If a husband divorced his wife three times with no witnesses but later denied he divorced her whilst she claims he did then what is the Islamic ruling about this?
If a husband divorced his wife three times then all three divorces will occur even if he divorced her with no witnesses. If he then denies he divorced her and the wife has no witnesses to prove he did then the husband must swear that he did not divorce her, if he does swear or swears that he said “I will divorce you” “I will divorce you” “I will divorce you” then the divorce will not occur. If he refuses to swear an oath then the divorce will occur. If he divorced his wife three times in front of her or she knows with certainty that he has divorced her three times then it is compulsory (fard) for the woman to avoid him as much as possible or somehow make him divorce her publicly even if in exchange for cash or her forgiving him her dowry; hence avoid letting him touch her in any way possible. If this is not possible then the husband is committing a sin by touching her and the wife has not committed a sin as long as she does not consent to his actions because:
لا يکلف اللّٰه نفساً إلا وسعها
Imam Ahmad Rida (رضى الله عنه) has explained this issue in Fatawa Ridawiyyah volume 12 pages 373 – 424 – 453.
Fatawa Hindiyyah (vol. 1 page 496) says:
إذا ادعت المرأة الطلاق فقال الزوج کنت قلت لها أنت طالق إنشاء اللّٰه و کذبته المرأة في الإستثناء ذکر في الروايات الظاهرة أن القول قول الزوج کذا في فتاوي قاضي خان
Trans: “If a wife claims her husband divorced her but the husband claims he said ‘Insha-Allah I divorce you’ but the woman denies he said ‘Insha-Allah’, then the husband’s statement will be considered true. This is in Fatawa Qadi Khan”.
وفي البزازية قالت طلقني ثلاثا ثم ارادت تزويج نفسها منه ليس لها ذالک اصرت عليه ام اکذبت نفسها…………. ترفع الأمر للقاضي فإن حلف ولا بينة فالإثم عليه (درمختار ٢/٥٩٠) قال في المحيط و ينبغي لها أن تفتدي بمالها أو تهرب منه و إن لم تقدر قتلته متي علمت أنه تقربها الخ
[Radd-ul-Mukhtar volume 2 page 590]
Allah تعالى is most knowing.
Answered by Mufti Shams ul Huda Misbahi
Translated by Mawlana Muhammad Rashid Madani