There are a number of practices in the Islamic society that are derogatory to women, including Triple Talaq, ‘halala’ and mandatory wearing of ‘hijab’. The government has tried to support Muslim women by bringing in strict laws against at least some of such practices. One such law was enacted in 2019 to curb the practice of Triple Talaq or ‘Talaq-e-Biddat’.
Even after having such a strong law in place, the practices continue, making women miserable.
Rashtra Jyoti brings you a case of Triple Talaq from Uttar Pradesh. The testimony of this woman brings many unheard practices to light. It is important to read this story as the hurdles in the life of this woman have only intensified ever since she decided to separate from her husband following years of abuse .
In the case below, the woman underwent Triple Talaq and Halala (a custom after Talaq, where the woman has to marry another man and establish sexual relations before her husband accepts her again) five times from 2015 to 2022. Her husband left her after she refused to undergo Halala with her brother-in-law the six
The woman, Raziya Bano, filed a First Information Report (number—153/2022) at the Mill Area police station of the Raebareli district of Uttar Pradesh on 3 April 2021.
In her complaint, she told the police that:
She married Mohammad Arif on 7 April 2015 as per Islamic rituals. Arif and his family members were unhappy with the dowry she had brought and started harassing her. Their demands included a gold chain, a motorcycle and one lakh rupees. They started threatening her saying if their demands were not fulfilled, Arif would give her Talaq.
And the same happened. Arif gave her Triple Talaq. When she tried going to the police, the family made her undergo Halala with her brother-in-law Jahid. The date was 21 October 2016. After undergoing Halala, she was again married to Arif on 23 March 2017.
Arif promised that he would not torture her again but the opposite happened. His harassment intensified day by day. The family began asking for more dowry again. Yet again, Arif divorced her. She underwent another Halala with Jahid yet again. After Jahid gave her divorce, she was again married to Arif on 21 January 2021.
Raziya’s father came to her house on 1 March 2022 to have a conversation with her husband and in-laws on the dowry matter. He was treated badly and abused.
Raziya went to her parents’ house. Arif called her up, and gave her Talaq yet again, this time over the prone. Some days later, Arif called her up to reconcile. He offered she undergoes Halala yet again with Jahid, but she refused to do so. Then they brought up another proposal where the husband of Arif’s sister could do the Halala.
Raziya, who had been through this multiple times, did not wish to undergo any of that anymore.
The complaint letter added that she had been running from one police station to another to get her complaint registered, but to no avail. Instead of registering her complaint, the police are trying to force her into a settlement.
The complaint concludes here.
Based on her statement, the police booked Raziya’s husband Arif, brother-in-law Jahid, sister-in-law Naseeran; brother-in-law Budhai, brother-in-law Bablu, his wife Buddhan and father-in-law Rasheed under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (insult), 506 (criminal intimidation), 498-A (harassment) and sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
Apart from above mentioned sections in the FIR, sections of the Muslim marriage Act have also been invoked against Arif. The screenshot below is taken from the official website of the district court Raebareli.
What The Victim Told Rashtra Jyoti
Raziya in a telephonic interview told Rashtra Jyoti that even after filing a case against Arif and his family, she is receiving no maintenance money from them. She is jobless and solely dependent on her parents for all her expenses.
She has made up her mind to leave Arif and she would never go back to him, she said.
Recalling her days at his house she said that they used to beat her up. Jahid always looked at her with bad intentions. To make sure he gets his intentions fulfilled, he instigated Arif to have a fight with her.
Arif, who is an alcoholic, would give her Triple Talaq in a rush and Jahid would get what he wanted, she said.
As soon as the husband says ‘Talaq..Talaq..Talaq’, the relationship between the couple is over as per Islamic customs. This practice is called ‘Talaq-e-Biddat’. After this is done, the woman has to live at her in-laws’ house but not with her husband for a duration of three months and 13 days.
Raziya said, “This period is called the time of ‘qasawat’ where all the family members make sure the husband does not meet his wife. And if he meets or touches his wife by chance it is considered to be haram.
After the duration of ‘qasawat’ is over, the family calls a cleric. Another man would have to have a nikah with the woman. The duo lives like husband and wife and have sex, only then ‘halala’ is said to have been done.
The next day, this new man gives divorce to the woman and then she has to follow the ‘qasawat’ ritual again, where she lives alone for the next three months and 13 days.
After this period is over, the family calls the cleric again and then the previous husband can have ‘nikah’ with the woman.
In the case of Raziya, this ‘Talaq’ and ‘Halala’ process was repeated five times.
She says she felt pathetic as she always considered Jahid as her younger brother but he would have an eye on her.
Raziya has a five-year-old daughter, Muskan. She says she stayed with her husband’s family only for her sake. But they never respected her feelings and now she will never go back.
Arif is in jail for the past eight months.
She said, “Arif never considered me as his wife, only as a body he could use.”
What is Triple Talaq?
Islamic clerics often claim that ‘Talaq’ is highly unwanted in a marriage and the last resort of the husband. However it is routinely seen that Muslim men use it as a tool to blackmail or harass their wives.
There are three types of Talaq that are being practiced in the Muslim society:
1. Talaq-e-Biddat: The instant Triple Talaq, where a man repeats this word thrice and the divorce is said to be done. This has been outlawed by the Indian government.
2. Talaq-e-Hassan: In this, the husband says the word ‘Talaq’ once for three consecutive months. After the cycle of three months is completed, the Talaq is done. Notably, the condition here is the husband can only give divorce to his wife when she is not on her periods. Many perform this way of ‘Talaq’ by uttering the word after every menstrual cycle of the woman.
3. Talaq-e-Ahsan: In this, the husband says the word ‘Talaq’ once and then the couple starts living separately. The woman has to spend some time there, usually a span of three menstrual cycles. This waiting period is called ‘iddat’. The husbands can revoke the Talaq anytime during the ‘iddat’ period.
The Triple Talaq Law, 2019
In August 2019, the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) bill became an act after it was passed by both houses of the parliament. The highlights from the law are:
1. Instant Triple Talaq or ‘Talaq-e-Biddat’ became illegal.
2. Police can arrest the man accused of Triple Talaq without any warrant.
3. The law provides imprisonment for a term of up to three years.
4. The woman who has been the victim of Triple Talaq will get custody of minor children.
5. The woman can ask for alimony, an amount to be decided by the magistrate.
6. The magistrate can grant bail to the accused only after the victim supports the decision.
It is notable that this law only curbs ‘Talaq-e-Biddat‘ whereas ‘Talaq-e-Hassan‘ and ‘Talaq-e-Ahsan‘ are allowed to be practiced by Muslim men.
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