Monday, September 11, 2000
Dear Sister Bilqis,
I need to find something out. I have a younger sister who
is married. Her husband is always troubling her both mentally
Recently they had an argument, and he said the divorce word
three times out of anger. He has also said similar things before.
Now we are worried that this could be serious, in other words
that the marriage may not be valid.
Can you give me some feedback?
- Concerned brother
Dear "Concerned Brother,"
The situation you have described in
your letter seems to be a serious one. Not only is your sister
suffering a seemingly unhappy marriage but also seems subject
to some bad circumstances from the point of Islamic law. In my
years as Muslim on the rare occasion that something like this
has happened, i.e. the husband pronounced talaq (divorce) three
times at once, the couple were considered as "divorced"
when this information was told to their Imam.
It is very important that you, if you
are addressing this situation on your sister's behalf, find a
reputable Muslim who is knowlegdeable of Islamic law on matters
of divorce. Marriage is very serious and should be treated as
such. The Prophet (peace be upon him) spoke against mistreatment
of wives. Verbal and/or physical abuse is not proper conduct
for a Muslim husband. It seems your sister has been suffering
such abuses making this a marriage that needs serious scrutiny.
If this man has pronounced three talaqs at one time, her problems
may be resolved.
In THE BOOK OF DIVORCE (Kitab Al-Talaq),
Book 9 of the translation of Sahih Muslim, the following is said
"Divorce is of three kinds: the
Ahsan, or most laudable, the Hasan, or laudable, and Bid'a or
irregular. Talaq Bid'a or irregular divorce occurs when a husband
repudiates his wife by three divorces at once. According to the
majority of jurists, the Talaq holds good, but it is against
the spirit of the Shari'ah, and, therefore, the man who follows
this course in divorce is an offender in the eye of Islamic Law."
So as you see, they may well be divorced.
However, as I am not a scholar in such matters, it is imperative
that the couple as well as you and your family (for your sister's
protection) speak with an objective and scholarly third party
who can give the correct answer on this very serious matter.
May Allah (swt) be your Guide and Protector
during and throughout this trying time.