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Divorce Articulated in Jest

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt

Question:

I have a question regarding marriage and divorce. If I said to my wife “ja tujhe azad kiya” in a moment of joking and laughter with no intention of actual alāq (divorce) whatsoever in mind. Would this count as alāq (Islamic divorce)?

Answer:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for contacting Mathabah Institute.

It should firstly be noted that divorce is a serious matter in Islam and has a number of related injunctions. Divorce is not something one should joke about.

The Prophet Muḥammad (peace and blessing upon him) has said, “There are three things which, whether undertaken seriously or in jest, are treated as serious, they are marriage, divorce and taking back a wife (after a divorce which is not final).” – (Sunan Abī Dāwūd 2194) [1]

In reply to your question, you should know that the Urdu statement, “Ja tujhe azad kiya” which is translated to, “Go I have freed you.” will constitute one alāq bāin (a severe divorce pronouncement), even if it was articulated in jest and there was no intention of divorce. The reason for this is, this statement is used to denote Islamic divorce in ‘urf (common custom and culture). You can reinstate your nikā (marriage) with a new marriage contract. – (See: Rad-Al-Muḥtār, Volume 5, Page 75, Dār Al-Ālam Al-Kutub) [2]

Only Allāh knows best.


[1] ثَلاَثٌ جِدُّهُنَّ جِدٌّ وَهَزْلُهُنَّ جِدٌّ النِّكَاحُ وَالطَّلاَقُ وَالرَّجْعَةُ – أبو داؤد ٢١٩٤

[2] وَقَدَّمْنَاهُ فِي الْكِنَايَاتِ عَنْ الْبَحْرِ أَنَّهُ إذَا أَضَافَ الْحُرْمَةَ، أَوْ الْبَيْنُونَةَ إلَيْهَا كَأَنْتِ بَائِنٌ، أَوْ حَرَامٌ وَقَعَ مِنْ غَيْرِ إضَافَةٍ إلَيْهِ – رد المحتار

قَالَ فِي الْبَحْرِ: وَالْحَاصِلُ أَنَّهُ إذَا أَضَافَ الْحُرْمَةَ أَوْ الْبَيْنُونَةَ إلَيْهَا كَأَنْتِ بَائِنٌ أَوْ حَرَامٌ وَقَعَ مِنْ غَيْرِ إضَافَةٍ إلَيْهَا، وَإِنْ أَضَافَ إلَى نَفْسِهِ كَأَنَا حَرَامٌ أَوْ بَائِنٌ لَا يَقَعُ مِنْ غَيْرِ إضَافَةٍ إلَيْهَا؛ وَإِنْ خَيَّرَهَا فَأَجَابَتْ بِالْحُرْمَةِ أَوْ الْبَيْنُونَةِ فَلَا بُدَّ مِنْ الْجَمْعِ بَيْنَ الْإِضَافَتَيْنِ: أَنْتِ حَرَامٌ عَلَيَّ أَنَا حَرَامٌ عَلَيْك أَنْتِ بَائِنٌ مِنِّي أَنَا بَائِنٌ مِنْك (قَوْلُهُ بِلَا نِيَّةٍ) فِي حَالِ الْغَضَبِ وَغَيْرِهِ تَتَارْخَانِيَّةٌ – رد المحتار

(قَالَ لِامْرَأَتِهِ: أَنْتِ عَلَيَّ حَرَامٌ) وَنَحْوَ ذَلِكَ كَأَنْتِ مَعِي فِي الْحَرَامِ (إيلَاءٌ إنْ نَوَى التَّحْرِيمَ، أَوْ لَمْ يَنْوِ شَيْئًا، وَظِهَارٌ إنْ نَوَاهُ، وَهَدَرٌ إنْ نَوَى الْكَذِبَ) وَذَا دِيَانَةً، وَأَمَّا قَضَاءً فَإِيلَاءٌ قُهُسْتَانِيٌّ (وَتَطْلِيقَةٌ بَائِنَةٌ) إنْ نَوَى الطَّلَاقَ وَثَلَاثٌ إنْ نَوَاهَا وَيُفْتَى بِأَنَّهُ طَلَاقٌ بَائِنٌ – رد المحتار

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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