Bipolar and Divorce

Fatwa ID: 02158

Answered by Ustaadha Bint Salih.  

Question:

I am a bipolar disorder type 1 patient (suffer from hallucinations and delusions in psychotic phase).

I have a question on talaq and therefore will put forward all facts in front of you so that you can guide me on this issue:

1. Last year during a psychotic episode in which I was suffering from hallucinations and delusions I used the talaq words more than 6 times with my wife. After this period during which I was put into a psychiatric centre for 3 months I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At the psychiatric centre when I gradually began to regain my senses I was asked by the other residents of the facility about my marital status and I told them I had divorced my wife.

My first question is whether talaq of a bipolar patient during psychotic episode is valid? Secondly did my telling other inmates that I had divorced my wife during a period when I was unsure what disease (till then I had not been diagnosed) count as divorce? Does it count as one divorce or 3 divorce?

2. Second question is recently when me and my wife had a disagreement I said to her something along the lines "you should go to your home and never come back" does this constitute as talaq? According to my memory I did not want a divorce through that statement rather it was meant to tell her to get lost. If this constitutes as talaq, should it be regarded as single or triple talaq?

3. Keeping all the information that I had provided in mind what do you recommend me to do?

Thanks for your time and support.

Answer:

Bismillah

Talaq during mental illness or insanity wherein one has no control over his words or actions will NOT occur.
(Raddul Muhtar p.452 v. 4)

However, where it is claimed that one lost his sanity, it is necessary that the person has previous medical history of insanity or has been diagnosed by the doctor or by an Aamil who deals with curing people from black magic of being of unstable mind, or has two male witness or one male and two female witnesses testifying that in fact on that occasion the person had in deed lost his sanity, then the divorce will not take effect.
(Ibid)

With regards to your first question, talaq during the bipolar phase (irrespective of how many you gave) did not occur. Telling your inmates you had divorced your wife (which hadn’t occurred in the first place) does not constitute further talaq.

Your second query would fall under TalaqKinayah constituting TalaqBaain, had you intended for it. In such case, without the intention of divorce, talaq would not occur. Since you are saying your intention wasn’t this, the nikah remains valid.

And finally, for the condition you are suffering from, you must keep up with seeking whatever support you need, medically or through counselling. With time, these conditions can be helped and eventually cured. In regards to your marital life, as long as your wife and you are happy when you are not in the bipolar phase, you should remind her that when you do fall into that condition, you are not aware of your words and actions. I pray Allah cures you and grants your wife understanding.

Only Allah knows best.

Ustaadha Bint Salih.  

DarulIfta Birmingham.

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

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