Q&A: Talaaq in Anger

Q. I would like to know if the following is correct given that Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) is mentioned in it:

“Shaykh Bin Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a man whose wife treats him badly and insults him, so he divorced her at a moment of anger. He replied:

‘If you uttered the words of divorce at a moment of intense anger and without realizing it, and you could not control yourself, because of her bad words and insults, etc., and you did that at a moment of intense anger and without realizing it, and she acknowledges that, or you have a witness of good character, then divorce has not taken place, because the shar’i evidence indicates that divorce does not take place if the words are spoken at a moment of intense anger – and if it is accompanied by not realizing what is happening then the ruling applies even more so.

For example, Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no divorce and no manumission in the event of ighlaaq.” The majority of scholars said that ighlaaq means compulsion or anger, i.e., intense anger. For his anger made him unaware of what he was saying, so he is like one who is unconscious, insane or drunk, because of the intensity of his anger. So divorce does not take place in this instance. If he does not realize what he is doing and cannot control his words or actions because of the intensity of his anger, then divorce does not take place.”

My husband explained his state of mind at the time of giving talaaq to me. Please could you reply to mє as I’m sitting in iddat αη∂ my husband has explained to mє his state of mind which I was unaware of.

A. Bin Baaz’s understanding of the mas’alah is defective. No one issues Talaaq when in the state of love. Talaaq is almost always issued in the state of anger. Merely saying ‘intense anger’ is extremely ambiguous and incorrect.

The Fuqaha have clarified that the anger should be tantamount to insanity. The example of a man banging his head against a wall or setting himself on fire or tearing off his clothes and running naked outside and similar extreme cases of ill-conduct will it be said that he had no control over his brains, and that he ranted like a madman.

But ‘intense anger’ which will quickly dissipate if a police officer comes to arrest him or if he is able to control the anger in the presence of others, but vents it only on his wife and children, is not the near-insanity anger which exonerates a man of his conduct and utterances.