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OCD and Thoughts of Divorce

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt


I have OCD and keep getting doubts regarding ambiguous divorce. I have never said the ‘divorce’ word to my wife but lately my overthinking has gotten worse and the ‘divorce’ word is always in my mind. I have never uttered it. Rather, I have said to my wife, “Leave me alone”, “Do not talk to me”, “Leave our daughter alone”, “My heart is dead on you”.

What happens is when I say these words, I do not think beforehand. As soon as I say these words, the “divorce” word comes in mind and it makes me think about my intention. My mind makes me think that my marriage is at stake. Please help me, is my marriage in tact? I never have intentionally thought of leaving my wife and I do not want to.


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

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

Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for contacting Mathabah Institute.

I pray the Almighty bring relief and cure for you in your situation.

From what you have described, there is no divorce established by your statements. The statements can only be considered divorce pronouncements if you intend on them meaning divorce at the time you articulated them. The thoughts and doubts that come afterwards do not constitute divorce. – (See: Rad-Al-Muḥtār, Page 528, Volume 4, Dār Al-Ālam Al-Kutub[1], Al-Fatāwā Al-Hindīyyah, Page 412, Volume 1, Dār Al-Kutub Al-‘Ilmīyyah[2])

“‘Abd Allāh Ibn Yazīd bin Rukānah narrated from his father, from his grandfather (may Allāh be pleased with them) who said, “O Messenger of Allāh! I irrevocably divorced my wife.” So he asked, “What did you intend by that?” I replied, “One (divorce pronouncement).” He then questioned, “[Do you swear] By Allāh?” I stated, “[Yes] By Allāh.” He clarified, “Then it is as you intended.”” – (Tirmidhī 1177)[3]

Only Allāh knows best.

[1] الْكِنَايَاتُ (لَا تَطْلُقُ بِهَا قَضَاءً (إلَّا بِنِيَّةٍ أَوْ دَلَالَةِ الْحَالِ) وَهِيَ حَالَةُ مُذَاكَرَةِ الطَّلَاقِ أَوْ الْغَضَبِ – رد المحتار كتاب الطلاق

[2] وَلَوْ قَالَ لَمْ يَبْقَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَك شَيْءٌ وَنَوَى بِهِ الطَّلَاقَ لَا يَقَعُ وَفِي الْفَتَاوَى لَمْ يَبْقَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَك عَمَلٌ وَنَوَى يَقَعُ – الفتاوى الهندية 

[3] عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ بْنِ رُكَانَةَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ جَدِّهِ قَالَ أَتَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنِّي طَلَّقْتُ امْرَأَتِي الْبَتَّةَ‏ فَقَالَ ‏‏ مَا أَرَدْتَ بِهَا‏‏ قُلْتُ وَاحِدَةً ‏قَالَ وَاللَّهِ‏  قُلْتُ وَاللَّهِ ‏‏ قَالَ‏‏ فَهُوَ مَا أَرَدْتَ – الترمذي

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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