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Why Muslim women at stake in Talaq and halala ?

After declaring instant triple talaq unconstitutional, now the Supreme Court has decided to look into the constitutional validity of the prevalent practices of polygamy, ‘nikah halala’, and ‘nikah mutah ‘and’ nikah misyar’ in the Muslim community. Muslim Personal Law allows a man to marry up to four wives, which it said “treats women as men’s chattel, and reduces their status to an object of desire to be possessed by men”. On the other hand, a Muslim wife does not have any avenue to complain against her husband for the offence of bigamy.

‘Nikah halala’ is a Muslim law that requires a woman to marry another man, consummate the marriage and then get divorce from him in order to remarry her first husband. ‘Nikah mutah’ and ‘nikah misyar’, literally means ‘pleasure marriage’ and is a verbal and temporary marriage contract that is practiced among Muslims. In this duration of marriage and the ‘mahr’ (gift which the bridegroom must make to the bride) is specified and agreed upon in advance.

It is a private contract made in an unwritten format. Prerequisites for ‘nikah mutah’ are — the bride must not be married, she must be a Muslim, and she should be chaste and not addicted to fornication. She may not be a virgin, if her father is absent and cannot give consent. At the end of contract, marriage ends and women undergo iddah, a period of abstinence from marriage (intercourse).

Many Islamic scholars have already said that ‘nikah halala’, ‘nikah mutah’ and ‘nikah misyar’ are “forbidden and void in Islam”. These evil cultural practices were innovated solely for the purpose of sexually exploiting vulnerable women by the evil clerics for their pleasure. It is only after divorcing three times and re-marrying three times on three different occasions, and then, if they divorce again they cannot re-marry, unless the lady marries a third person and she is divorced afterwards without being coerced, or widowed. Notably, the Quran doesn’t say anything about pronouncement of ‘Talaq’, one time, three times or whatsoever; it only says about the presence of two witnesses and waiting period of three months or three menstrual cycles for a talaq to be approached. In the idea of Halala, the divorced wife goes into a kind of contract marriage with an opportunist; it means that she will be subjected to rape for the fault of her husband; and after he divorces her (as pre-agreed or coerced), the previous husband can re-marry her. These kinds of ‘Fatwas’ are all fabricated and a poisonous scar in a society; but unfortunately they are widespread. There is no place for these kinds of Fatwas in the Islam. The opportunists sexually exploit the divorced, vulnerable women in the name of Islam.

Sometimes, the husband wants to take back his divorced wife after triple talaq. He may feel that he has uttered these three words of triple talaq in a fit of anger. The divorced husband is feeling repentant and wants to get back to his divorced wife. Can he simply go to his wife and take her back? No, according to Muslim practices, he simply cannot adopt the simple route. It’s not pro women, it’s a sin openly performed by the Muslim Maulvis. In such cases, husbands have no loss or no parameters to fulfill to get back to their wives!

In fact, the concept of Halala or Tahleel is neither a part of Sharia nor mentioned in the Quran. One must understand that any understanding or interpretation of Law is not Law. A law may be interpreted or understood in different situations differently. Thus, in the Islamic tradition, Fiqh (Jurisprudence) is the understating and interpretation of Sharia (lit Law). Any Fiqh is not Law. Sharia is the religious law governing the members of the Islamic faith. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. According to Sharia, when a men divorces his wife for the third consecutive time (if he divorces her for the first time but they reconcile within a period of three months and unfortunately, he divorces her for the second time and again the reconciliation takes place within the waiting period of three months and then if the husband divorces her for the third and final time), he cannot remarry his wife at any cost and it is not permissible for him to get back to his first wife. There are many misunderstandings and misconceptions that have crept into the Islam over the centuries as Muslims have moved away from the original teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Quran.

Divorce in the Islam, is said to be the most disliked of all things by the Holy Prophet. So that brings the sanctity of marriage in mind. In any condition, when the husband and the wife have to be separated, the Islam gives both the parties an opportunity to instigate this; for instance, if the man wishes to finish this, it is called the Talaq and if the woman wishes the same, it is called Khula and they are given a period of three months which is called iddat in which they can reconcile their marriage. So, after three months they can either reconcile their marriage or go in their own separate ways.

Halala is been called as an accused practice by the Holy Prophet, so it is totally not permitted in Islam. This is an evil practice that the Islam does not allow in any form or shape. The fundamentalist Muslims, who crave for such opportunities, should respect their religion by practicing right things. The practice of Halala is absolutely haram and women should be given equal rights. Everyone is allowed to follow his or her religion according to the Indian Constitution until it does not break any laws.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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