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Divorce in the State of Mental Illness

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt


My father said that he did not understand what he was saying at the times that he said ‘ṭalāq’ to my mother. He was mentally ill at the time. Could you please confirm the validity of the divorce and provide us with the fatwā.


In the Name of Allāh, the Most Merciful, Most Kind

In the described situation, where the husband was not in sanity and articulated the divorce, it is not effective. The nikāḥ (marriage) is still intact.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has said, “There is no divorce and no freeing of slaves when it is done by force or in a state of intense anger.” – (Ibn Mājah 2046)[1]

The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said. “The Pen has been lifted from three people: the sleeping person until he awakens, the minor until he grows up, and from the insane person until he comes to his senses.” – (Ibn Mājah 2041)[2]

And Allāh Knows Best

[1] عَنْ عُبَيْدِ بْنِ أَبِي صَالِحٍ عَنْ صَفِيَّةَ بِنْتِ شَيْبَةَ، قَالَتْ حَدَّثَتْنِي عَائِشَةُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ لاَ طَلاَقَ وَلاَ عَتَاقَ فِي إِغْلاَقٍ – رواه ابن ماجة ٢٠٤٦  

[2] عَنْ عَائِشَةَ  أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ رُفِعَ الْقَلَمُ عَنْ ثَلاَثَةٍ عَنِ النَّائِمِ حَتَّى يَسْتَيْقِظَ وَعَنِ الصَّغِيرِ حَتَّى يَكْبَرَ وَعَنِ الْمَجْنُونِ حَتَّى يَعْقِلَ أَوْ يُفِيقَ‏ ‏ قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ فِي حَدِيثِهِ ‏ وَعَنِ الْمُبْتَلَى حَتَّى يَبْرَأَ – رواه ابن ماجة ٢٠٤١    ‏‏

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.