Question Nbr: 1359

Question Date: 6/1/1997

Topic: Divorce: Anger

Assalamualaikum TOP URGENT Firstly, due to the nature of the case, I would appreciate it very much if I could receive a response from you at your earliest convenience. My question: A man pronounce the three talaq three times in one occassion during a misfit of very blind anger, confusion and under state of pressure. His brother who was never in good terms with this man and is divorced, has a liking for the wife, even before the this man and his wife were married. This man and his wife are so much in love and are very close toeach other. H/e, after making a few attempts to physically bother his sister-in-law, this man's brother resorted to so many ways to have this man and his wife to get into an argument and be separated. This man's wife has often told her husband about this harrassment from her brother-in-law. Being poor they cannot afford a home just yet and they were staying with his mother and this man's brother (the wife's brother-in-law) During the attempt to look for a house, one day this man's brother told this man that his wife has an affair with him. He repeated this to his mother and sister. In furiosity, this man had a fight with the brother. He questioned his wife who swear on God's name that she did no such thing.Being human and pride of a husband,the man could not help himself questioning his wife. They had various fights because her brother-in-law was always repeating this to everybody. This man years ago was involved in drug taking. He was sent to the rehabilitation centre twice before. They come from a poor family, he went into a deep depression soon after his father's death in 1978 and was getting medical care at a mental ward in a General Hosiptal. This man recovered from his depression. However, when this issue came up about his wife having an affair, he started consuming strong drugs like upjohn pills out of anger and also to forget his misery. Otherwise this man is a very nice, responsible, soft spoken, and well likened person. The girl's father also mentioned that he is a good man since he knows this man ever since this man was a child. Unfortunate circumstances after his father's death, lack of proper guidance (there are 14 children of them altogether), being poor, he was easily influenced into drug taking (which is a problem here in Singapore. One day in Oct 1993, during a midst of a big argument, this man's wife uttered saying that if her husband don't trust her anymore, he might just as well divorce her (not intending to be divorced). In that fit of anger, and under the influence of strong drugs which he took before the fight, he blindly uttered the three talaq (never intended in his mind, heart and soul to divorce his wife let alone by three talqs. The satans has gotten over him and took advantage of the situation. They are very much in love and he has rehabilitated from the drug taking. They have waited four years till now to have this problem solved. What is the verdict upon the Shafii Mahzab for a three talaq uttered when a man was in that state of mind, situation and unawareness? In the first place, a third party (the brother) had instigated and deliberately caused a rift between the husband and wife. Before he came into the picture, the couple never quarelled or fight. Can a man take an oath upon the Quran to justify that he had no intention of divorcing his wife at all or with three talaqs? They are sincere about being together again as they have waited four years patiently to be heard. Your immediate response is look forward to. Regards Faridah Marican

Dear Sr. Farida: As-salaamu alaykum. It is difficult to give a complete fatwa or  
opinion based on the information you gave us. We will try to do our best but it is  
always better in sensitive cases like this to ask the opinion of your local Imam who  
may ask for more details. Having said so, there are three situations and you should  
apply the one that was the closest to what actually happened: 
1-The husband divorced his wife three times while he was very furious and didn't even  
realise what he said. In this case, the marriage is still valid and he doesn't have  
to do a new marriage contract. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: 'La Talaq Fi Ighlaq'  
which means: 'No divorce is effective with a mind shut', and in that situation, the  
husband had a shut mind, which means, he was not reasoning and was extremely angry. 
2-The husband divorced his wife while under the influence of drugs: also in that  
case, which is separate from the first one, the marriage is still valid and no new  
contract is needed, because the general rule is that when a person is under the  
influence of a substance, such as alcohol, the utterance of a divorce isn't valid. 
3-He did divorce her three times in a row, without resting and thinking between one  
utterance of divorce and the other one, i.e., he said 'I divorce you' three  
times in a row and fast, although he may not have meant it. In this case, if the  
wife's Idda period has not passed yet, then he can go back to her without doing a new  
marriage contract. He can either tell her he wants her back, or get physically close  
to her, or make love to her, and this is enough to consider that they are back. The  
Idda period means that she has not had three consecutive menstrual cycles yet. If the  
Idda period was over before he took her back, then, a new marriage contract has to be  
done (unless he has divorced her twice before this time, in which case, he can no  
longer remarry her. But from what you describe, it doesn't look that he has done so  
before.) If case number three applies to him (whether she is still in her Idda period  
or not), in their long term record, one (not three) divorce is considered to have  
taken place. The only difference is that in one case, they need not do a marriage  
contract while in the other case, they need to do it. Please update us what will  
happen with this couple. Thank you for asking and God knows best.