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Do These Sentences Uttered by My Husband Count as a Divorce? (Shafi’i)

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Do these sentences uttered by my husband count as a divorce?

“Maybe to Allah it’s 5 times divorce” when I told him we don’t know how many divorces have happened. He said he only mentioned and intended divorce once throughout our marriage.

“If you’re not happy, we should separate.”

“Why don’t we get a divorce, you marry someone else, and then we marry again.”

“Almost there, almost thinking of divorce.”

“If there is violence, we’d be over.”

“I’m done. divorce. You mentioned it twice today. I’m giving you what you wanted. I’m done.”

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question.

The issuing of divorce takes place with wording that is either clear and direct, such as, “I divorce you” or “you are divorced” or with wording that is allusive and indirect, such as, “go back to your parents” or “we are done”. The rule regarding these two different utterances of divorce is that the divorce occurs automatically in the first instance, while in the second instance (allusive and indirect), the divorce will only occur if the husband had an intention of divorce when pronouncing it.

Further, with an exception to the sixth example quoted in your question, all utterances of your husband were neither clear and direct or allusive and indirect. This means that, irrespective of your husband’s intention, none of them would be considered a valid divorce. The sixth example you quoted however, qualifies as an allusive divorce. Consequently, since your husband confirmed that he did intend divorce when he uttered these words, the divorce would be valid and you subsequently have entered ‘iddah or the waiting period.

What is essential for you to determine right now, is whether your waiting period has ended or not. The waiting period for a lady that menstruates is three clean cycles. If three clean cycles have passed, without having had conjugal relations with your “husband”, your waiting period would have ended and if you wish to continue your relationship with your partner, a new Nikah has to be performed. However, if such three clean cycles has not passed, you would still be in iddah and your husband has to take you back as his wife. He does so by pronouncing to you, “I take you back as my wife”.

Please write back to us if any further clarification is required. May Allah guide us all to that which is best for us in this world and the next.

And Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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