Muslim Matrimonials and More's Ask Bilqis


Monday, September 11, 2000


Dear Sister Bilqis,

Assalamu alaykum,

I need to find something out. I have a younger sister who is married. Her husband is always troubling her both mentally and physically.

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 about divorce:

"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.

-Bilqis Muslim Matrimonials