In Muslim society, divorce has nearly become taboo. A large group of Muslim women all around the world have gone through the agony of ‘Instant Divorce’ (Triple ‘Talaq’ in a single sitting) in their lives. The majority of them were not even present in person when their husbands uttered those three words. This has led the divorced women around the globe to raise questions and ask for an explanation from the court. Their only question is, “if men can divorce women instantly, why can’t women?”
In Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia, cases have been seen where Muslim men have divorced their better half through a simple SMS or other online services such as, Skype, IMO and WhatsApp. This triple talaq is lawful and permitted under the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937, which expresses that husbands can get divorced from their wives by just saying talaq three times.
In such separations — which are available only to men — husbands can remove their wives from their homes for the most part with no divorce settlement or alimony, leaving the ladies with few assets or prospects. This is where women can work things out.
A greater part of Muslim women in Pakistan are uneducated, and just 20 percent have ever worked outside their homes, according to a province-wise literacy survey conducted in 2015. Most women are uneducated and do not know their rights. After a divorce, a woman has the right to ask her ex-husband for alimony. The ex-husband is under obligation to provide for his wife and children under the divorce law.
Divorce is one of acts most discouraged — yet legal — by Allah. Before Islam, the Arabs were free to divorce their wives and take them back as they pleased. When Islam came, this practice was invalidated.
Divorce should never be a brisk response for affliction, false impressions, or contrasts of perspectives
As indicated by the Prophet’s truism, offering talaq to the wife in a fit of rage or anger is entirely illegal. A man is more capable — in any event, hypothetically — of controlling his fluttering feelings and individual responses when vexed about the little issues in life: particularly regarding the debate with his better half. It has been scientifically proven that women make decisions based on emotions and have frequent mood swings due to the hormonal changes that keep occurring in a woman’s body. Divorce should never be a brisk response for affliction, false impressions, or contrasts of perspectives: however, if all else fails and when life turns out to be perilously dangerous and grievous, wherein both life partners are worried about the possibility that they won’t have the capacity to submit to the requirements as far as set by Allah and His Prophet about respectable conduct with each other.
However, women can also divorce their husbands. There are two comprehensive techniques under which a woman can claim divorce. One is Talaq-e-Tafweez and the other is Talaq-e-Khula. Under Tafweez, the spouse “may” designate his right to offer talaq to his significant other or any outsider. This right has to be in the form of a contract. The second one is Khula. This is a separation which is at the ‘demand’ of the wife. For this situation, the wife needs to make an offer of separation to the man. The man must acknowledge the offer with consideration, which frequently implies that the wife needs to give back the Meher taken amid marriage. After these two stages, a Khula is conceded.
The women, regardless of whether separated by talaq or khula, are required to have iddah (3 months holding up period) before getting married to another person. The purpose for this is to guarantee that the male parent of any offspring produced after the cessation of a nikah (marriage) would be known.
Still, Muslim women around the world have carried out rallies to ban the instant divorce law in Islam. Recently, a Muslim woman from India, Begum, 25, did the inconceivable. In the wake of detailing her husband for aggressive behavior at home, she remained outside Meerut police headquarters in Uttar Pradesh state and yelled the expression herself, alongside his name. Begum is thought to be the first woman in India to have utilised the triple talaq to divorce her husband. All the while, she has opened another front in the battle to end the practice. More than 20 countries, including Egypt, Turkey, and Algeria have started following a secular family law which requires a legal document by the court in order to give divorce. India has also joined the list of these countries, and recently, the Indian Supreme Court struck down the instant divorce law due to the increasing number of cases filed against this law by the Indian Muslim women.
Islamic law is frequently reprimanded as being too backward where women’s rights are concerned. On account of separation, Islamic law is in reality significantly more liberal in a few respects than the Western gathering of people who blame Shariah Law. Divorce is both permitted and acceptable under Islamic law, and the husband or the wife can independently ask for the divorce. What is far less liberal is the cutting edge elucidation with respect to divorce found in various traditionalist Muslim communities. However, and still, after all that there are non-Muslim nations that are similarly as terrible — if not more awful — in issues with respect to unjustifiable separation arrangements. While people will not consider any divorce system on the planet as a flawless framework, it is critical to modify approaches that are uncalled for against a specific populace. Overlooking the issue undermines the modification of marriage, as well as encroaches on the human rights of those involved. At the end, this might be one of the principal social issues that need to be addressed on as it incorporates further into current worldwide society.
The writer is a student at IIUI
Published in Daily Times, September 14th 2017.