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Divorce by means of a letter or written words

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham


In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.




In Islam a verbal declaration of divorce is not necessary in determining the validity of a divorce.


Imam Kasani (RA) has said:


“Similarly issuing a divorce verbally is not a condition. Hence divorce will be effected with clear and unambiguous writing.” (Badai-al-Sanai P.100 v.3)


However, it should also be remembered that the written word in Talaq is not always taken at face value. There are situations where divorce issued with clear and unambiguous writing will constitute a legal divorce and in other situations it would not.


In regards to your question, the first situation where you wrote on the piece of paper “ I agree, I agree, I agree” to the statement “ I divorce…” which you’re wife wrote on the paper will not constitute a legal divorce according to the Shariah.


The reason is that issuing divorce by writing is only permissible where the husband and wife are in two different places. The statement you wrote “ I agree, I agree, I agree” was done in the presence of your wife. The jurists have said that there is no need to use divorce by means of a letter or written words as one can issue the divorce verbally in front of them.


Allahmah Ibn Abedeen Shami (RA), a famous Hanafi scholar has written in his book Raddul Muhtar that if a person is forced to divorce his wife and he divorces her with written words then the divorce will not occur as the written word is equivalent to verbal divorce where there is a need and there is no need here. (p.440 v.4)


Therefore, we can conclude that the divorce given by you by means of written words would not execute a valid divorce.


In regards to the second situation where you said “I give Talaq to you….” twice, will constitute two divorces. As you did not say it three times you’re marriage will remain intact. However if you were to give you’re wife another Talaq anytime in the future she will become unlawful for you.


(Fatawa Hindiyyah p.472 v.1)


Only Allah Knows Best.


Mohammed Tosir Miah


Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.