As Salaamu Alaikum
A husband and a wife have 10 years of married life with four kids. The husband has already used two revocable divorces to his wife (one in 2013, the other in 2016). Now one day, due to a continuous exchange of verbal abuse with his wife, the husband’s anger increased to such an extreme that he became temporarily but partially insane (where his thinking and analyzing mental ability became partially defective). In this state, he uncontrollably uttered the words of Talaq (Divorce) to his wife three times, without considering what is he uttering and what are the implications of those words. Now kindly guide from the teachings of Islam that does Islam considers Talaq (Divorce) effective if it is given in such a partially insane and uncontrollable mental condition caused by extreme anger (in which a man loses his normal mental abilities)? Message Body: DETAILS: A Muslim husband and his wife have been living married life for nearly 10 years with 4 kids. The husband has already used two revocable divorces to his wife (one in 2013, the other in 2016). One day, the husband comes to home from his office in a state of mental distress (due to some office related issue) to pick some documents. When he starts to leave the house, his wife, owing to a misconception based on her negative thinking, uttered the words “Get Lost” against him, and walked to the terrace of the house. The husband, who was already very distressed, heard these words from behind and felt really strong anger. He returned back and angrily asked her wife that to whom those words of Get Lost dis she uttered and why?. The wife replied that it is merely your ear Tinnitus. This raised the anger of the husband to a higher level. He asked then with greater anger why did she uttered those words, and to whom? Then she replied, “Yes, I have uttered these words, and have uttered to you”. This raised the anger of the husband even to a further higher level, and becoming made with anger he started abusing his wife with his loudest sound. In response, the wife also started abusing his husband. This further raised his anger and the level and intensity of his abuses. At this moment, the husband was in the compound of the house while the wife was standing on the terrace. Her voice started reaching around the street. The husband repeatedly said to him to come inside the house but she did not come inside the house and continued to reply the abuses right from the terrace. This further raged the husband. He went to the terrace and pulled angrily his wife by holding her arm into the home and asked her with great anger “after all why have you uttered those words of Get Lost? I have done nothing wrong with you? Tell me the reason why have you uttered those words to me?”. In the mean while the wife got free from the husband’s hands and went again to the terrace and started replying to him from there. Outside the house, in the street, labour was working. The feeling that those workers are watching all this drama, stormed the husband’s anger further. This further increased the exchange of loud abuses from the two sides, especially from the husband side. His anger was now touching the sky. He said to his wife to leave the terrace and come inside the house. But she refused and said I would gather all neighbors in the street and would make them watch the drama. This blew the husband’s mind with anger. He tried to search the name of his elder brother from his mobile but, due to being out of mental order, failed (because due to extreme anger he could not recall the first letter of his elder brother’s name and his mind could not support him to remember how to search the name). In the meantime, during the hottest exchange of severe abuses, the wife uttered such an inappropriate allegation and harsh words about his sister that the husband’s anger crossed its extreme limits. This extreme anger his mind was blown, body started shivering and the eyes turned fading and foggy. At this stage, becoming mad and partially insane with extreme anger, the husband uttered the words of Talaq (divorce) three times to his wife without thinking what is he saying and what are its implications. After a few minutes later, when he returned to his normal state, only then he realized what he had uttered, and what was their meaning and what are their implications. Now the question is, does Islam considers Talaq effective if it is given in such a partially insane and uncontrollable mental condition caused by extreme anger (in which a man partially loses his normal mental abilities)?
As Salaamu Alaikum,
Generally, in normal cases of anger, the divorce which is given by the husband takes effect. However,, in cases where the anger of the husband has reached a state where his consciousness and sense/thinking is badly affected and he has reached a type of insanity, where he is not fully aware of what he is saying, then divorce given in this state does not take effect and will not occur upon the wife.
While discussing this issue, the great jurist Allama Ibn Abideen Shami (died 1252 A.H) has mentioned the statement of Hafiz Ibn Al Qayyim Hanbali in his famous ‘Fatawa Shami’ and stated, ‘Hafiz Ibn Al Qayyim states that there are three types of anger (in which divorce is given).
- One is the state which is achieved at the beginning of anger, where the person’s consciousness/thinking is not affected, and he knows what he says and intends. In this state, Talaq occurs when given.
- The second state is where a person reaches the extreme limit of anger. He does not know what he says and intends. In this state, there is no doubt that nothing takes effect from the statement of the husband (with respect to his utterance of divorce).
- The third state is that which is between the above two states, in a manner that the husband does not become as if he is insane. This is an area which needs consideration and deep thought, and there are differences of opinion regarding this. However, the preferred opinion is that divorce in this state takes effect’. (Radd Al Muhtar Vol. 3 page 244 H.M Saeed Karachi).
In the light of the above explanation, the divorce given in the condition which you have explained about the husband being partially insane and losing normal mental abilities, will not take effect. (Kitabul Fatawa Vol.5 page 43 Zam Zam Publishers Karachi 2008)
And Allah Knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan
This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.