use any clear terms as my intention was not to issue to a divorce but to emphasise at that particular moment how serious I was and that should she continue to be disobedient I would consider separation. I am absolutely in no doubt that divorce was not intended based on my thoughts during and before the pronouncement. Immediately after making this statement I said to myself ‘O Allah, I do not issue a conditional divorce and reserve all my rights to divorce’ in order to further clarify my position.
Despite the clarity in my mind I seek reassurance on whether or not my actions have enacted a conditional divorce.
I am have also been affected by Waswasa after having studied the Fiqh of divorce, particularly the issue of divorce using unclear terms. Often during normal conversations I become confused and worried that I may have accidentally issued a divorce. I only think what the intention may be whilst or after speaking so it is never premeditated. I simply end up asking myself what I meant and am left extremely worried.
I would very much appreciate advice on what I may be able to do overcome this and can safeguard my marriage.
In response to your question;
The divorce would not have taken place, as it is dependent on your intention, and as you have mentioned you are able to clearly recall your intention at that time to be – not to issue a divorce.
In regards to the matter with your in laws, it is advisable that you seek to correct any issues of misunderstanding between yourself and them, whether this is something you think you can resolve yourself, or would need the help of an arbitrator
Furthermore, divorce is not a light matter and really should not be used as a way to emphasise or indicate to the seriousness of a situation.
Finally, relating to Waswasa, this is merely the work of Satan trying to throw you off and cause you to become preoccupied with doubts and paranoia thereby creating problems in your marriage and averting you away from the obedience of Allah. These thoughts do not constitute divorce; you should recite Ta’awwudh whenever you can feel such thoughts making their way in and divert your attention away from them; the more that you are able to ignore/control them, the less of a hold they will have over you.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Ustadha Mahdiyah Siddique
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham