Divorce without witness

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

If a person divorced her wife like he said her three times "TALAK, TALAK, TALAK" but only in the presence of her wife no other witness was there .. so in this case divorce completed or not??? Plz guide thanks


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Divorce without witness

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Al-Muwatta Hadith 29.4

Yahya related from Malik from Ibn Shihab that Marwan ibn al-Hakam decided that if someone made three pronouncements of divorce, he had divorced his wife irrevocably.

Malik said, "That is what I like best of what I have heard on the subject."


Al-Muwatta Hadith 29.1

Yahya related from Malik that he had heard that a man said to Abdullah ibn Abbas, "I have divorced my wife by saying ‘I divorce you’ a hundred times. What do you think my situation is?" Ibn Abbas said to him, "She was divorced from you by three pronouncements, and by the ninety-seven, you have mocked the ayat of Allah."


The correct way to divorce a wife is to pronounce the divorce once, and wait for three monthly periods; if the husband does not take the wife back during this waiting period, it will be considered a divorce.  The husband can do this twice in his lifetime to the wife, and the third time he pronounces a divorce, it will be considered irrevocable. 


But if the husband pronounces three divorces at the same time, the majority of the scholars are of the opinion that it will be counted as three divorces, and the divorce will be considered irrevocable.


While giving a divorce in Islam, there is absolutely no condition that it must be done in front of any witnesses.  If a husband pronounces a divorce verbally, it will constitute a proper divorce in the sight of Shariah. 


Witnesses might only be needed in a case, where a husband divorces his wife, and then refuses in a Shariah Court that he has divorced her if the case is brought to court.  The Shariah Judge might then ask the wife to produce a witness or witnesses if any.   But under normal circumstances, a verbal divorce pronounced by the husband will be considered a divorce; with or without witnesses.


Al-Muwatta Hadith 28.56

Yahya related from Malik from Yahya ibn Said that Said ibn al-Musayyab said, "There are three things in which there is no jest: marriage, divorce, and setting free."


Islam takes the subject of divorce extremely seriously.  A simple verbal announcement by the husband of the term ‘I divorce you’ to his wife, even if it is said in jest, will constitute a legal divorce in Islam.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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