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Talāq out of Anger


All praise be to Allah and may blessings and salutation be upon His Messenger, Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
The question that has been asked is extremely common, and constantly raised by both Muslim men and women. Essentially, the question relates to the utterance of divorce in anger, and the differences that arise between spouses as to their interpretations of events.
There are two important legal rulings (pertaining to the utterance of divorce in anger) that are agreed upon by all jurists:
1. If a person utters the divorce in a fit of rage or fury whereby he may be technically considered temporarily insane, then such an utterance is not to count as a valid divorce.
2. If a person utters the divorce in a state of anger fully aware of what he is doing as well as the subsequent consequences then such a divorce is valid, and if the utterance is a third divorce, then there is no recourse to reconciliation and the couple are deemed unlawful to each other. Any intimacy after that is considered to be an illegal sexual relation and might be considered zina (adultery).
To claim that a divorce said out of anger is invalid is both baseless and irrational, since there is no legal text that claims that mere anger acts as a valid impediment, nor do people generally utter the divorce in a state of jubilation – divorces are nearly always uttered out of annoyance and anger.
In general, couples should contact a scholar who is known to be trustworthy and knowledgeable in these matters who will analyse each case separately. Individuals should not apply general rulings related to ṭalāq on themselves due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Another often recurring scenario is that men are incited by their wives to utter the divorce, usually during a heated row. We learn from divine revelation that Allah says,
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.”[1]
Thus men must learn to act with decorum and assertiveness, and not be goaded into doing or saying things they do not mean. In their role as protectors, they must take additional steps (and more so than women) to ensure that the rights of their women and children are maintained and that life decisions which impact on those beyond the partners are not made merely by foolish utterances.
Similarly, anger (besides that which is felt for the sake of Allah) is a spiritual illness that easily consumes the individual and leads him to become a play thing of the devil.Many people assume that anger is a sign of manhood or strength, but in actual fact it is a severe weakness that allows shaytan to overcome him. A case in point is men who use divorce as intimidation pronouncing it out of a misplaced sense of supremacy, but then weep at the prospect of having to separate from their wives and may have to give up the general custody of their children. Such points are often overlooked by the male ego, and in quelling it, the Prophet (peace be upon him), as narrated by Abu Hurairah, said,
“The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong one is the one who controls himself whilst in a state of anger.”[2]
Abu Hurairah also reported that a man sought advice from the Prophet, to which he replied,
“Do not become angry.” The man repeated his request several times to which the Prophet said in each case, “Do not become angry.”[3]
Anger is the opposite of patience, with patience being a key characteristic of the God-conscious, pious, and righteous. Allah repeatedly states in the Qur’an that “verily Allah is with those of patience,” which implies that those who forsake patience also forsake the divine benefits that accompany it. Allah says,
“Those who spend (in Allahs Cause – deeds of charity, alms, etc.) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the righteous).”[4]
Muslim men should understand the role that Allah has given them, and act maturely with it. Allah ordains men to live honourably with women, for “if you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good.”[5] As with all beings women are also weak, and so it is in the interest of men to rise as leaders in overlooking the faults of their wives and advise them with a cool mind and a reasoned tongue. Allah says,
“O you who believe! Verily, among your wives and your children there are enemies for you (i.e. may stop you from the obedience to Allah), therefore beware of them! But if you pardon (them) and overlook, and forgive (their faults), then verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”[6]
Undoubtedly there will be times when arguments become heated and spouses become irritated, but why must divorce be the only end to an argument or frustrating situation? Allah says that “if you fear a breach between them twain (the man and his wife), appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from hers; if they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation. Indeed Allah is Ever All Knower, Well Acquainted with all things.”[7]
All of these are in effect checks and balances to ensure that if the couple do separate, they do so for the correct reasons and not over imprudent opinion.
The main reason as to the rise in queries relating to divorce uttered in anger ultimately lies in the absence of Islamic authority amongst Muslims in the UK and other western countries. Furthermore, many imams and ‘scholars’ lack the required shar’ii (legal) knowledge and expertise to deal with such problems in a diverse society and under complicated circumstances. Many imams, with good intentions, want to help couples stuck in sticky situations and so issue lenient fatwas. They fail to realise that matters related to ṭalāq are incredibly sensitive and delicate. The existence of various madhabs (legal schools of thought) that are adhered to by western Muslims also adds to the complexity of the situation.
In most cases, the matter is not as simple as merely requiring a standard fatwa from an imam, rather it is a matter of judgment carried out by a qualified scholar who is trusted and accepted as legitimate by both spouses. The spouses should be required to sit with the scholar and detail their cases in order to receive a verdict that should be binding on both of them – preferably by prior written agreement.
Once a wife believes that she has been divorced three times, she is not allowed to stay with her ex-husband. Allah says in the Qur’an,
‘The divorce is twice, after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness. And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of your dowry which you have given them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah. Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back (the dowry) for her Al-Khul (divorce). These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allah, then such are the Zalimoon (wrong-doers, etc.). And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she has married another husband. Then, if the other husband divorces her, it is no sin on both of them that they reunite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. These are the limits of Allah, which He makes plain for the people who have knowledge.’[8]
If the husband claims that one or more of the divorces are invalid, the matter does not end there. As a sane and intellectual being, the woman herself must be convinced that this is the case and it is between herself and her Lord as to whether she truly accepts this or not; she is obliged not to return to her partner if she believes the three divorces to be valid. For both parties concerned, the best solution both rationally and spiritually is for the spouses to apply the same scenario mentioned earlier – that is to receive a sound ruling carried out by a qualified scholar who is trusted and accepted as legitimate by both spouses.
And Allah knows best.

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[1] 4:34
[2] Sahih al-Bukhari
[3] ibid
[4] 3:134
[5] 4:19
[6] 64:14
[8] 2:229-230

About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Council of Europe. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Council of Europe as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.


  1. Muhammad Bello

    A man divorced his wife while he was in anger. After, he denied that he didn’t divorced her, he even swore to Allah.
    The main problem, us that here divorced her twice before. And now he utters one again making three.
    Please, can the wife still be in his house, and is there living haram or halak?
    I needs an urgent answer pls!

  2. My husband is a bp patient ! His anger is almost insane ! He said I divorce you one time during an argument and lter said he had no intention and said it out of control ! Does it count as one talak??

  3. Muhammad Tahir Khan

    Asalam o Alaikum

    Me and my wife were having arguments, I was in intense condition of anger and I uttered as “ I divorce you “ two times , please provide guidance whether divorce has taken place or not , because my wife says that divorce is happened ,however I heard that it happens when man utters three times .

    Awaiting for your assistance

    Kazakh Allah Alkhair

  4. Assalam o likum,
    I have a question regarding divorce. Could you please send me an email I can contact a reliable scholar.

    Jazak Allah

  5. Assalamuwalaikum, please give me a suggestion I need your help. I said my wife Talaq 3 times at the same time in anger when we are arguing . Now I realise I did the mistake . Please let me know what should I do ? Please can you give me the contact number of trusted scholars so I can take advice from them.

    • More then 20 time said during extream angred with my wife because she refuseing for not intercourse since 2008. Do this talaq is rightway effective and apply on us. After this happened 2nd day we both realize that was bad as we did and we have intercourse twice two days .on 3rd days she again said this talaq is effective and we are not any more as wife and husband. (2)before this in 2010 I was thread her if you refused for intercourse I will divorce you but right after in one hour she intercourse with me .once again she repeated to refused I was extremely angred with her because repeated all time every moments whenever I asked or need sex with her and she refused. I said because of this I divorcedon’t you one time then next within two days she intercourse ..we married 24 years ago
      Now I need help .is this divorced /talaq effective right now or we have any chance to live in to gather .need help from secalur in situations .my all kids under 8 yrs to 16yrs old .waiting .or send me any email addresses to get reply please.

  6. I have my friend who get married with someone under pressure of his parents.but they don’t have any kind of relationship between them since 2 year is there marriage remain or talaq will happened without saying any word of talaq plss suggest me

  7. need help me and my husband were arguing and in anger my husband said i give you divorce 3 times in a row and after a second or a minute he repeated it again 3 times but if a man later doesnt mean to say that and women also denies talaq what is right in islam if you could please let me know so i know email me and if you could give me a trustable scholars number so i could speak to him direct thank you

  8. Need help if someone could email me a trusted scholars number so i could speak 2 him direct thank you.

  9. Need help me and my husband had a argument in anger he said i give you talaq 3 times and after 1 second or 1 minute he repeated it 3 times again and later said he didnt mean it in bottom of his heart he said i said it in anger and i also denied the talaq straight away what is right in islam if you could email me so i know what is right and email me a contact number for a trusted scholars so i could speak to him direct thank you.

    • Ayesha Kapadia

      alam o Alaikum,

      > A man is a high blood pressure patient and due to travelling has not slept 
      > well for two days. He is also fasting and has not taken his blood pressure
      medicine. Due to this situation is blood pressure is already quite high.
      Towards the end of the fast, the wife makes a harsh comment due to a petty
      kids issue. The comment gives the man a blood pressure surge in which he
      says divorce to his wife. For few minutes the man remains in a shocked state
      and only after few minutes of calming is able to realize what he has said.
      He takes an oath that he had no intention to divorce his wife and was not in
      his senses when he said that. Does this divorce counts? 

      What is the procedure of taking oath?does he need to bring witnesses or to bring the medical record?what a wife should do if nobody supporting her incase talaaq is established?
      …kindly let me know if in general we respect all 4 madhabs can we seek the answer frm any of it..which can guide towards reconciliation.
      Jazakallahu bil khair

  10. Me and my husband was having argument and it got so bad than in anger my husband said in bengali 123 talaq. Could you pleas tell me if that is valid or not. He later said he didnt say it and he said it in anger. He was so angry he was yelling and shouting. Please can u help me to understan where my marridge stands.

  11. about talak need help
    my husband gave me 3 time talak. and now he sayed to me that .that time he was not awear. but i cant trust on would he can say 3 time talak if he was not fully question is that if he was not fully aware how would he say 3 times talaq. even after that he syed to me here you 3 talaq..but i cant trust on him.he is making excuse.but i am afread from allha that may be our nikha is batel now. and we are living like haram. please help me. i am afread.

    now he is saying to me that that time my sativation was like point number one
    1. If a person utters the divorce in a fit of rage or fury whereby he may be technically considered temporarily insane, then such an utterance is not to count as a valid divorce.
    now he is comparing himself with this point. to make them self satisfied. but allah’s rules are hard.

  12. about talak need help
    my husband gave me 3 time talak. he compare his satiation with point number ..1.but i am afraid that may be our nekha is now batel.

    .1.If a person utters the divorce in a fit of rage or fury whereby he may be technically considered temporarily insane, then such an utterance is not to

  13. Dr.
    The ruling of the Caliph Umar (Radi Allahu an)was issued at a time when the community knew that to utter the divorce three times was forbidden. Hence the Prophet’s (SAW) ruling: “a divorce uttered three times counts as one.” Men would utter the proclamation three times as an insult to their wives. That is to show how much they reviled them but at the same time knowing that the divorce counted as only one. The Caliph’s ruling was meant as a deterrent and as a punishment for a prohibited act that was cruel to women. This was indeed very effective at the time. However, in this day and age where ignorance is the norm and many men think that to utter a divorce three times is the actual prescribed way, this ruling makes no contextual sense. To follow the old ijmaa’ would go against the principles of Maslahah and often creates a grave injustice for women who often have no protection other than their husband. True, knowledge is a requirement upon us as individuals, but it is also the duty of the Ulama’ to educate their communities. This is difficult if the Ulama’ themselves are themselves ignorant, or follow blindly past rulings where the original context for such is absent.

  14. Imam
    Three Talaq is Three, if one utter it at once or separate,there is a consensus(Ijmaa) of all the four Madhahib (Hanbali,Shafiei,Maliki,Hanfi)
    although that is not a shari way of giving Talaq but still the talaq is valid
    please don,t comment on issues about which you don,t know enough, specially the sensitive matters like Talaq. Let the scholars do their job. it is not necessary for every one to comment on every thing. Shaikh Haitham has xplained the matter very well, May Allah swt giv him jazai khair.

  15. any contact details of these knowledgeable people
    Does the author know of any contact details for qualifiied scholars who would be able to help women in this situation… I only know of my local Imam, but he’s not really very helpful. And I don’t know how to contact such a person.

    How can one find and speak to a scholar?

  16. Talaaq e thalatha..
    Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah, The lady who was asking the question must be getting more confused on such kind of reply from Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad. In the Quran Allah says,” Attalaqo marratain…” means Talaq is twice, its clear that if a man speaks many times the word talaq in the same sitting and same mental status, it would be count as ONE. Then if he after some time or after some days, speaks the word talaq to his wife then two talaqs have been given but still he can do rujoo to his wife before three months(three Tuhr) and he can do new Nikah with new Mehar with his same wife if three months have been passed to these two talaqs.. In this case, the lady is clearly saying that she knew One talaq was given when her husband was not in anger, so its clear that she has received one talaq, and Allah knows the best Who is Aaleem ul Khabeer.


    The author of this article has said it all with uja from the Quran and the Hadiths. However i remember reading one the Fiqh books where i read about the tradition that during the time of the Prophet (saw) the pronouncement of talaq three times in one sitting was considered as one pronouncement. It was however during the caliph of U mar (RDAAN), when talaq pronouncement were being made indiscriminately that three pronouncement at on sitting was legislated to check the abuse. Allah knows best. I think we should further check this out. Masalam.

  18. Talak
    My friend’s husband, a wife beater, abuser of his wife and children, very bad tempered man, announced talak more than 10 times, each on seperate occasions. When the family seek advice from an Imam, he claimed to have announced them out of anger and did not mean them. The said Imam advised them to continoue living together again as the talak was not valid in that situation. Please comment.

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