Signing the talaaq document under duress

Q: I was married on 2013 October. Shortly afterwards, I developed an ulcer which my in-laws took to be cancer. Even while I was in hospital, they started to threaten me and asked for divorce. They threatened to implicate me in a dowry case, make everyone go to jail and get all our property to be sold. After a lot of requests, they met my surgeon who had done that surgery. When they found out after meeting him that I honestly did not have cancer and I was telling the truth, they agreed to continue the marriage relationship depending on some conditions. They gave us 15 days time. An agreement had been reached between us. We were ready to meet every condition. But two days later, they called me to say that they will terminate the relationship as they had found another groom, who happened to be my wife’s ex-boyfriend. After that, they came and intimidated me when I was alone in the house. Everyone in my family had gone to the hospital as my brother-in-law was sick. They surrounded me on all sides and threatened me and frightened me into signing on a piece of paper. While I did sign on the paper, I did not say anything aloud. I was seriously ill and in bed-rest. I was alone in the house while they had several goons. As a result, I could not fight and had to sign out of fright. I would have been implicated in a dowry case if I hadn’t signed and would have been humiliated. I would have been physically harmed. I was being threatened with the Dowry Case, selling of the house and physical harm. That is why I signed on that paper. (1) Am I divorced now as I have signed on that piece of paper? (2) I had not enunciated any word orally. I only signed on that paper on which “Triple Talaq” was written in order to save myself. (3) My intention was not to go for divorce. Please give me answer in Quran and Saheeh hadith. Kya maira talaq hu ya nahi?

A: If you were fearing loss of your life or bodily limbs and you only signed the document without saying the words of talaaq then no talaaq has taken place.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)