Whenever, I expose myself to some misconceptions and misinterpretations of
Islamic rules, being a Muslim and a Law student, I feel personally attacked and
take it upon myself to correct it and justify it in a way that supports logic
When I read or hear the words triple talaq, there conjures up in my mind
an image of a world where instant-ification is the norm.
Instant coffee, instant food, instant connections, instant information, instant
commentary, instant reactions, instant love, instant acrimony, instant talaq.
Triple-talaq is a phenomenon which is non-existent in Islam, and was misused as
a way to get expeditious break-up from marriage until the supreme courts
Judgment on Shahbanos case in 2017 came up, declaiming the legality of Triple
Talaq is in itself an outrageous word in Islam, and more than that is Nikah-
If I were to say it in a few words: the three-in-onedivorce 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 couples right to seek separation if the marriage is not working,
or if one or both spouses have incongruous differences, or simply, on the basis
of lack of love or liking between them.
The Holy Quran, on divorce, states: If a husband and wife cannot get along,
two arbitrators, one from each family, should provide counselling in an effort
to avert the much-disliked talaq. (4:35).
After the failure of all efforts for reconciliation, the process of divorce
starts. 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.
Ahmed 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.
According to the Shariah Law, if a husband uses the word Talaq for his
wife, consciously or in a fit of anger, he can revoke the divorce within the
period of Iddah which is 3 months. Iddah can be extended in one case – if the
wife is pregnant, then the Iddah period stretches until the child is born.
The Talaq-Iddah concept serves as a warning for the husband to not divorce his
wife permanently. If, the husband, uses the word Talaq for a third time,
or three consecutive times orally, (directing at her, with intention of
divorce), then the final divorce is completed and the couple cannot remarry
through the Iddah period procedure or by their own personal consent.
Talaq is although being permitted, keeping in mind its necessity, in Islam, it
is still one of those acts which should be done with upmost thinking and not any
fit of rage. Marriage is a life time commitment and a serious issue in Islam,
and it is disliked by Allah to make it a joke. Marriage, Divorce and
re-marriage, even though being inter-related, have their own consequences and
ways to perform and it is far more than just being misinterpreted, it is used as
a childs play and a means for business.
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.
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.
Nikah halalah is a practice in which a woman, after being divorced by triple
talaq, marries another man, consummates the marriage, and gets divorced again in
order to be able to remarry her former husband. Nikah means marriage and halala
means to make something halal, or permissible.
The 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.
Does the Quran permit this? Absolutely not.
And if a husband divorces his wife (a third time), then he cannot, after
that, re-marry 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 reunite
provided they feel that they can keep the limits set forth by Allah. Such are
the limits set by Allah, which He makes plain to those who understand.
As remarriage was encouraged, once the three-month period of iddat or waiting is
complete, she could marry anyone else she wanted. These were conditions put in
to protect, not exploit, women.
Further, if this husband dies, or if she didnt get along with him and it leads
to a divorce, she is free to go back to the first husband as it is halal. This
is to be of her own free will and without any conspiracy, and certainly not a
marriage entered into cynically just for the purpose of an immediate divorce so
that she can remarry the first husband. Such a marriage can only be called a
malpractice or an innovation against the spirit of Islam.
The way its often practiced is, if a woman has had an irrevocable divorce and
expresses a desire to go back to her husband, or the husband wants to have her
back, a local maulana suggests halala – that is, she marries another man,
obtains a divorce, completes her iddat period, and then marries her first
Since it is almost impossible to find a man who would assuredly divorce the
woman, often, local clerics offer their services. Under this, a nikah is
conducted between the cleric and the girl, with the clear understanding of
divorce the next day or a few days later.
The whole exercise is hush-hush, unlike the way suggested in Islam, where a man
is asked to throw a reception after the nikah so that nobody can cast aspersions
on the integrity of the woman in the future. In such a twisted form of halala,
everything is done under the cover of night, with barely any witnesses. It is
almost like legalized prostitution, where again, the dignity and integrity of
women is at stake.
As the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) submitted before the
[There are] unequivocal and unambiguous Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
where mock marriages and mock divorces are reported to be a cause of curse from
the Almighty Allah. It is in the said Hadiths that the reference to the term
Halala is found, though it is not mentioned in the Noble Quran. Whereas in any
case, the term Nikah Halala is not found even in [the] Hadith.
The Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him) in condemning Halala
are as follows:
Allahs curse is on the one who makes a contract or agreement for Halala (Both
the one who carries out Halala and the one who it is done for (Sunan al Darami/Mishkat
al Masabih), and Allah has cursed the muhallil (one who marries a woman and
divorces her so that she can go back to her first husband) and the muhallal lahu
Simply put, such a wedding has no Islamic sanction. It is akin to taking a bull
on hire, as is done in rural areas to enable cows to procreate. Except in this
form of marriage, there is no procreation, just recreation for the man and
humiliation for the woman, who ends up suffering in multiple ways because of her
Today, the way halala is used defeats the purpose of the restriction. Any
nikah with a pre-agreed date and time of divorce is not allowed in Islam.
Marriage is a bond that can be ended only under exceptional circumstances, and
its ending cant be pre-planned. A woman is not a plaything to be enjoyed at
night, discarded in the morning and sent back to her former husband.
It is absolutely impermissible and a grave sin in the sight of Allah Almighty
for the believers to plan such a Halala, which makes a mockery of Shariah. Prophet
Muhamamd (PBUH) invoked the Curse of Allah on the people who practiced Halala as
Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2071 Narrated by Ali ibn Abu-Talib, Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH) said:
The Curse of Allah be upon the one who marries a divorced woman with the
intention of making her lawful for her former husband, and upon the one for whom
she is made lawful!
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. Halala
is not permissible to be a pre-planned act- halala, in that form, is a
despicable act as per Islam.