Assalamualaikum ustaz. Is a couple considered divorced if the husband said to his wife that he regrets marrying her?
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.
Talaq is a phrase that severs and invalidates the marriage relationship of a couple who is married and it is divided into two, which are clear utterances or figurative phrases. The author of the book al-Fiqh al-Manhaji  stated:
First: Talaq by a clear utterance
Clear talaq (صريح) is a phrase used which shows a clear meaning of talaq (divorce) and it couldn’t be interpreted to have other meaning. It is a clear talaq using a phrase that doesn’t have other meanings except for talaq.
Clear talaq also includes any form of talaq translated to any language other than Arabic according to the normal usage in the society just like talaq is the norm used by the Arabs.
The ruling of talaq using clear utterance: Divorce using a clear utterance is valid regardless of whether the talaq is intentional or otherwise. The reason is a clear utterance with a final meaning that doesn’t need an intention when one utters it.
Second: Unclear utterance of talaq (kinayah/figuratively)
Whilst for unclear or figurative (كناية) is phrases that doesn’t clearly mean talaq and can be assumed to have a meaning other than talaq.
There are numerous figurative phrases of talaq, among them are:
- You have nothing left with me.
- You are separate from me.
- You disconnected from me.
- Go back to your family.
- Go anywhere you want.
- Get away from me.
- Separate yourself from me.
- I’m letting you be.
- You’re prohibited for me.
All of these phrases are figurative utterances that may mean talaq or another meaning.
The ruling of using unclear utterance for talaq (figurative speech): Figurative talaq although may be used as talaq often, such as: “You’re prohibited for me” doesn’t automatically means divorced except when the husband intended as such. If the husband intended for something else or without any meaning, then the couple isn’t considered divorced.
According to the above question, we find that the speaker uttered is not talaq. It isn’t considered as either clear or figurative talaq. They are just words expressing his regret that isn’t related to the concept of talaq discussed. Hence, the couple isn’t considered divorced.
In our opinion, it is necessary to first learn the rulings related to marriage properly before one actually get married. Likewise, we’d like to take this opportunity to advise couples to first discuss and talk kindly when a problem arises and ask Allah SWT for help in resolving the conflict that occurs.
If one need a mediator to help resolve an argument, then seek one as stated by Allah SWT:
وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا حَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهِ وَحَكَمًا مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن يُرِيدَا إِصْلَاحًا يُوَفِّقِ اللَّـهُ بَيْنَهُمَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا خَبِيرًا
“And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Acquainted [with all things].” 
Ibn Kathir stated in his commentary: “Ali bin Abi Talhah said, from Ibnu Ababs R.Anhuma: Allah SWT commanded them to send a pious man (trustworthy) from the husband’s family and another man from the wife’s family. This is done to determine who has done a bad matter. If the husband did the bad thing, then they can protect the wife and limit her obligation is giving nafkah. If the wife did bad, then they can reduce her rights from the husband and suspend the nafkah given to her.”
Furthermore, couples can also seek opinions and advice from scholars, parents, responsible family members, trustworthy friends who are fair and religion is good. If not, refer to a lawyer, judge and others. May Allah SWT grant peace and happiness to us all in living our married lives and attain what is meant by Baiti Jannati.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to advise the husbands to accept the weakness and deficiencies of our wives just like our wives accept all of our weaknesses and deficiencies. Live harmoniously and try to always find the point of understanding in our marriage as commanded in Islam. Indeed, our wives are the clothing that completes us and we are their clothing that completes them. May Allah SWT bless us with happiness in our marriage. Amin.
We end with the supplication:
رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
“Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”