Fatwa: # 21148
Category: Divorce
Country: United States
Date: 1st July 2012


Do the following words count as divorce?


I told my wife: "I divorce you." I just told her once. Does it count as a divorce? Also is there a 3 month waiting period for man too or is it just for woman?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.


As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


Divorce is of two types.  Divorce may either be Sareeh or Kinayah.


A Sareeh divorce is one in which clear words of divorce are used.


Kinayah divorce is where the intention of divorce is expressed using ambiguous words.


A divorce that was issued with clear words maybe revocable. However, a divorce that was issued with ambiguous words may not be retracted without having to re-perform a nikah.


To say “I divorce you” are clear words of divorce and falls under the category of Sareeh Divorce. To issue a divorce once using clear words is sufficient for divorce. If it was said once or twice, the husband can revoke the divorce before the expiry of the three months period (iddat). This could be by saying “I take you back as my wife” or to be physically intimate with your wife etc.


There is no waiting period of iddat for a man. Iddat of divorce or death is only for women.


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best


Mawlana Saeed Ahmed Golaub

Westmoreland, Jamaica, West Indies

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved

Mufti Ebrahim Desai



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