THE CONTROVERSIAL PRACTICE OF DIVORCE
IN SOME MUSLIM SOCIETIES UNDER QUESTIONING
UNITED PEOPLE AGAINST DISCRIMINATION
“Every one of you is a guardian and responsible for those in his charge; the man, in his home, is a guardian and responsible for his household; the woman, concerning her husband’s property, is a guardian and responsible for what she is entrusted with.”
Prophet Muhammad (s.a.v.s.)
The issue of marriage is very important in Muslim societies and also in Islamic set of values as well. The power of belief or deen comes from the power of unity between man and woman and for the sake of God (Allah swt). When the two people are in happy union, then they are blessed from above, according to Islam. Unfortunately, the beauty of religious ethic is one thing and the practice is another and very often ruined by those who do not follow the moral instructions.
The Islam does emphasis the importance of marriage (zawaj) as a legal bond and social contract between a man and a woman and as a proof of the Sunnah, it is recommended and cherished. However, there are some categories in marriage and based on Islamic marital jurisprudence. The first and the most valid form of marriage is Nikah (“to collect and bind together”), made to have permanent duration and sometimes it is broken by husband’s Talaq or wife’s Khula. The second is a temporary form of the marriage, known as Nikah mut’ah with the time limitation and interests so that make some of the Sunni scholars to identify this form of marriage as a kind of adultery or prostitution. On the third place is Nikah Misyaar or traveler’s marriage and the last one is Interfaith marriage, the possibility for Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women (People of the book: Judaism and Christianity)so the women have personal choice to accept Islam or not. For Muslim women is not recommended to marry non-Muslim men.
Islamic ideas of marriage are not something we should be ever worried about. The problem is end of the marriage in societies based on Islam or the controversial practice of Talaq, well known as divorce. Divorce in Islam is very specific issue and it brings a lot of attention lately when many things are questioned and they are under big tectonic and structural changes. What is Talaq? We are used to hear about Triple Talaq customs and its injustice towards Muslim women so what is actually that and how we should try to understand that family matter in Islam? The divorce in Arabic language means Talaq.The husband who wants to end his marriage is able to make so called Talaq speech:“In the ṭalāq divorce, the husband pronounces the phrase ‘I divorce you’ (in Arabic, talaq) to his wife. A man may divorce his wife three times, taking her back after the first two (reconciling). After pronouncing Talaq either once or twice or thrice, the man has to wait for 3 menstrual periods before finally letting his wife leave. However, if the couple want to come together after the Talaq is completed, the Quran states that there is no harm in doing so after the wife has married another man and has divorced him. Some do a ‘triple ṭalāq’, in which the man says in one sitting ‘I divorce you’ three times (or ‘I divorce you, three times’, ‘you’re triple divorced’)”
How Noble Qur’an is analyzing this matter?There are some important verses :
“Divorce may be pronounced twice; then the wife may either be kept back in fairness or allowed to separate in fairness.” (Al Baqarah 229)
“And the divorced women (after the pronouncement of the divorce) must wait for three monthly courses… and their husbands are fully entitled to take them back (as their wives) during this waiting period, if they desire reconciliation.” (Al Baqarah 228)
“Then, if the husband divorces his wife (for the third time), she shall not remain lawful for him after this divorce, unless she marries another husband…” (Al-Baqarah : 230)
So, basically, the Noble Qur’an states the question of divorce, especially in Surah At Talaq but also in Surah Al Baqarah and Surah an Nisa. The divorce as itself belong to the system of marital jurisprudence and it is interpreted differently, depending on which Islamic school we are talking about.
The Triple Talaq is, based on Islam, the last stage of marriage. No turn back. The marriage is ended since the husband definitely decided to divorce. The all methods of reconciliation are exhausted and there is no chance for marriage to be consumed again in good will. The husband who immediately states Triple Talaq, escaping the recommended stages is nothing but one who doesnt follow religious rules and behaving as he will:“First, that the man who has been given the right to pronounce divorce should be taught such judicious methods of using this right as do not lead to separation, as far as possible however, if separation does take place, it should only be in case all possibilities of mutual reconciliation have been exhausted. For in the Divine Law provision for divorce has been made only as an unavoidable necessity; otherwise Allah does not approve that the marriage relationship that has been established between a man and a woman should ever break. The Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah’s peace) has said “Allah has not made lawful anything more hateful in His sight than divorce.” (Abu Daud). And: ‘Of all the things permitted by the Law, the most hateful in the sight of Allah is the divorce, (Abu Daud)”
Sadly, but many men all over the Muslim world are abusing this right and they ruin the lives of their wives by their decisions and leaving them without any real reason but lack of sincere belief. The practice of Triple Talaq is so misused that many Islamic sciences experts claim this must be banned as a free right. There were the cases that husband writes or says Triple Talaq immediately considering himself divorced without the three steps in certain period of time: Initiation-Reconciliation and Completion. The modern Muslim societies know the practice of Khula as a right of wife to seek divorce or separation from her husband and that delegation is also known as Tawfid but it is not mistreat like Triple Talaq by men.
This Triple Talaq controversy is a big problem for Muslim women in India since there is an ignorance about the meaning and range of Talaq among Indian Muslims. They do not understand the verses from Qur’an Noble and what it states and what for so they interpret the way they find it best for them. Instead of understanding the the word “marrataan” MARRATAN BAAD MARRAH that is not simple verbal repetition of a word but a phase , they believe that saying three times magic word Talaq will make them divorced.
Shagufta Sayyd, a 21- year old in India was one of many women who experienced the bad use of Talaq. She was told, just few hours after wedding, by her husband that they are divorcing because he married her to please his parents. Then, according to her words, he said three times Talaq and considered the marriage ended. Muslim Personal Law in India defines and redefines many rules based on interpretations of local imams who basically do not understand Islam by themselves but rather how they see rules:”The so-called triple talaq, or instant divorce, has been banned in more than 20 Muslim countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh. But in India, the practice is allowed thanks to the country’s rules protecting Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities following religious law.Most of the 170 million Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by Muslim Personal Law for family matters and disputes. Those laws include allowing men to divorce their wives by simply uttering the word “talaq,” or divorce in Urdu, three times — and not necessarily consecutively, but at any time, and by any medium including telephone, text message or social media post.” This is such a disrespect to women as the most valuable elements of the society and the abuse of this Triple Talaq make women being bad positioned in Indian society, not only in social but also in financial way.Indian Muslim Women’s Movement tries to fight against this back-warded practice and to remove this archaic rule of men over women, husbands over wives:“Legal experts say the practice is unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court has been pushing for uniformity in laws. In 1985, the top court ordered a man to pay alimony to his elderly wife, after verbally divorcing and abandoning her.The Indian government in office at the time, however, managed to overturn the verdict retroactively by passing a law to protect Muslim divorce law. Many suspect the government was under pressure from Muslim leaders to stay out of their business or lose their electoral support.”
Indian Muslim women and even men who are supporting this battle are standing up against this barbaric law and give an example of Turkey, Cyprus, Pakistan and Bangladesh in banning the Triple Talaq. For now, it is about 50.000 of collected signatures in petition but there is still a big resistance. The hard-line Raza Academy in Mumbai believes that anyone who opposes this is free to leave Islam, which opens the another chapter, also in controversial decor: apostasy. One academy cleric, Mohammad Saeed Noori stated the following:“Don’t give three altogether in one go. People who do that are doing it wrong but if he says it thrice, then the divorce is immediately confirmed. Then that woman has to immediately leave his house.” According to what we know about Islam, this is absolutely not allowed and not recommend by Noble Qur’an but very often abused in reality by ignorant believers.
There are thousands of women in India who faced up with the evil implementation of Triple Talaq by their husbands. They were usually divorced via letters and some even via phone call. Many of them were left without any compensation and unable to take care of their children. The action like this one made women and men united in fight against the primitive codex which denies woman as a human being and her free will. Men who are supporting women about this case are the same who are worried for their own sisters and daughters, those who see the real religion behind the local imams brainless interpretations.
The Indian government founded The High Level Committee on the Status of Women in India in May 2013. The committee recommended a ban on the practice of oral, unilateral and Triple Talaq in a report published in June 2015 so it for to be expected that this ban is active very soon.
In the meantime, the tragedy of “husband instant divorce” is gathering more and more women being actively involved into war against the Triple Talaq dictate. They expect that Supreme Court finally abolishes it and to recommend instead an Ahsan method:“It is quite reasonable at this juncture to ask, what, if any is the best or most correct way for a Muslim man to pronounce Talaq? Once again, the Qur’an provides us with an answer in Talaq-e-Ahsan.Here, the husband divorces the wife once, using clear words whilst she is in her non-menstrual period and in a period in which the husband has not had sexual intercourse with her. This then leaves room for the parties to reconcile if they so wish. If not, they will be separated upon the expiration of the Iddah period.”
There is always a way for disputes to be sorted out if there is a will for it. The Islam by itself offers good ethic and standards for both sides to follow but people fail to do it and they even mislead their believes into another direction, to humiliate others.The Prophet Mohammad (s.a.v.s.) once said:“Act kindly towards women”, which means that all of them who dont do that, are far away from religion they claim they belong to. Indian Muslim women show that they are ready to live in balance with their religion but also to keep their rights or to question anyone who would take those rights from them. The wind of change has already visited the incredible India and Indian beautiful daughters wont be silent anymore.