Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The other side of triple talaq: When Muslim women sleep with strangers to save their marriage

As the debate over the law banning triple talaq in India worsens, another Muslim practice is slowly gaining attention in the media - Nikah Halala.

Nikah Halala is a practice as per the Sharia law that prohibits a divorced couple from remarrying unless the former wife has married a different man, consummates the marriage, and then divorces him.

A recent BBC investigation showed that there are online services that provide partners willing to get into halala marriages in exchange of lump a hefty sum.

Left distraught by triple talaq, women desperate to get back with their former husbands often opt for these services even at the cost of thousands of pounds.

However, halala marriages don't always go as planned.

Reports show that in some cases, women opting halala marriages are financially exploited, blackmailed, and even sexually abused.

During the investigation, an undercover BBC reporter interacted with a man advertising halala services on Facebook. The man told the reporter, who was posing as a divorced Muslim woman, that he would marry her and have sex with her to "complete" the halala marriage, all in exchange of 2,500 pounds. After she pays him, he would divorce her.

When confronted later, the man denied the allegations claiming that it was all a part of a social experiment.

While Nikah Halala is accepted by a minority group of Muslims, it is rejected and strongly opposed by the majority.

According to the BBC report, the Islamic Sharia Council in East London "strongly condemns halala marriages".

"This is a sham marriage, it is about making money and abusing vulnerable people," the report quotes Khola Hasan from the organisation. "It's haram, it's forbidden. There's no stronger word I can use. There are other options, like getting help or counselling. We would not allow anyone to go through with that. You do not need halala, no matter what."

The report also quotes a divorced Muslim woman who said that she knows of girls who went ahead with such hahala marriages and ended up being "used for months".

"They went to the mosque, there was apparently a designated room where they did this stuff and the imam or whoever offers these services, slept with her and then allowed other men to sleep with her too," said the woman.


"Unless you're in that situation where you're divorced and feeling the pain I felt, no one's going to understand the desperation some women feel," the report quotes a divorced Muslim woman.

As a matter of fact, Nikah Halala is not a nonexistent practice in India.

(Source: India Today)

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