Could I Have Divorced My Wife Unwillingly?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

I told my wife about having to go to the office today and as she wasn’t listening properly so she said “ yes it’s better if you don’t go.” So I repeated angrily “I need to go.” As I have waswas around kinaya words I’m not sure what my intention was whether I meant kinaya as I was angry or it’s just waswas. It might be intended or it might be that waswas thought triggered an angry thought and my intention may have just been to tell her I’m going office. Is this kinaya?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

What you have said does not constitute a divorce.

There are two reasons for this:

  • The basis for incidental events is absence. [Majalla] Thus your doubts about your intention to divorce your wife behind this statement entail for us to deem that there was no intention at all in the first place. A metaphorical (kinaya) statement of divorce will not constitute a divorce without intention.  You are not divorced.  [Quduri, Mukhtassar]
  • The statement you have said, namely: “I need to go”, is not fit to indicate the meaning of divorce, even metaphorically. Thus, even if you had the intention to utter a divorce through this statement, a divorce would not have taken place. This is another reason for the fact that you are not divorced. [Maydani, Lubab]

Simply apply these two principles anytime you have such thoughts coming to your mind. Discard baseless misgivings (waswas).

Allah, Most High, says: “And if you are tempted by Satan, then seek refuge with Allah. Indeed, He ˹alone˺ is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” [Quran, 41:36]
And Allah knows best.
Wassalam

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found.

Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others.

He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.