Husband jokingly says to his wife: “You are divorced!”

Reference: Ishratun-Nisaa wa Hill al-Khilaafaat az-Zowjiyyah – Page 201
Fataawa Noorun ‘alad-Darb – Volume 2, Page 117

Question: If a husband jokingly says to his wife: “You are divorced!”, is she [thereby] divorced?

Response: Whoever jokingly divorces, then his divorce is applicable so long as he intended a divorce. And if he was joking with his wife and said to her: “You are divorced!”, then, by that, she is divorced.

Indeed joking around in issues of divorce, nikaah and freeing a slave is a serious matter.

So whoever undertakes the contract of nikaah and [then] says: “I was [only] joking”, then this statement of his is not acceptable, because he undertook the contract [of nikaah] out of his own will, and [thereby] the marriage is confirmed.

And likewise, whoever jokingly divorces, then his divorce is applicable so long as he intended a divorce. And if he was joking with his wife and said to her: “You are divorced!”, then, by that, she is divorced.

Therefore, we are of the opinion that it is upon a person to beware of these issues and not to play around with divorce.

Abu 'Abdullaah

About Abu 'Abdullaah

– from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee’ah in 2004.