“Say Me those three Words “, said no woman ever, Talaq! Talaq! Talaq!

A representational image (Image Courtesy: Livemint)

Shireen Khushi

It was a phone call, which devastated her life; she had to hear those hateful, unwanted three words, Talaq! Talaq! Talaq!.Madina Anwar Sayed is a single mother of her two sons. Her love marriage with Anwar Hussain came to an end when Anwar divorced her over phone.

She recalled one of her horrors, when she was beaten in the compound of the colony by Anwar and her family. Not gratified with her beating and humiliation her mother in law, said now my son will say “Talaq! Talaq! Talaq! “And will be free from you. Madina was shaken, she had to stop this from happening and she never wanted to hear those three words, so she ran out from the house. Her husband chased her and beat her again. But she could not run away from her destiny and later was divorced over phone.

In 2016, this word Triple Talaq, hit the headlines. Though an uncommon practice, it became the much talked topic because of its ill use by the Muslim men.

Triple Talaq or Talaq e biddat is a practice among Muslim community, which allows the Muslim men to legally divorce his wife.

It is predominant with those Muslims who follow Hanafi Islamic school of law.

Marriage in Islam

Islam identifies marriage as a holy bond between a single woman and a man of any age or background, it is not only limited to unmarried men and women but those who have been divorced or widowed have also a right to remarry.

“Marry the single people from among you and the righteous slaves and slave-girls. If you are poor, Allah (SwT) will make you rich through His favour; and Allah (SwT) is Bountiful, All-Knowing.” (Surah 24, Verse 32)

In this verse Allah commands the believers to marry the single righteous men or women from among us. Allah even guarantees that if we are poor and lack funds, still we should not delay the marriage as Allah will take care of the couple.

The Need of the hour

Triple Talaq surfaced in 2016 when 36 years old  SayraBano knocked the doors of Supreme Court, reason, she was divorced by her husband. Sayra Bano received the Talaqnama via post and since then she became the prominent face of every news channel and media. Her husband of 15 years left her and also took away her two children.

Sayra Bano’s petition identifies two Muslim practices as illegal and unlawful, Triple Talaq and Halala.  Though the figure of divorced women through triple Talaq is considerable, it is sheer ignorance towards the Islamic learning. Triple Talaq can’t be identified as a three word judgment pronounced on one’s wife. Triple talaq is a way to annul a marriage if the reason for separation is valid.  A man can end his marriage by stating Talaq three times after which arbitration is required.

Scholar talk

Since Islam and Quran is unchanged since the day of its existence, it is vital that one most always consult a scholar before practicing or even talking about such so called ‘practices’. Since Talaq is identified in Islam religion with a vast elaboration of how and when it should be used. There is no such Practice called ‘Halala’

When approached for the thorough knowledge of such practices, Zakir Madni , translator at Dawah Centre, Riyadh said, “ In India and Pakistan these concepts or terminology are totally ill practiced.”

“Once a man gives Talaq to his wife and does not negotiate and three months passes or three cycles of menstruation of woman passed , then their Marriage is annulled and Hence, if he wants to live with his deceased wife again he has to perform Nikah again with all the rites and rituals.”  Said Zakir Madni

Here it is noticeable, that even the marriage is negated after passing of three menstruation cycles of woman, the first husband can marry her again with no limitation.

“If the entire process is repeated thrice for instance  if the husband gives second talaq, and three months passes , this will be counted as two Talaq and if he negotiates and gets married again and again gives talaq for the third time, then the marriage is cancelled permanently,” explains Maulana Madni.

“Here no need to wait for completion of three menstruation cycle. The marriage ends then and there,” added Maulana.

“The woman cannot marry again with his first husband, However she can marry other man only after completion of period of IDDAH, or the period of three months when three menstrual circle is passed.” affirms Madni Sb.

Talking about Halala, Madni Sahab first refutes the ill practice of Halala. “ Halala is not a practice it is only a terminology, yes, there is this avowal that if the Husband who has given Three talaq to his wife and their marriage is anulled permanently and later he feels to reconcile with his deceased wife, he cannot do so unless the woman has a second marriage and she has a  talaq from her second husband or second husband dies for a matter of chance, marriages are sacred In islam one does not marry to give talaq,” added Madni sahib.

“In india and Pakistan this thing called Halala has come into existence, where the first Husband who gives ‘Instant talaq which is again an ill practice to his wife and then wants to marry her again, hires someone for one hour or one Night to marry his deceased wife, and then ask him to give his first wife instant teen talaq and then marries her again, This is wrong,illegal and haram, added Madniji.

Quoting a hadis of prophet mohammad of Islam has said about Halala.

“Abu Dawud narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Allah has cursed the muhallil and the muhallallahu”.

The muhallilis are the ones who marry a woman and divorce her so that she can return to her first husband and the muhallallahus the first husbands.

This explains all the misconceptions and fabricated concept of Halala

The organization and court

Talking about the practice, an organization called Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, stated that they are being approached regularly by Muslim women who are of the feeling that Triple Talaq ordinance is being misused and mistreated. In most of the cases the husband believes that his action is approved by Quran.

With Centre intervening in the matter and Prime Minister Modi talking about Muslim woman rights, there has been a lot of debates in the past two years.

Contradicting the allegation of misuse of Triple talaq and Halala, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, an independent organization which aims at educating Muslims about their right and rules, said that it did not want the Government to interfere in Muslim personal law, as India has a provision for personal laws for all religious community.

Amidst, all these debates and campaigns, In August of 2017, the top court of legislature Supreme court banned Triple Talaq, terming it ‘Unconstitutional.’ The Supreme Court also ruled that this practice is also Unislamic.

The Triple Talaq Bill or The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill seeks to criminalise talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq and punish offenders with a jail term. The Bill that was given a thumbs up in Lok Sabha, it could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha.

(Shireen Khushi is a freelance journalist. She is based in Mumbai.)

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