Does Three Talaqs Count as One?

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Carr


My husband uttered the word “talaq” three times in a fit of anger 18 years ago. We recently consulted with two imams who clarified that this utterance should be considered a single instance of “talaq.”

Upon delving deeper into the subject and seeking knowledge, it has become apparent that this constitutes a valid divorce. In the interim, we have welcomed two children into our lives.


May Allah bless you with increased beneficial knowledge. Your concern about the validity of the utterance of talaq is valid, and it’s commendable that you are seeking clarity on this matter.

Rest assured, the two imams are correct; you should consider the utterance a single instance of talaq.

Scholarly Differences and the Easiest View 

In understanding the perspectives of the two imams, it’s essential to recognize that scholarly differences are, as Ibn Qudama beautifully puts it, “an expansive mercy.” [Ibn Qudama, Mughni]

The viewpoint consolidates three talaqs into one and exemplifies the mercy inherent in these differences. This perspective offers a more lenient approach, emphasizing the importance of facilitating ease for individuals facing such situations.

Moreover, it is essential to note that the laity is generally guided by the easiest views, especially in retrospect. Apart from the viewpoint mentioned above, scholars like Alli b Hasan al-‘Attas do not count a divorce given in anger. [al-Shatari, Sharh Yaqut al-Nafis]

I appreciate your diligence in seeking knowledge and understanding on this subject. May your efforts be rewarded, and may Allah guide us all on the path of wisdom and compassion.

[Shaykh] Muhammad Carr
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Muhammad Carr has dedicated his life to studying and transmitting our beautiful deen. His studies have taken him around the globe, where he has benefitted from many luminaries. Under the guidance of his teachers – Shaykh Taha Karan, Shaykh Yaseen Abbas, Shaykh Muadh Ali and many others – Shaykh Muhammad has grown to appreciate the beauty and benefits of diverse scholarship. He completed his memorization of the Qur’an at Dar al-Ulum Zakariyyah in September 1997 and received an Alimiyya Degree in 2006 from DUAI (Darul Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah). He is also affiliated with Masjid Auwal in Bo Kaap, Cape Town (the oldest mosque in South Africa), where he serves as a co-imam, and Dar Al-Safa, where he has taught since 2018. As a teacher, he imparts the wisdom of our heritage and tradition by opening the door for students. As an imam, he has the unique opportunity to serve his community in daily life. 

In addition to his roles as a teacher and imam, Shaykh Muhammad Carr has contributed significantly to the administrative and advisory aspects of Islamic institutions. Since 2023, he has served as the Administrative Director at The Imam Kurani Institute, contributing to the institution’s growth and development. He continues to pursue traditional Islamic Sciences, possessing a keen interest in Islamic Contract Law and Finance. Shaykh Muhammad has been a Shari’ah Board Member for Islamic Asset Management & Insurance Companies since 2001, aligning financial practices with Islamic principles.