There were some recent problems between my wife and I. Due to a physical threat from one of her family members, I was forced to divorce her. I love her greatly and I did not intend to divorce her. I was under duress and direct physical threat. Is the divorce valid?
The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) said, “An action done under duress is forgiven from my community.”
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) says, “Whoever disbelieves in Allah after his belief, except for one who is forced [to renounce his religion] while his heart is secure in faith. But those who [willingly] open their breasts to disbelief, upon them is wrath from Allah, and for them is a great punishment” (Qur’an, 16:106).
Some scholars used this verse and the hadith above to prove that a divorce under duress is not acceptable. This was the opinion of ‘Ata who said, “Associating partners with God is worse than divorce.” Al-Shaf`i said, “Allah overlooks the action of disbelief if done under duress, removing the rulings associated with it. This means that an act less severe than disbelief would also be overlooked because if the greater sin is forgiven, the lesser one is by default.”
If the case is as you mentioned above, then there was no Islamic divorce.
Allah knows best.