Islamic Studies

Did I Divorce My Wife?

The Question:

Asalamu alaykum,

A few nights ago I got into a heated argument with my better half. During the course of the conversation she raised her voice, cursed me and said a large number of hurtful things. At the heat of the moment, I looked at my wife and said to myself, “I divorce you!” doing so with a clear intention. Let me clearly state that I said nothing to her at that time nor did I mention it latter. The next day cooler heads prevailed and I began to regret what I said. Then it occurred to me that I may have divorced her? Is that the case?

The Answer:

The Prophet [sa] said, “Allah has forgiven my nation for the inclinations in their souls which they do not verbalize or act on.” [Related by Muslim]

Based on the hadith above and your question the Malikis mention the legal axiom: “There is no divorce based on an intention unless it is spoken.” See Sharh al-Zarqani Vol. 4 Pg. 105.

Dr. Sadiq ‘Abdu al-Rahman al-Gharyani says, “Divorce does not occurred with an intention alone unless it is accompanied by words. There is no divorce based on one’s inner voice, nor does it take place due to the whisperings of the devil.” Mudawanah fi  al-Fiqh al-Maliki wa al-Dilatuhu vol. 2 pg. 677

Thus, your marriage is fine and there was no divorce.
Allah knows Best


About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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