Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
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‘Nikah halala’ is a practice in which a woman, after triple talaq, marries another man, consummates the marriage, and gets divorced in order to be able to remarry her former husband.
Right now, a constitution bench of the Supreme Court is going through petitions challenging the age-old practice that many women feel violates their right to equality and justice.
Speaking to The Quint, historian Rana Safvi said “there is no such thing as nikah halala in the Quran.”
Quran’s chapter Surah al-Baqarah, verse 2:230 says, “If a husband divorces his wife irrevocably, he cannot after that remarry her until she is married to another husband and he has divorced her. In that case there is no blame on either of them if they reunite.”
The Quran says a woman becomes haram or forbidden to her husband after she has been divorced. However, if she marries another man and for whatever reason the marriage doesn’t last – the second husband gives her a divorce or dies – and she and her previous husband decide to remarry, it is lawful.
“This provision was meant to prevent married men to divorce women in jest,” Safvi said, adding, “nikah halala is a term which I think Muslim men have come up with I feel. Where you make the wife legitimate or lawful for you once again.”
Saying that such marriages are condemned under the Shariat Law and find absolutely no sanction in the Quran, All India Muslim Personal Law Board Vice-President Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari said, “nikah halala are marriages performed with the intention to reunite a man with his previous wife. And there is no sanction in the Quran for such marriages.”
There have been reports of online services that offer ‘halala’ marriages. According to an investigative report done by a TV channel, maulvis were caught asking for money in exchange for performing nikah halala marriages.
‘Nikah Halala is Unlawful, But a Ban Won’t Help’
Although, AIMPLB is of the view that ‘nikah halala’ is not Quranic, they do not want a constitutional ban on it.
Maulana Umari said an issue is being made out of a non-issue to divert attention.
There are some thousands of cases of divorce in India. Among them nikah halala cases are minuscule. Yet they are being blown out of proportion. An issue is being made out of a non-issue only to divert attention.Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, Vice-President, AIMPLB
Explaining why a ban will have no effect he said, “If a man goes to a qazi and says he wants to marry a woman, the qazi will look for the terms under the Islamic law and perform a nikah. What else can the qazi do? How can he know the intentions of the man?”
There is no man who will openly say he is doing it for nikah halala. Are you also saying that a divorced couple shouldn’t be allowed to remarry? Nikah halala has been condemned under the Shariat Law. Why does it still need to be banned?Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, Vice-President, AIMPLB
Responding to this remark, Safvi said:
Most of the cases of nikah halala come from instant talaq cases. If the latter constitutes only a small percentage then there would obviously be fewer cases of nikah halala. But my point is why should even one woman suffer?
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