What is the ruling on marrying with the intention of getting divorced?
A man may be travelling and he gets married, but his intention is to divorce her when he wants to go back to his own country.
Praise be to Allaah.
Some scholars said that a marriage done with the intention of
getting divorced is an invalid marriage, because it is temporary, so it is
akin to mut’ah marriage.
Among those who are of this opinion are the scholars of the
Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas. We have quoted their fatwa in the
answer to question no. 91962.
Others are of the view that it is a valid marriage, but it is
haraam due to the deceit and betrayal involved, because if the woman and her
guardian knew that the husband was only getting married with the intention
of divorce after a few days or a month and so on, they would not have agreed
Among those who are of this opinion is Shaykh Muhammad ibn
‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him). He was asked:
There is a man who wants to go abroad because he is being
sponsored by the government, and he wants to maintain his chastity by
marrying a woman there for a specific period, then after that he will
divorce this wife, without telling her that he is going to divorce her. What
is the ruling on his doing this?
One of two scenarios must apply to this marriage that is done
with the intention of divorce. Either he stipulates in the marriage contract
that he is marrying her for a month or a year or until his studies end,
which is a mut’ah marriage and is haraam, or he is intending that without
stipulating it. The well known Hanbali view is that it is haraam and the
marriage contract is invalid, because they say that that which is intended
is like that which is stipulated, because the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Actions are but by intentions and
each person will have but that which he intended.” And because if a man
marries a woman who was divorced thrice by her husband for the purpose of
making her permissible for him, then he divorces her, then the marriage is
invalid, even if that is done without any stipulation, because that which is
intended is like that which is stipulated. If the intention is tahleel
(making it permissible for the woman to go back to her first husband) then
the contract is invalid. Similarly the intention of mut’ah renders the
marriage contract invalid. This is the view of the Hanbalis. The other
scholarly view concerning this issue is that it is valid to marry the woman
with the intention of divorcing her when he leaves the country, like those
who go abroad to study and so on. They said: Because this is not stipulated,
and the difference between this and mut’ah is that when the time stipulated
comes, separation is automatic, unlike this, because he may like this wife
and want her to stay with him. This is one of the two views of Shaykh
al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah.
In my view, it is valid and is not mut’ah, because the
definition of mut’ah does not apply to it. But it is haraam because it is
deceiving the wife and her family, and the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him) forbade deceiving and cheating. If the wife knew that
this man only wanted to marry her for this period, she would not have
married him and her family would not have agreed. Just as he would not want
to give his daughter in marriage to a person who intends to divorce her when
he no longer has any need of her, how can he agree to treat others in a way
that he would not like for himself? This is contrary to faith, because the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No one of
you is a believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself.”
And because I have heard that some people use this opinion as a means to do
something which no scholar would approve: they go to other countries just to
get married, so they go and get married, and they stay there for as long as
Allaah wills with this wife whom they intended to marry for a short time
only, then come back. This is also a grave wrong and closing the door to it
would have been better because of the deceit and betrayal involved in it,
and because it opens the door to such things, as most people are ignorant
and most people’s whims and desires encourage them to transgress the sacred
limits of Allaah. End quote.
Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah
It says in the resolutions of the Fiqh Council:
Marrying with the intention of divorce means: a marriage in
which the conditions of marriage are fulfilled, but the husband intends in
his heart to divorce the woman after a certain length of time, such as ten
days, or an unknown length of time, such as when the husband has completed
his studies or when he achieves the purpose for which he came.
Although some scholars permitted this type of marriage, the
Council thinks that it is not permissible, because it includes deceit and
cheating, because if the woman or her guardian knew about that, they would
not have agreed to this marriage contract.
And because it leads to serious negative consequences and
real harm which damages the reputation of the Muslims.
And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send
blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.
Whatever the case, marrying with the intention of getting
divorced is haraam, and it may be either invalid in and of itself like
mut’ah, or haraam because of the deceit and betrayal involved.
And Allaah knows best.