read or hear the words ‘triple Talaq’, there conjures up in my mind an image of
a world where instantification is the norm.
coffee, instant food, instant connections, instant information, instant
commentary, instant reactions, instant love, instant acrimony, instant Talaq.
Talaq, divorce, is a phenomenon that is non-existent in the religion, Islam,
which is brought into discussion — earnest, ignorant, manipulative, noisy,
incoherent — holding it responsible for the rashness of personal actions of individuals.
The disintegration of a marriage is a huge deal. The attachment of legal and
religious stamps ascribes to it a ‘finality’ that is a much bigger deal.
Trivialisation of that in the words ‘triple Talaq’ is nothing more than a
manifestation of little or no value attached to the sanctity of marriage and
the repercussions of its dissolution.
Talaq is an addition to my vocabulary of undesirable words via debates in
Indian media on the subject of Muslim men leaving their wives with the mere
utterance of three words: Talaq, Talaq, Talaq.
heard in melodramatic films and dramas, in overwrought scenes between a
domineering husband and a docile wife, it is still used as a dramatic addition
in soap operas of Pakistani television and films. The same happens in India. It
is shown to be given in a fit of rage, only to be regretted almost immediately
after the utterance. At times, the period of realisation is longer. It also
happens in real life. And like in India, where Muslims in number are almost
equal to that in Pakistan, there are still incidents where women are given a
verbal divorce with the utterance of the Urdu word Talaq thrice.
If I were
to say it in a few words: the ‘three-in-one‘divorce is a mutilation of the
Quranic injunction vis-à-vis divorce. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said: “A divorce
is one of those halal, or permitted acts, which is most disliked by God.” (Abu
Dawud). Notwithstanding the importance of perpetuation of a marriage, Islam is
very clear about a couple’s right to seek separation if the marriage is not
working, or if one or both spouses have irreconcilable differences, or simply,
on the basis of lack of love or liking between them.
Quran, on divorce, states:
husband and wife cannot get along, two arbitrators, one from each family,
should provide counselling in an effort to avert the much-disliked Talaq.”
follows after all efforts for reconciliation have failed is the process of
divorce. According to the religious scholar, Nilofer Ahmed, “Divorce can be
broadly of two types: (i) Talaqul Sunnah, which is based on the Quran
and Hadith and (ii) Talaqul Badi, three-in-one divorce, though based on
a heterodox innovation, will still be considered to have taken legal effect.”
further adds: “When Hazrat Umar (RA) was the caliph, he used to punish those
men severely who followed this method. The Talaqul Sunnah is further
divided into the Ahsan, or the best and most laudable, and the Hasan, or
the laudable. In all the above types, the divorce is revocable up to the second
pronouncement, but becomes irrevocable after the third pronouncement of the
words of divorce.”
It must be
understood that despite the Quranic instruction to value marriage, Muslim men
and women are allowed to be divorced. And it must be understood that the
process of divorce, according to the Quran, is not impulsive, done in anger, a
heat-of-the-moment triple talaq, or a three-in-one divorce. The Quran is very
clear about divorce.
states: A divorce is only permissible twice; after that, the parties should
either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness. It is not
lawful for you [men] to take back any of your gifts [from your wives], except
when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by
Allah. If ye [judges] do indeed fear that they would be unable to keep the
limits ordained by Allah, there is no blame on either of them if she gives
something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by Allah so do not
transgress them; if any do transgress the limits ordained by Allah, such
persons wrong [themselves as well as others]. (Al-Baqrah: 229)
Prophet! When ye do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods,
and count [accurately], their prescribed periods. And fear Allah your Lord; and
turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they [themselves] leave, except in
case they are guilty of some open lewdness, those are limits set by Allah. And
any who transgresses the limits of Allah, does verily wrong his [own] soul:
thou knowest not if perchance Allah will bring about thereafter some new
situation. (Al-Talaq: 1)
when they fulfil their term appointed, either take them back on equitable terms
or part with them on equitable terms; and take for witness two persons from
among you, endued with justice, and establish the evidence [as] before Allah.
Such is the admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And
for those who fear Allah, He [ever] prepares a way out, (Al-Talaq: 2)
system of Pakistan, which follows the Islamic injunctions on divorce, is also
quite clear on the process of divorce. Barrister Ali Shaikh writes: “A Muslim
marriage is a civil contract that can be executed and dissolved like any other
contract; however, it is automatically dissolved on the death of either spouse.
Additionally, spouses’ legal right to dissolve marriage contract is also
recognised in Islam, and hence both are entitled with a religious right to
dissolve a marriage.”
2018, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) of Pakistan proposed to make triple
Talaq a punishable offence. Dr Qibla Ijaz, Chairperson of CII said, “The way
that men use triple Talaq should be banned in the country. Anyone who breaks
the law should be punished.”
One of the
worst and ugliest consequences of a verbal Talaq is the practice of ‘Halala’.
Not one, not two, but almost every Islamic scholar, with adequate knowledge of
the injunctions of the Holy Quran, and the verbal and other endorsement of
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), as brought to Muslims through Hadith, repudiates the
idea of Halala to have any divine validation.
unsavoury practice of Halala is a dark manifestation of toxic male entitlement
and perpetuation of patriarchal ethos where women are considered second-class
citizens. Words uttered in anger, a triple Talaq given in the haze of anger, in
an intoxicated state, or as a stark articulation of male ‘superiority’, are not
that easy to undo, to unsay, to retract. The important thing to understand is
that if triple talaq does not have religious authorisation, there is no place
for Halala to be used as a cover to do damage control, so to speak.
Since I do
not have personal knowledge of any case of Halala, beyond what I have read or
seen about it in media, all I wish to say on Halala is that Islam does not
sanction it the way it is generally distorted to suit a male’s desire to
remarry his former wife. Islam does not have any injunction that a woman can be
married to another man simply for the sake of attainment of divorce to marry
her first husband. Plain and simple. Halala is not permissible to be a
pre-planned act — Halala, in that form, is a despicable act as per Islam.
woman is allowed, by law and religion, to remarry her first husband. A woman is
not allowed to be divorced from her second husband simply to be re-married to
her first husband. Pre-knowledge of divorce is a mere legal cover for
deception. That would simply be an attempt, in many cases, to give adultery,
infidelity, and even prostitution, the cover of marriage — and Islam does not
give sanction to any of these distasteful acts. It is as simple as that.
states: So if a husband divorces his wife [for a third time], he cannot, after
that remarry her until after she has married another husband and he has
divorced her. In that case, there is no blame on either of them if they
re-unite, provided they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. Such are the
limits ordained by Allah, which He makes plain to those who know. (Al-Baqrah:
Source: The Daily 'O'