Three Talaq’s in anger
In respects to the first situation, as you are in doubt whether you said talaq (divorce) to your wife or not and your wife is disputing the occurrence of the talaq, then the talaq will not take place. Talaq does not occur wherever there is a doubt. (Fatwa Darul Uloom Deoband 43/10)
In respects to the second situation, the jurists have categorised anger into three stages:
1. The initial stage of anger where ones mind is sound and fully in control of what one is saying. In such a case talaq will occur without any doubt.
2. Extreme anger to the point of insanity, where one is unaware where he is or what he is saying. In such a case talaq will not occur.
3. Finally that stage which is between the above two stages in that one was extremely angry but not to the point of insanity, and was aware of what one was saying. In this case also, talaq will also occur. (Raddul-Muhtar P452 V4)
Therefore, in the second situation, if your anger reached the level of insanity where you couldn’t distinguish between right and wrong then talaq will not take place.
In respects to the third situation where in the heat of an argument you angrily said talaq three times (i.e. simultaneously) to your wife and the anger was not extreme to the point of insanity, then the anger will be categorised in number three. Therefore, the three talaqs will count as three and take effect and your wife has now become unlawful unto you (i.e. divorced).
In this situation it is now incumbent upon your former wife, if she menstruates, to observe the iddah (waiting period) for three haidhs (menstruation period). If she is pregnant, then her iddah will be until the birth of the child. (Fatwa Hindiyyah p.526 v.1)
Talaq is a statement where the mens rea (i.e. intention) is not needed. If a person jokingly says talaq then the talaq will take place/effect.
Abu Hurairah (RA) reports that the Prophet (SAW) said that there are three things, which are counted as serious even if they were not intended seriously, and they are Nikah (Marriage), Talaq (Divorce) and Rajat (taking a wife back). (Mishkaat Shareef P284 V2)
It is stated in Durul-Muhtar, “As for (issuing talaq in) jest and jokes, indeed a talaq takes effect, according to (Shari) law because Prophet (SAW) has stated that jesting is also serious.” (Raddul-Muhtar P443 V4)
According to the Jamhuur Ulamas (majority of the scholars) if a person pronounced three divorces at once (i.e. simultaneously) in any way then three divorces will occur and take effect immediately.
This is supported by the following Hadiths:
1. Aisha (RA) reports that: A man pronounced three divorces to his wife. She (after her iddah) married another man. The Prophet (SAW) was asked whether it was lawful for her to return to her first husband. He said: “Not until they have sexual intercourse.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
It is clear from the above Hadith that three divorces pronounced at once (i.e. simutaneously) will take effect as the woman was allowed to marry another man. The Prophet (SAW) would surely have pointed out, had the three divorces not come into effect at once. The husband in this incident pronounced all three divorces at once (i.e. simultaneously) as the great scholar of Hadith, Ibn Hajr points out in his book, Fath al-Bari.
2. Uwaimir al-Ajlani (RA) pronounced three divorces at once (i.e. simultaneously) to his wife in the presence of the Prophet (SAW). This has been recorded by Imam al-Bukhari and others in the famous incident of li’an (Public imprecation). The Prophet (SAW) did not negate what Uwaimir al-Ajlani (RA) had said, which is a sign that all three divorces were affected simultaneously.
3. Hasan ibn Ali (RA) said (in a long Hadith, after divorcing his wife): “Had I not heard my father (Ali) narrating from my grandfather (Prophet (SAW)) say: “when a man pronounces three divorces, then his wife will no longer remain lawful for him, unless she marries another man”, I would have taken my wife back.” (Sunan al-Bayhaqi)
Those who hold the view that only one divorce occurs by issuing three talaqs, usually present the following narration of Ibn Abbas (RA) in support of their argument.
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA) said: “Three divorces were considered to be one in the time of the Prophet (SAW), Abu Bakr (RA) and in the first two years of Umar’s (RA) reign. Thereafter, Umar (RA) declared it to be three divorces.” (Sahih Muslim).
The scholars of Hadith have analyzed this narration in the context of all the other narrations. Imam Ibn Hajr deals with it in his book, Fath al-Bari.
One of the explanations given by the scholars is that, this narration is specific to only one situation, that is, when a person pronounces three divorces and the repetition was only for emphasis and not to issue another divorce. In the early days, people were morally sound and reliable and thus when they said, “it was only for emphasis and not to issue another divorce” it was taken at face value.
However, Umar (RA) observed in his reign that, people were becoming morally corrupt. Unislamic habits such as deceiving, cheating and lying, had become prevalent. As a solution Umar (RA) declared that, people’s statements will not be accepted at face value by the courts. If a man was adamant that he only repeated the words “talaq” to emphasize rather than issue three divorces, then this will be a matter between him and Allah (SWT).
In conclusion, if a person pronounces three divorces at once (i.e. simultaneously) in any way, then in the light of the above hadiths and scholarly consensus, it will be regarded as three divorces and the marriage will terminate immediately.
Islamic system of maintenance
Maintenance is one of the obligatory duties upon a man specified in the Shariah. Ibn –Nujaim (RA) states, “There are three avenues where the Shariah has made maintenance obligatory-
1. In close relations.
2. In marital relations.
3. On ones possessions.” (Bahrur Ra’aiq p.188 v.4)
Therefore, during the woman’s iddat (waiting period), the husband continues to be responsible for her maintenance.
After the completion of the iddat (waiting period), she becomes a stranger for the husband. Therefore, all the rules of Hijab will apply between the two.
In respects to living arrangements, if the former husband and wife want to live in the same building (i.e. husband resides on the top floor and the wife resides on the bottom floor) and the rules of Hijab will be strictly adhered, then it will be permissible to live together in the same building.
In addition, with the observance of Hijab, the former husband and wife will be allowed to communicate with each other in relation to your child’s welfare and well being.
If the former wife chooses to continue to cook food for the former husband, then he is permitted to eat that food.
Allah knows best.
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta, Birmingham.