Fatwa ID: 01300
Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
"I had a discussion with my wife: at a certain moment she started praising the husband of another sister so much that I got angry and I told her. "If he's better [then me] marry him, then!", in a provocative tone and out of anger, but without having any intention of divorcing her with such statement of mine. I just wanted to state an inopportune statement since she kept praising him saying things as "have you seen how good he is? He did this for his wife, gave her this gift, helped her in that…". But I immediately repented of saying so. Does this statement of mine constitute divorce?
A local imam said that our marriage is not valid anymore (he said that that statement of mine renders our relationship haram), but that I could repair with a sadaqah, is this true?"
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
The words which effect divorce are of two types:
1) Clear and plain words (sareeh)
2) Ambiguous and allusive words (kinaya)
Sareeh means expressly pronouncing the word divorce or words derived from it, such as: “I divorce you” or “you are divorced” etc. Clear and plain words effect divorce whether one intends divorce by them or not. (Hidayah, V2, P359, Raddul Muhtaar, V2, P465, Fatawa Hindiyah, V1, P354)
Kinaya means using words that are not exclusively prescribed for issuing divorce, but alludes and hints to it. Kinaya words do not effect divorce unless one intends divorce by them or it is determined by the circumstance one is in. (Hidayah, V2, P373, Raddul Muhtaar, V2, P501, Fatawa Hindiyah, V1, P374)
The kinaya words effect talaaq bain when one intends divorce by them. (Hidayah, V2, P374, Raddul Muhtaar, V2, P507)
Regarding your question, the aforementioned statement “Marry him then” would constitute a divorce if the husband made the intention of divorce. If no intention of divorce was made then a divorce would not occur. (Raddul Muhtar p.539 v.4 & Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband p.381 v.9)
The conclusion we can come to is as the husband did not make the intention of divorce, his marriage is still valid.
If for arguments sake the marriage severed because of what the husband said, the husband and wife can get back together again by redoing their marriage (Tajdeed Nikah). Giving sadqah would not repair their marriage.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.