Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My husband said the following to me on three separate occasions without explicitly saying, “I divorce you.”
1) We argued while I was pregnant, and he said I could take my child and go away after the child was born.
2) Another time, he told me that if I did a certain thing, which I did, I can consider myself divorced. It is a very silly thing that is not haram nor wrong.
3) Another time, I told him that I wanted a divorce, and he said, “That’s okay; I also think this is not working.” No witness was present. Do any or all of these constitute a valid divorce?
I am sad to hear of your situation with small children, and I pray that this can be resolved. May Allah strengthen your bond and help you both to see why you share a life together.
Please see this link to understand what constitutes a divorce: Do These Sentences Uttered by My Husband Count as a Divorce? (Shafi’i) The words that affect a divorce may be plain or allusive. Plain words affect the divorce whether one intends divorce by them or not, while allusive words do not affect it unless one intends divorce by them. [The Reliance of the Traveller, p. 559]
- The first instance would only constitute a divorce if he intended divorce by the statement. You will have to ask him what he intended.
- It is permissible to make the efficacy of a divorce conditional. If the husband makes the divorce conditional on something, and the event occurs, then the wife is divorced. If he says, “If your monthly period begins, you are divorced,” then she is divorced when her menstrual flow appears. [The Reliance of the Traveller, p. 561]
In the second instance, if your husband uttered a conditional divorce, it is effective as soon as that occurred. The nature of the action, whether haram or disliked (makruh), is of no consequence.
- In the third instance, his response to your request, saying, “OK,” does not constitute a divorce. He was simply acknowledging your request and not effecting a divorce. No witness is ever needed to effect a divorce.
In conclusion, you have either one or two divorces between you. Please consult your husband and reliable local scholars in your area.
Also, consider taking a course on marriage on Seekers because it seems to me that you and your husband are in dire need of learning about the seriousness of marriage and its rights and responsibilities. Keys to Successful Muslim Marriages: Practical lessons that explain the Prophetic Spirit of Marriage
May Allah give you both the best in this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.