There’s More To Muslim Divorce Than Triple Talaq!

Posted: May 25, 2017

Triple Talaq or Muslim divorce has been in the news for sometime and the whole nation seems to be intrigued with the word. Let’s learn more about what Muslim divorce involves. 

Although Triple Talaq is the most discussed topic in the media today with most channels running shows on it for days together, surprisingly, many are still unaware about the actual procedure.

People all over the media and social media have been using the word Triple Talaq (TT), but don’t really know the difference between TT & instant Triple Talaq .

Talaq in simple words is divorce; Muslim divorce happens in stages over a period of three months and is known as Triple Talaq/Talaq-e-ahsaan. The Talaq procedure is initiated by the husband and can be revoked before the final Talaq is pronounced. This gives time for the couple to sort out any differences and reconcile if both agree.

If the couple fail to sort out their differences, the third pronouncement of Talaq is final and the divorce can’t be revoked. This is an ideal way for divorce – it gives an opportunity for reconciliation and if not needed, the whole divorce procedure is finalised in a short time span of 90 days.

If everything seems so simple and easy one might wonder what the hue and cry is about. The issue is nothing but misuse of Triple Talaq by some men, who pronounce Talaq in one sitting and not over a period of time. This is known as Instant Triple Talaq or Talaq-e-bayeen. The men usually pronounce Talaq over phone, whatsapp or orally and end the marriage leaving the wife shocked and in many instances, homeless.

The wife is caught unawares; most will be financially dependent on the husbands and the sudden pronouncement of divorce leaves them helpless and dependent on their maternal family. This is inhuman and a cowardly act, which has to be called out and discontinued. Most Muslim countries have made this practice invalid. Instant TT is mostly practiced by Indian Muslims but the percentage is very low. The percentage might be minuscule, yet there is a need to discontinue the practice.

Not many know that in 2002, in the Shamim Ara case, the Supreme Court had already pronounced on the validity of instant Triple Talaq in certain cases. Hence, it is not the case that instant Triple Talaq is always valid. The problem is that not many Muslim women are aware of this ruling nor do they have the means to approach the court, so the emphasis should be to enlighten Muslim women about their Islamic and legal rights.

With the talk of divorce going on, many ask if Muslim women can also give Talaq. The answer is yes, Muslim women can give Talaq and it is known as Khula. Although the procedure may vary, a Muslim woman can on her own initiate the process of divorce through a Qazi. The reasons for asking for khula can be abuse by the husband and his family, financial neglect and husband’s polygamous status. Many Muslim women have opted for khula, with the only catch being that the husband can insist on not paying the Mehr (bride’s financial portion) if he agrees to khula. This is nothing but misuse of a provision the aim of which is to help the women.

The solution to this is a model nikahnama where women can insist on specific clauses that will protect them in future eventualities. The feminists and activists fighting on behalf of Muslim women need to emphasis on the formation of a modern nikahnama, and make Muslim women aware of their rights and provide legal aid to women fighting for their rights.

The media needs to clarify on the various forms of Talaq and not add on to the confusion. The whole issue of Triple Talaq had been reduced to a media circus, causing more harm to the issue.

Top image via Pixabay

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