"You're Free": Is It Divorce?
Home > Ask the Scholar > Family > “You’re Free”: Is It Divorce?

“You’re Free”: Is It Divorce?

Questioner

Tamara

Reply Date

Nov 17, 2018

Question

As-Salamu alaykum. If a husband says to his wife, you are free, is it divorce?

Mufti

Answer


You're Free Is It Divorce

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

If a husband says to his wife “you are free”, it falls under the category of allusive words that need intention to affect divorce. That means this statement will affect divorce if the husband intends it; otherwise, it will not affect it.


Answering your question, Dr. Wael Shihab, PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University and currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada, states:

In principle, words that affect divorce are of two types:

a) Clear and plain words

b) Allusive words

Clear means expressly pronouncing the word “divorce” or words derived from it, such as: “I divorce you” or “you are divorced”, etc…

Allusive means using words that are not exclusively prescribed for issuing divorce, but allude and hint to it.

Clear and plain words affect divorce whether one intends divorce by them or not, while allusive words do not affect it unless one intends divorce by them or it is determined by the circumstances around it.

Given the above, if a husband says to his wife “you are free”, it falls under the category of “kinayyah” words that need intention to affect divorce. That means this statement will affect divorce if the husband intends it; otherwise, it will not affect it.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.




About Dr. Wael Shehab

Dr. Wael Shehab has a PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University. He is currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada.

find out more!