I have read and heard several different opinions on the validity of 3 pronunciations of divorce. The opinion seems to vary depending on the school of thought. Can you please tell me your perspective on this issue. I will have to give you our scenario for you to have full insight.
My husband has been recovering from a serious illness over the last year and a half and we have been married a little over a year. Side effects from his condition are depression and anxiety both of which he is treated with medication. He has been unable to work and has lived under much stress and duress because he was not able to provide for his family. He has also endured a difficult and emotionally draining custody battle with his ex-wife, which many times caused him to lash out at me verbally because his exwife and I are both American. Two times in a fit of anger where he became quite belligerent he told me we were divorced. When we first married it was not an islamic marriage (it was through the court), we wanted to get married through the mosque. We were married properly this Feb. Last week in a fit of rage he told me I was not his wife anymore. Are we still married? We are very confused. We love each other very much and would never want to divorce. Unfortunately, when my husband get extremely angry he cannot control his behavior. I am not talking about regular anger that most people feel. Anyway, I would like to get another opinion to be sure we are not doing anything wrong, although we feel right about being married to each other. I have read that some believe you must have a witness for the divorce to be recognized. I have also read that some believe the words must be said “I divorce you”. Lastly, I have also seen that divorce without intent but said in a rage that is like a crazy person does not qualify. Does that mean all of these times are invalid? Is our marriage acknowledged from last year or our islamic marraige in Feb? He realizes that he has to be careful how he uses these terms, but honestly he cannot control himself sometimes. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Firstly, it is my understanding that your marriage is recognised from last year. You did not have to go through the marriage procedure again having already done so. The only real requisites are that the couple consent to the contract and that they declare it in the society in order that it is a recognised relationship. This of course, does not mean that going through it again in a Mosque is wrong, just that it was unnecessary.
With regard to the issue of the declaration of divorce by your husband, you have explained that he has been under a lot of stress and depression and that due to this he would say things in a fit of rage though he never really meant any of it. Seeing as he did not mean it and keeping his condition in consideration, it is my view that the declaration is not recognised. The fact that you two feel the same only strengthens this view of mine, as I see it.
You have stated that your husband understands that he needs to be careful about how he uses such terms and this is important. Such are not play things. They should be taken very seriously. Unless a person really wants a divorce I see absolutely no reason why he should resort to using these words. I know of no illness which forces you to declare “I divorce you”. Your husband must try his best to resort to more appropriate ways in which to release his emotions. Letting his anger out on his poor wife — and a newly wedded one at that — is not a very smart thing to do at all. He is divorced from his previous wife, so he should move on. Let not the past hold you back and destroy you, rather think of the future. He should be grateful that he has found someone else whom he loves and that loves him, for not everyone has such good fortune.
Lastly, always keep up prayers and pray ever more when you are feeling down for it is the Almighty that is truly able to ease your burden and remove your hardships. May the Almighty be with the two of you, especially during trying times and may He bring lots of happiness and blessings upon you both in this world and the hereafter.
August 2, 2005