The case of the divorce of the angry (1)

Some scholars divided anger into three sections:

The first is: Anger in its first degree where it does not cover the mind of the angry, so a person intends and knows what he says; according to this meaning the divorce of the angry is applicable and his expressions are executed according to the consensus of scholars.

The second is: Anger in the last stage where it covers the mind of the angry and drives him crazy, so he does not intend or know what he says. No doubt that the divorce of the angry according to this meaning is not applicable because he takes the same ruling of the insane.

The third is: Anger in a moderate stage where an angry man becomes very angry but he controls himself and anger only prevents him from making sure of things or taking proper decisions. However, he is not like the insane who does not intend what he says or does not know it, and this section is controversial among scholars according to two views:

The first view is: The view of the majority (1) which states that the divorce of the angry is applicable and if it is not, divorce will never be applicable in any case because the one who divorces his wife should be angry to utter the divorce.

The second view is: The view of Imam Ahmad in one of his two views, Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, and his student Ibn Al Qayyim who stated that the divorce of the angry is not applicable because he does not intend to do so. In comparison to the divorce of the forced and the meaningless oath, it is not applicable. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Allâh will not call you to account for that which is unintentional in your oaths, but He will call you to account for that which your hearts have earned. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Forbearing." (2)

And because of the Hadith of `A'ishah, the Mother of believers, (may Allah be pleased with her) who heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: "There is no divorce or emancipation in case of constraint or duress (ghalaq)." (3)

Abu Dawud said: I think Ghalaq means anger, and thus Al Shafi`y, Al Qady, Ahmad, and Masruq explained it. (4)

Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: The reality of Ghalaq is: The heart of a person is sealed, so he does not intend the speech or does not know about it as if his intention and will are constrained. (5)

This is one of the best explanations to the word Ghalaq because the intention of the angry was constrained due to his anger, so he is like the forced but rather more because the forced intends to remove the major harm by the minor harm, so he has a will and intention, and therefore his divorce is applicable according to some scholars.

At-Tahawy said: Ghalaq means to close something firmly, and thus the meaning in this Hadith is that the angry is forced to emancipate or divorce his wife, so he has no choice. (6)

However, Abu Bakr said: I asked Abu Muhammad, Ibn Durayd, Abu `Abdullah, and Abu At-Tahir, [i.e., the linguists] about the Prophet's saying: "There is no divorce or emancipation in case of constraint or duress (ghalaq)," they said: Ghalaq means compulsion because when a person is forced, he cannot make a correct decision.

Likeswise, the scholars of Gharib Al Hadith [odd words of the Hadith] such as Ibn Al Jawzy (7), Ibn Al Athir (8), and others explained Ghalaq with compulsion. Anyhow, the meaning of this Hadith according to some scholars is: Divorce is not applicable due to the state of anger in a direct way or by the way of analogy to the case of the forced. 

The correct view, and Allah knows best, is that the divorce of the angry whose mind is not covered by anger is applicable because divorce takes place in the state of anger and in analogy to the one who jokes by the words of divorce who says the word but does not intend to divorce his wife; in this case his divorce is applicable, so the divorce of the angry is applicable.




(1) See: I`anat At-Talibin 4/5, Hashiyat Ar-Rawd Al Murbi` 6/490, Al Iqna` on the Fiqh of Imam Ahmad 4/3.

(2) Surat Al Baqarah: 225.

(3) Reported by Abu Dawud in the book of the divorce of angry man, Hadith No. 2195- 2/224 and Al Albany said: It is a good Hadith, and Ibn Majah in the chapter of the divorce of the forced and the one who forgets, Hadith No. 2046 - 1/660, Al Albany said: It is a good Hadith, Ad-Daraqutny reported it in his Sunan, in the book of divorce, Hadith No. 98- 4/36, and Reported by Ahmad, Hadith No. 26405- 6/276, and Abu Ya`la in his Musnad, Hadith No. 4444- 7/421, and Al Hakim in the book of divorce, Hadith No. 2802- 2/216 and said: An authentic Hadith according to the conditions of Muslim. Adh-Dhahaby said: Muhammad ibn `Ubayd was not credited by Imam Muslim and Abu Hatim said about him: He is a weak narrator.

(4) See `Awn Al Ma`bud 6/187, Zad Al Ma`ad 5/214, and I`lam Al Muwaqi`in 3/52-53.

(5) Was reported by Ibn Al Qayyim in Zad Al Ma`ad 5/215.

(6) Mushkal Al Athar 2/151.

(7) Gharib Al Hadith2/161.

(8) An-Nihayah Fi Gharib Al Hadith 3/716.


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