FATWA: I divorced my wife twice. Can we still be married?

Dear Sir, 


I married in 2009. We have some domestic issues among us. About 18 months ago I given first divorce to my wife.  There was no witness at that time. We got compromise in short time and started living together. Again our issues started and on [date] I given her second divorce on paper. It was written not verbal. There is no witness of this divorce. My wife lived 4 days after this divorce with me and then shifted to another house.


Kindly guide me what is situation now.


1. Is it completely divorce happened and our relationship finished

2. Can she still come back 

3. It is 50 days after second divorce and will it be automatically third divorce happen

4. How she can come back


I will appreciate your response


[Name Withheld for Privacy]




Al-salamu ‘alaykum.


Perhaps the first talaq that you uttered verbally without witnesses was uttered in anger or without proper reflection. A talaq uttered in a state of anger, in the opinion of some jurists, does not count. But even if your first talaq does count, my understanding from your letter is that you have uttered one talaq verbally and a second talaq in writing, and each time your wife returned to you. This would make two talaqs and your wife can return to you as long as you do not utter a third talaq. After a third talaq, there would be no way for your wife to continue the marriage without marrying someone else. Brother, the reason for this law is so that couples like yourself do not take divorce lightly. Divorce is a most grievous matter, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) described it as the most hated halal in God’s eyes. If your first talaq was invalid and your second talaq was valid, then you can resume your life with your wife, but be very careful because you would have two talaqs left. If both talaqs were valid, then you would have one talaq left. In all cases, I again warn you against taking talaq lightly, or pronouncing the word each time you feel that you cannot reconcile your differences with your wife. Divorce is a very heavy responsibility before God, and you must think a million times before choosing such a course of action. On the basis of your short message, I cannot advise you with certainty as to your marital status, but I suspect and I pray that I am correct that you are still married, and you must do everything possible not to slip into the unacceptable behavior of lightly issuing a talaq.


And God knows best. 


Al-salamu ‘alaykum,


Shaykh Abou El Fadl