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Is Husband’s Intention Considered in Divorce?

14 March, 2018
Q As-salamu `alaykum. Some scholars have said that when issuing divorce, the husband’s intention does not matter while others have said it does. In that case, if a husband has a slip of the tongue or momentarily confused, what happens? I am confused and want to know the dominant view.


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi 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:

1- Divorce is one the critical matters in the Islamic Fiqh that necessitate great caution. As for the clear words meaning divorce, intention is not taken into consideration.

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2- However, in case of uttering ambiguous words that are not used mainly for divorce, we should ask about the intention in such cases.

Responding to your question, Dr. Muhammad Salama, PhD  in Islamic Studies in English and anAssociate Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Science, Al-Madinah International University, states:

With regard to explicit words of divorce, such as the word talaq and its derivatives, we need not ask about the intention. There are, however, other unexplicit words that require the intention of divorce because they are open for other meanings.

But generalization in this issue may cause more confusion for you; besides, your mention of “a slip of the tongue” is not clear.

Allah Almighty knows best.

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