Divorce (talak) is no joke in Islam
Highlights…or should I say lowlights of a recent fatwa concerning a man who jokingly skyped his wife three times talak:
- A Muslim man jokingly told his wife three times on Skype, “I divorce you.” (talak…talak…talak…)
- Religious scholars fromthe prestigious Darul Uloom Deoband seminary said the divorce stands even though it was only a joke and the couple wants to remain married.
- The couple must wait six months until they can remarry.
- According to Islamic scholars, before they can remarry, the wife must marry another man, consummate the marriage, and then divorce him before she could be allowed to remarry her first husband.
Some of the Islamic Laws on divorce (talak [الطلاق]) are not a joke
So if he divorces her she shall not be lawful to him afterwards until she marries another husband; then if he divorces her there is no blame on them both if they return to each other (by marriage), if they think that they can keep within the limits of Allah, and these are the limits of Allah which He makes clear for a people who know. (Shakir)
The Encyclopaedia of Islam says,
“While, according to the view of the majority the wife becomes haram (forbidden) for the man after a threefold talak and can only marry him again after completing and dissolving a marriage with another man, these consequences come into force after a twofold talak, if the man does not withdraw it, but “allows the woman to go”. That the second marriage must be actually consummated if the woman is to be halal (permitted) again to the first man, is unanimously demanded…The validity of talak pronounced in jest, is expressly affirmed by ‘Abd Allah b. Mas’ud, Hammad, Ibrahim al-Nakka’i and is regarded as generally recognised. The principle is unanimously affirmed that, in ambiguous expressions, the opinion of the speaker decides, but there is much difference of opinion as to whether certain expressions are to be considered ambiguous or not, and also whether the talak pronounced under pressure or under the influence of intoxication is valid or not” (Encyclopaedia of Islam, X:153a).
Divorce is no joke, but the recent fatwa by the Darul Uloom Deobandi seminary in northern India is absurd. Let me know if you agree or think otherwise.