Did I Divorced My Wife by Uttering the Word Talaq?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

A person has had an argument with his wife. He then sits alone imagining in his head a scenario where he tells her “talaq” (divorce) as response to her bad behaviour. He has no intention whatsoever of giving her a talaq in reality, but merely fantasises. Whilst fantasising that he says “talaq” he – without any intention at all to do so – also says accidently says talaq verbally. He is now scared after having heard himself utter the word “talaq” that the talaq has really taken place, although he never had any intention at all of giving it in reality. Has the talaq taken place?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

If a man verbally utters a divorce (talaq) and directs it towards his wife, it would count as a divorce, even if he did so accidentally.

To actually determine whether the word “talaq,” here, affects the number of divorces the person in question has remaining, he needs to clarify what exactly the reason for his utterance was. Otherwise, the basis would be that he has two counts remaining.

[Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]

Please also see this answer.

And Allah Most High knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.