Divorce: In anger

Q160 :On discovering that his wife has visited her parents against his express instructions, a husband was very angry. During their subsequent quarrel he said to her "I divorce you. I divorce you. I divorce you." Later on, he repented and started asking about ways and means to reinstate his marriage. Please comment.

A160 : I invite you to reflect on the Hadith which states: "It is not a mark of strength to be able to overcome an opponent in a physical fight. The mark of strength is to control one's anger." This man has proved himself to be too weak according to the standard set by the Prophet, which is the best and most accurate standard. He certainly should have known better. Why should he have allowed himself to divorce his wife in a flight of anger? Why could he not deal with the matter in a cool, deliberate way, as Islam recommends? Besides, marriage is not something to trifle with so that divorce could be brought about in the extreme circumstances of anger. That is not the way Muslims should deal with one another, let alone a Muslim man with his wife. Besides, if this man is so furious as to divorce his wife during an angry quarrel, simply because she visited her parents, then he should re-examine his whole attitude. Unless there are very valid and compelling reasons for his attitude toward his parents-in-law, a man must not adopt the unhealthy attitude of arbitrarily ordering his wife not to visit her parents. Indeed, a Muslim is always kind to his relatives. A Muslim man should be the one who encourages his wife to maintain a good relationship with her family and facilitate her in showing her dutifulness to her parents. If he, instead, orders her to boycott them, then he is wrong and he does his wife an injustice. Scholars mention that divorce in anger does not take effect. But that means that the divorcing man should be in a state of blind anger which does not enable him to realize what he is actually saying. To judge whether this ruling applies to any particular case, the man should be asked after he has divorced his wife. If he says no, then the divorce does not take effect. If he was aware of it, then the divorce is valid. The fact that he has mentioned the word of divorce three times on this occasion is immaterial. This is a single-time divorce which is revocable. The divorced wife should observe a waiting period which is normally around three months. During that time she stays in her husband's home and they can reinstate their marriage by mutual agreement and having witnesses. If the waiting period is over, they can remarry again with a new marriage contract and a fresh dower to be paid by the husband to his wife.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )