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Divorce Statement as a Joke

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Maulana Burhaan Rahman


My husband jokingly asked me to marry him and I wasn’t able to reply at the time. Later I asked him, “So are we married now?” He said “I don’t know, are we? You didn’t respond to me earlier. Actually no we have always been married, just not to each other but to our kids.” Does any of this constitute a divorce?

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


As Muslims, we must understand that Talaq (divorce) are not things to be taken lightly when considering doing it, and we must understand its seriousness of it. Talaaq (divorce), is the same whether the words are uttered in earnest or in jest.

Our beloved Prophet SAW said:

ثلاث جدهن جد وهزلهن جد: النكاح والطلاق والرجعة

“Three are serious when they are serious, and serious when they are in jest (joke): Marriage, divorce, and taking back (one’s wife).” [Abu Dawud Hadeeth number: 2194/ Tirmidhi Hadeeth no: 1184]

Now the scenario you have mentioned above is an exclusive scenario (in jest) which doesn’t really happen. It doesn’t show any sort of “divorce” per se but rather just playing around. Maybe you have taken it a certain way but as a matter of fact, it isn’t serious as the intention of saying such a thing has no connection to divorce. But what I would add as a piece of advice for any Muslim husband is that no one should go out of their way and utter “divorce words” in jest (e.g. “talaq” three times in jest, “I divorce you” in jest etc.) as it’s a serious matter which is mentioned in the Hadeeth above.

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Maulana Burhaan Rahman

Checked and approved by Mufti 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.

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