Divorce given in anger

Translated by:

The divorce given in anger or in the state of anger occurs according to the jumhur (majority). One opinion of the hanabila is that the divorce given in anger does not occur. It is worth noting here that the opinion which was just mentioned is not reported from the earlier hanabila (illa ma ashara ilayhi Abu Dawud) rather it is reported from the later hanabila.

قال العلامة العيني رحمه الله في عمدة القاري شرح صحيح البخاري (ج 20 ص 251) اما حكم الطلاق في الغضب فإنه يقع، وفي رواية الحنابلة أنه لا يقع. قال الحافظ ابن حجرعسقلاني رحمه الله في فتح الباري (ج 9 ص 301) و هو مروي عن بعض متأخري الحنابلة، و لم يوجد عن أحد من متقدميهم إلا ماأشار إليه أبو داود.

In one narration, the prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “لا طلاق و لا عتاق في اغلاق” In some manuscripts the word ghalaq comes instead of ighlaq. Imam Abu Dawud (may Allah have mercy upon him) explains that the word ghalaq or ighlaq in this narration may means anger1. So the overall the meaning will be that ‘the divorce and manumission given in the state of anger will not occur’. Some later hanabila have taken the meaning of Imam Abu Dawud (may Allah have mercy upon him) and used it as a basis for their position. However, many ahl ilm (experts) have rejected this meaning by stating that people normally divorce their wives in the state of anger. If divorce did not occur in the state of anger every person would claim, ‘I was angry when I gave divorce so my divorce should not count’.

قال الحافظ في الفتح (ج 9 ص 301) و رد الفارسي في "مجمع الغرائب" علي من قال الاغلاق الغضب و غلطه في ذلك، وقال إن طلاق الناس غالبا انماهو في حال الفضب ... و قال ابن المرابط و لوجاز عدم وقوع طلاق الغضبان، لكان كل أحد أن يقول فيما جناه كنت غضبان اهـ قال العلامة عيني في عمدة القاري (ج 20 ص 250) بمنل كلام الحافظ. و قال العلامة القسطلاني في ارشاد الساري (ج 12 ص 33)، (الطلاق في الاغلاق) ... وقيل العمل في الغضب. و تمسك بهذا التفسير بعض متأخري الحنابلة القائلين بان الطلاق في الغضب لا يقع، و لم يوجد عن احد من متقدميهم، لكن رد هذا التفسير المطرزي و الفارسي بأن طلاق الناس غالبا انما هو في حال الغضب. و لو جاز عدم و قوع طلاق الغضبان، لكان كل أحد أن يقول كنت غضبان فلا يقع عليّ الطلاق. كتب حضرت مولانا خليل أحمد السهارنبوري قدس سره في بذل المجهود (ج 12 ص 33) و رده ابن السيد فقال لو كان كذلك لم يقع علي أحد طلاق لان أحدا لا يطلق حتي يغضب

Imam Bukhari (may Allah have mercy upon him), in his Jami, has included a heading which contains “talaq fi al-ighlaq”. The two great exponents of Sahih Bukhari, Hafid Ibn Hajar and Allamah Ayni (may Allah have mercy upon them both) declare that through the inclusion of this, Imam Bukhari wants to object to those who hold that divorce in the state of anger does not occur2.

Here one should remember that although an opinion of some later hanabila is stated, this is not the mazhab (stance) of the hanabila. Rather, it is mentioned in the furu’ of the hanabila that divorce will occur even if given in the state of anger with kinayah (ambiguous) wordings. As such according to them divorce given in the state of anger with sarih (clear) wording should definitely occur3.

It is stated in al-Insaf fi Ma’rifat al-Rajih min al-Khilaf ‘ala Mazhab al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal,4

    قوله (الا ان ياتي به في حال الخصومة و الغضب فعلي روايتين)... احدا هما يقع وان لم يأت بالنية و هو المذهب

The divorce given in the state anger will occur. Another evidence for this is that the fuqaha use anger as a criteria to determine divorce when ambiguous wording are used. This clearly indicates that divorce in the state of anger is valid.

The point being, the four imams (may Allah have mercy upon them) and those who adhere to them are unanimous that the divorce given in the state of anger occurs.

Different states of anger

Allm. Ibn Abidin Shami (may Allah have mercy upon him) referencing Allm. Ibn Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) has stated three states of anger and thereafter mentioned their respective rulings. These are mentioned below.

قال العلامة ابن عابدين في رد المحتار (ج 2 ص 587) أحدها أن يحصل له مبادي الغضب بحيث لايتغير عقله و يعلمما يقول و يقصده و هذا لا اشكال فيه و الثاني أن يبلغ النهاية فلا يعلممايقول و لا يريدهفهذا لا ريبانه لاينفذ شيء من اقواله و الثالث من توسط بين المرتبتين بحيث لم يصر كالمجنون فهذا محل النظر. و الأدلة تدل علي عدم نفوذ اقواله اهـ ملخصا من شرح الحنبلية لكن اشار في الغاية الي مخالفته في الثالث حيث قال و يقع الطلاق من غضب خلافا لابن القيم اهـ و هذا الموافق عندنا

The first state of anger is that due to it there no deficiency in the intellect. As in [they do not know] what they are saying or what they are doing rather they are aware. [In that case] there is doubt that divorce has occurred.5 Generally, anger is of this type.6

The Mufti (emeritus) of Darul Uloom Deoband and the Grand Mufti of India Hadrat Mufti Mahmud al-Hasan Sahib Gangohi (may Allah almighty brighten his position) write an answer to a query,

    Divorce is generally given in anger and rarely is it given in pleasure. When a man in anger says something the effect of which is bad, he understands and starts apologising. [He says] that I was not in control and lost my balance so on so forth. Rather the case is not such. Their intellect is depleted such that they are unaware of what is the meaning of the words (divorce) that they are saying. [It is not such] that they cannot differentiate between the sky and the ground. They are not in a state that they be declared mad and sent to the mental ward. Rather he is aware that the divorce will hurt the wife and the relationship will end. Similar to when one is unhappy with someone other than the wife, they choose words which will be very hurtful and due to it cut ties. Hence, in the queried case talaq mughallaza will occur.7

The point being, generally the anger is such that it does not diminish the intellect, the intellect does not go and the person is aware of he is doing. In this first case divorce occurs.

The second state of anger is that due to it one becomes insane or senseless such that he is unable to differentiate between the sky and the ground and is oblivious to his statements and actions. In that case divorce will not occur for definite.8

The third state in between the two mentioned states. There is uncertainty in its ruling. The verdict of divorce is given with a reference from Ghayah.9

In this third case, the divorce occurring is the mukhtar (preferred) view as caution is called for in matter prohibiting intercourse so it does not lead to haram being declared halal.

Here it is also worth noting in regards to divorce not occurring as per the second state of anger in which one is in an insane state. Its clarification and detail is that divorce will not occur if his mental illness (insanity) is well known to the people from before and he takes an oath that at the time of the divorce he was in that state of insanity. If his illness is not known to the people, there are two cases. The first case is that if two reliable men or one reliable man and two reliable women give testimony that he was insane at the time of divorce. [In that case] the divorce will not occur. In the second case is that his illness of insanity is not known to the people or there is no one to testify in accordance to the requirement of shariah that he was insane at the time of divorce. [In that case] the divorce will occur.

قل ابن عابدين رحمه الله عن الخيرية تحت قول الدر (و في القاموس دهش) و سئل نظما فيمن طلق زوجته ثلاثا في مجلس القاضي و هو مغتاط مدهوش فاجاب نظما ايضا بان الدهش من اقسام الجنون فلا يقع. و اذا كان يعتاده بان عرف منه الدهش مرة يصدق لبلا برهان اهـ10. و قال في تنقيح الفتاوي الحامدية و القول قوله بيمينه ان عرف منه الدهش و ان لم يعرف منه لا يقبل قوله قضاء الا ببينة كما صرح بذلك العلماء الحنفيةرحمهم الله تعالي. 11

The position of the ulama of Deoband

If Dr Muzammil Siddiqi assumes that the ulama of Deoband are of the opinion that divorce does not occur in any cases of anger as is clear in his writing, that assumption is incorrect. The reason being the ulama of Deoband hold that divorce in the state of anger occurs (so long as it has not reached the level of insanity). View the fatwa of the first Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband, Hadrat Mawlana Mufti Aziz al-Rahman Usmani Sahib (may Allah have mercy upon him),

    Divorce given in the state of anger occurs. Rather it is clear that most divorces are given as result of anger. Furthermore, it is sufficient evidence that the fuqaha consider it an indicator of divorce occurring when it is given without intention with some ambiguous wording (kinayah) in the state of anger. In Shami, quoting Ghayat Hanbaliyyah,it is reported, “As opposed to Ibn Qayyim, divorce occurs from anger. This corresponds to our position."12

Other than the mentioned fatwa, there are ten fatwas of Hadrat Mufti [Aziz al-Rahman] relating to divorce in volume 9 of Fatawa Darul Uloom. In none of these is it stated that divorce generally does not occur in the state of anger. Rather, the answers were given in consideration of the above mention three states and its ruling.

A fatwa of the recently deceased mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband, Hadrat Mufti Mahmud Hasan Sahib Gangohi who was also the grand mufti of India is already stated above via fatawa Mahmudiyyah in regards to divorce given in anger. View another [one of his] fatwa,

    Divorce occurs in anger also. If divorce is given three times, it is in no way permissible to stay with the woman without a nikah after halalah. It is absolutely haram and a cause for disgrace in this world and the hereafter.

Other than these, Hadrat Mufti Mahmud Hasan Gangohi (may Allah have mercy upon him) has two other fatwas relating to divorce in anger which can be read in Fatawa Mahmudiyyah.13

Some people say that as people nowadays are away from the din and unaware. If they give divorce in the state of anger, disregarding that divorce will be better for the people. The answer to this is that this will be tantamount to correcting the din rather than the people. If the people are away from the din or lack knowledge, the endeavour should be to rectify them rather than seeing a need to modify the rules of the shariah.

Mufti Umar Faruq Lawharwi
Ghussah Mein Di Jane Wali Talaq ka Shar'i Hukm
In Fiqhi Jawahir. 1422. 3rd Ed. v. 1 p. 47-55
Kosamba, India; Jamia Abu Hurayrah.

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Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami (Translator)
3 Rabi I 1436
26 December 2014

  • 1. قال امام أبو داود في سننه (ج 1ص 298) الغلاق أظنه في الغضب
  • 2. قال في الفتح (ج 9 ص 301) و عمدة القاري (ج 20 ص 251) و اراد بذلك الرد علي من ذهب الي ان الطلاقفي الغضب لا يقع
  • 3. قال شيخ الحديث مولانا زكريا صاحب قدس سره قلت وذهب الحنابلة كما في فروعهم انالطلاق في حالة الغضب يقع بالكنايات ايضابدون النية فكيف بالصريح
  • 4. al-Insaf fi Ma’rifat al-Rajih min al-Khilaf ‘ala Mazhab al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal v. 8 p. 480
  • 5. Shami v. 2 p. 587
  • 6. al-Fiqh al-Islami wa Adillatuhu v. 9 p. 6883
  • 7. Fatawa Mahmudiyyah v. 10 p. 387
  • 8. Shami v. 2 p. 587
  • 9. Ibid
  • 10. Shami v. 2 p.463
  • 11. al-Uqud wa al-Dariyyah v. 1 p. 39
  • 12. Fatawa Darul Uloom v. 9 p. 49
  • 13. Fatawa Mahmudiyyah v. 8 p. 108 and v. 9 p.272-273
Cite: 

Lawharwi, Mft. Umar Faruq. (2014). Divorce given in anger. (Nawhami, Muhammad Saifur Rahman, Trans.). Islamic Studies Bulletin (DIBAJ), Number 3. Available at http://uloom.com/dibaj/article/141226501

Status: 
Peer reviewed