Intrusive Thoughts on Divorce

24th December 2020


Question: Do intrusive thoughts of divorce result in Talaq?


الجواب حامداً و مصلياً

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful



The question about whether intrusive thoughts of divorce constitute a divorce or not, then firstly note that all types of intrusive thoughts – by this we mean waswasas – are pardoned and forgiven so long as the individual does not bring them into action nor utter them clearly. The Messenger of Allāh sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Very Allāh has pardoned my nation of the whisperings (waswasa) coming into the heart so long as (people) do not act according to it or utter it.”[1] Thoughts like misgivings come and go and most of the times are beyond our natural control. For this reason, Shariah rulings are not determined by such thoughts that constantly occur in one’s mind or heart. Scholars and jurists have therefore ruled that misgivings or thoughts about divorce without uttering them do not take into effect at all.[2] By uttering does not mean mere movements of the lips either, rather clear enough whereby one can hear the words himself.[3] As a point of principle about divorce, verbal utterance (or written) of specific words of divorce is an integral condition (rukn) for divorce to take place.[4] Mere contemplating about divorce, thinking over it, misgivings or using words that are not connected to divorce do not constitute divorce at all.

To give some examples, if during a conversation a specific word was mentioned that has no relevance to divorce at all yet divorce just crossed his mind then no divorce takes place. Likewise, if during a non-related divorce conversation with someone, a person mentions a word that can be used for divorce triggers a thought of divorce in the mind, even so no divorce takes place. Divorce only takes into effect by clearly uttering the words of divorce addressed to his wife.

As this is a commonly occurring problem amongst many individuals, below is a list of some practical steps to overcome such intrusive thoughts and misgivings;

  1. Not to overthink by dwelling deeply into the intricate details. The problem lies in analyzing the thoughts deeply. Investigating is not the solution to the problem, otherwise you will overwhelm yourself which is not what the Shariah aims to do.  As Muslims we are not responsible for dwelling into that degree of scrutiny.
  2. Refrain from reaching out towards that which you cannot attain. By delving into the intricate details, you are attempting to reach to that which you have no control over. Learn to let go and move on with your life.
  3. Judge according to what is apparent to you. In this case, divorce only takes into effect once it is pronounced in clear words. If not pronounced then no divorce takes place. If you are in doubt whether divorce took place or not then leave it aside in favour of what is apparent to you.
  4. Learn to be positive about Allāh Almighty. Do not fear that He will hold you into account. Allāh Almighty is very Merciful to us and never punishes for that which we have no natural control over. So cast a side doubtful matters and learn to put your trust in Him.
  5. Each time the thought of divorce comes to your mind then recite the ta’awwudh. Engage in dhikr of Allāh Almighty throughout the day. Keep your mind constantly occupied as much as possible with other beneficial things. This will help alleviate your misgivings.
  6. Lastly, make Dua to Allāh Almighty to alleviate the burden from you as He has ultimate power over everything.


The following Dua I would recommend you to constantly recite daily;

رَبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَنْ يَحْضُرُونِ

My Lord! I take refuge in you from whisperings of the devils and I seek refuge with you my Lord that they be present. [Surah Mu’min 23:97-98]



[Allãh Knows Best]



Written and researched by (Mufti) Abdul Waheed

Answer Attested by Shaykh Mufti Saiful Islam

JKN Fatawa Department



[1] Sunnan Abu Dawood, Kitab al-Talaq, No. 2209

بَابٌ فِي الْوَسْوَسَةِ بِالطَّلَاقِ

حَدَّثَنَا مُسْلِمُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامٌ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ زُرَارَةَ بْنِ أَوْفَى، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ -: ” «إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَجَاوَزَ عَنْ أُمَّتِي مَا وَسْوَسَتْ بِهِ صُدُورُهَا، مَا لَمْ تَعْمَلْ بِهِ، أَوْ تَتَكَلَّمْ»


[2] Al-Abidi, Awn al-Ma’bood, Kitab Talaq, vol 6, p. 210

بَابٌ فِي الْوَسْوَسَةِ بِالطَّلَاقِ

(إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَجَاوَزَ لِأُمَّتِي) وَفِي رِوَايَةِ الْبُخَارِيِّ عَنْ أُمَّتِي أَيْ عَفَا عَنْهُمْ (عَمَّا لَمْ تَتَكَلَّمْ بِهِ) إِنْ كَانَ قَوْلِيًّا (أَوْ تَعْمَلْ بِهِ) إِنْ كَانَ فِعْلِيًّا (وَبِمَا حَدَّثَتْ بِهِ أَنْفُسَهَا) بَالنَّصْبِ عَلَى الْمَفْعُولِيَّةِ يُقَالُ حَدَّثْتُ نَفْسِي بِكَذَا أَوْ بَالرَّفْعِ عَلَى الْفَاعِلِيَّةِ يُقَالُ حَدَّثَتْنِي نَفْسِي بِكَذَا

قَالَ الْخَطَّابِيُّ وَفِيهِ أَنَّهُ إِذَا طَلَّقَ امْرَأَتَهُ بِقَلْبِهِ وَلَمْ يَتَكَلَّمْ بِهِ بِلِسَانِهِ فَإِنَّ الطَّلَاقَ غَيْرُ وَاقِعٍ وَبِهِ قَالَ عَطَاءُ بْنُ رَبَاحٍ وَسَعِيدُ بْنُ جُبَيْرٍ وَالشَّعْبِيُّ وَقَتَادَةُ وَالثَّوْرِيُّ وَأَصْحَابُ الرَّأْيِ وَهُوَ قَوْلُ الشَّافِعِيِّ وَأَحْمَدَ وَإِسْحَاقَ

[3] Maraqi alal Falah p. 219

باب شروط الصلاة وأركانها

وقال الهندواني لا تجزئه ما لم تسمع أذناه ومن بقربه بالسماع شرط فيما يتعلق بالنطق باللسان التحريمة والقراءة السرية والتشهد والأذكار والتسمية على الذبيحة ووجوب سجود التلاوة والعتاق والطلاق والاستثناء واليمين والنذر والإسلام والإيمان حتى لو أجرى الطلاق على قلبه وحرك لسانه من غير تلفظ يسمع لا يقع


[4] Durrul Mukhtār wa hashiyah Ibn Ābideen Shāmi, Kitāb Talāq, vol 4 p. 431

[رُكْن الطَّلَاق]

وَرُكْنُهُ لَفْظٌ مَخْصُوصٌ

(قَوْلُهُ وَرُكْنُهُ لَفْظٌ مَخْصُوصٌ) هُوَ مَا جُعِلَ دَلَالَةً عَلَى مَعْنَى الطَّلَاقِ مِنْ صَرِيحٍ أَوْ كِنَايَةٍ فَخَرَجَ الْفُسُوخُ عَلَى مَا مَرَّ

وَبِهِ ظَهَرَ أَنَّ مَنْ تَشَاجَرَ مَعَ زَوْجَتِهِ فَأَعْطَاهَا ثَلَاثَةَ أَحْجَارٍ يَنْوِي الطَّلَاقَ وَلَمْ يَذْكُرْ لَفْظًا لَا صَرِيحًا وَلَا كِنَايَةً لَا يَقَعُ عَلَيْهِ كَمَا أَفْتَى بِهِ الْخَيْرُ الرَّمْلِيُّ وَغَيْرُهُ


Ibn Humām, Fathul Qadeer, Kitāb Talaq, vol 3 p. 443

وَرُكْنُهُ نَفْسُ اللَّفْظِ.