Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a man whose wife treats him badly and insults him, so he divorced her at a moment of anger. He replied:
If you uttered the words of divorce at a moment of intense anger and without realizing it, and you could not control yourself, because of her bad words and insults etc., and you did that at a moment of intense anger and without realizing it, and she acknowledges that, or you have a witness of good character, then divorce has not taken place, because the shar’i evidence indicates that divorce does not take place if the words are spoken at a moment of intense anger – and if it is accompanied by not realizing what is happening then the ruling applies even more so.
For example, Ahmad, Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no divorce and no manumission in the event of ighlaaq.” The majority of scholars said that ighlaaq means compulsion or anger, i.e., intense anger. For his anger made him unaware of what he was saying, so he is like one who is unconscious, insane or drunk, because of the intensity of his anger. So divorce does not take place in this instance. If he does not realize what he is doing and cannot control his words or actions because of the intensity of his anger, then divorce does not take place.
Anger may be of three types:
- 1 – When a person is angry and is no longer aware of what he is doing. This is likened to the insane, so divorce does not take place according to all scholars.
2 – Where a person is very angry but is still aware of what is going on, but his anger is so intense that it makes him say the words of divorce. In this case too, divorce does not take place according to the correct scholarly opinion.
3 – The ordinary type of anger which is not very intense. In this case, divorce takes place, according to all the scholars.
From Fataawa al-Talaaq, pp. 19-21, compiled by Dr. ‘Abd-Allaah al-Tayyaar and Muhammad al-Moosa