Book on Talaq
125- Talaq which complies with the Sunnah and ruling on uttering the divorce three times in one session or in case of anger
From `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz to the respected brother; may Allah grant you success! Amen.
As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you.)
Kindly be informed that I have read your letter which contains some questions. They are answered as follows:
Q 1: What is the prescribed way of Talaq (divorce pronounced by a husband) in the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah?
A: The prescribed way is that the husband declares the divorce one time when his wife is pregnant or in a state of purity and he has not engaged in any sexual relations with her. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says: O Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)! When you divorce women, divorce them at their ‘Iddah (prescribed periods)
It was reported in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) on the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) that the latter divorced his wife when she was menstruating. `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about his son’s action to which he replied: Command him to take her back, and keep her till she is purified, then has another period, then is purified. If he wishes he may keep her and if he wishes he may divorce her before having sexual intercourse, for that is the `Iddah (woman’s prescribed waiting period after divorce or widowhood) which Allah commanded for the divorce of a woman.
Another report narrated by Muslim from the Prophet (peace be upon him) reads: Then he can divorce her when she is pure (not menstruating) or pregnant.
Q 2: Is declaring Talaq three times in the same session regarded as one divorce or three divorces?
A: Three divorces uttered at the same time is only to be counted as one according to the soundest view of scholars. It was authentically reported in Sahih Muslim on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that the (pronouncement) of three divorces during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and that of Abu Bakr and for two years of the caliphate of `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) was deemed as one time of divorce. Then, `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “People hasten in a matter in which they are required to observe respite. So, it is recommended to impose it upon them,” and he imposed it upon them. It is evident that the divorce in this way is counted as a threefold divorce according to Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings) made by `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). Yet, it is better to follow the authentic Sunnah than following Ijtihad made by `Umar or others for the benefit of the Muslims. This is supported by the report narrated by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad through an authentic Sanad (chain of narrators) from Ibn `Abbas that Abu Rukanah made three pronouncements of divorce and later regretted. So, he went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) who returned his wife to him, and said: It is one divorce.
Q 3: In a state of rage, a husband said to his wife: “I divorce you thrice.” He later regretted and wants to take her back.What is the ruling on this act?
A: According to the most correct opinion of scholars, Talaq is not effected if it is declared – once or thrice – in a fit of anger. They have to prove the claim that the apparent state which caused divorce is true. On the other hand, when anger is so intense that a person is no longer aware of what he is doing or saying, the divorce is not effected according to Ijma` (consensus of scholars). In this case, he is like one who is insane and one who has lost all power of reason due to unintentional drunkenness. Uttering divorce in a state of intentional drunkenness does not become effective due to loss of reason. `Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) issued a Fatwa that supported this view and it was followed by a group of people of knowledge, because it was based on Shar`y (Islamically lawful) evidence.
We ask Allah to guide all Muslims to understanding the religion and holding fast to it, for He is the One Who is capable to do so. As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh
Chairman of the Departments of Scholarly Research, Ifta’, Da`wah and Guidance
Fatwas of Ibn Baz : > Volume 21 > Book on Talaq > Talaq which complies with the Sunnah and ruling on uttering the divorce three times in one session or in case of anger
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