Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan answers questions about uncertainty concerning marriage and divorce.
Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa baraktuh.
I need help. Sometimes I feel very sad. My husband and I have argued many times throughout our marriage and sometimes I wonder if we are still husband and wife. He has even joked about a conditional divorce once. He said “If there is violence, we’re over.” At first he said he didn’t mean divorce but when I asked him again, he said Yes. He said that he said “Yes” so that I would listen and stop asking. Is that now a conditional divorce? Can you change the intention of a past sentence?
Please help me, I just want to move on with my life.
Thank you for writing to us.
- Arguing, no matter how excessive, does not constitute a divorce, unless a divorce is clearly pronounced.
- Your husband’s statement, “if theres violence, we’re over” will only be considered a conditional divorce if he intended divorce by his words, “we’re over,” as is the case with all figurative speech. In the case at hand, he consistently seems to be saying that he did not intend divorce, which effectively means that there would be no divorce even if violence was to occur.
- One may not change his intention that he had when pronouncing a particular formula or sentence. By way of example, if he intended divorce while uttering the above words, it remains as such and he cannot change the intention that he had at the time of uttering. Similarly, if he did not intend divorce, his intention cannot change subsequently.
- In short, you are not divorced from your husband, even if violence may have occurred after his utterance of the above statement. In addition, it would be advisable that you and your husband go for counseling and try and determine what is the root cause behind all quarreling and arguing within your marriage. Many a times, the solution is rather simple and can easily be identified by and experience counselor.
May Allah bless your marriage and remove all difficulties and challenges, Amin.
And Allah knows best,
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.