By Muyiwa Olayinka
Halala is a disputed islamic marriage strategy practiced primarily by certain sects of Sunni Muslims. There is no theological basis for Nikah Halala in Islam.
If a husband divorces his wife by pronouncing talaq, he can revoke the divorce within the iddah, that is, the period of separation that precedes divorce. If the divorce is completed, the couple can remarry. The couple may divorce and remarry twice. However, if they divorce a third time, they can neither unite within the iddah period nor marry again until the ex-wife marries another man, to ensure that the divorce is taken seriously.
The practice known as Nikah halala, accepted by a small minority of Muslims who subscribe to the concept of triple talaq, involves the woman marrying someone else, consummating the marriage and then getting a divorce – after which she is able to remarry her first husband.
When a Muslim man – not a woman – wants to divorce his wife he simply has to say Talak (or Talaq), Talak, Talak (I divorce you) three times. And that’s it.
“Triple talaq” – where a man says “talaq”, or divorce, to his wife three times in a row – is a practice which some Muslims believe ends an Islamic marriage instantly. It is banned in most Muslim countries but still happens
Some Sunni schools view a triple talaq, when the husband saying “I divorce you” three times in a row, as equivalent to three single talaq. Other Sunnis and Shia treat that as a single divorce.
According to a woman who had gone through Talaq, “I was at home with the children and he was at work. During a heated discussion he sent me a text saying, ‘talaq, talaq, talaq’.””I had my phone on me,” the lady explains, “and I just passed it over to my dad. He was like, ‘Your marriage is over, you can’t go back to him.'”
The lady says she was “absolutely distraught”, but willing to return to her ex-husband because he was “the love of my life”.
She says her ex-husband also regretted divorcing her.
This led her to seek the controversial practice known as halala, which is accepted by a small minority of Muslims who subscribe to the concept of a triple talaq.
They believe halala is the only way a couple who have been divorced, and wish to reconcile, can remarry.
Halala involves the woman marrying someone else, consummating the marriage and then getting a divorce – after which she is able to remarry her first husband.
But in some cases, women who seek halala services are at risk of being financially exploited, blackmailed and even sexually abused.
In her desperation to be reunited with her husband, the woman began trying to find men who were willing to carry out a halala marriage.
She would have to find a man that she will pay some money ranging to large sums of money, the man would accept, marry her, and will have sex with her to his satisfaction. The man would divorce her before she can be married to her first husband.
Couples cannot remarry until the ex-wife marries another man, to ensure that divorce is not taken lightly. Forced to marry another man she has to have sex with him since the main objective is to discourage divorce. The price is heavy for the woman so as to be submissive.
She cannot go back to this husband who has divorced her unless she marries another person who out of his own free will divorces her. This rule is given so as to reduce the occurrence of divorce and to protect the honor of the woman.
After iddah is observed, the original couple may remarry.
One man, advertising halala services on Facebook, told an undercover BBC reporter posing as a divorced Muslim woman that she would need to pay £2,500 and have sex with him in order for the marriage to be “complete” – at which point he would divorce her.
The man also said he had several other men working with him, one who he claims initially refused to issue a woman a divorce after a halala service was complete.
There is nothing to suggest the man is doing anything illegal. The BBC contacted him after the meeting – he rejects any allegations against him, claiming he has never carried out or been involved in a halala marriage and that the Facebook account he created was for fun, as part of a social experiment.
Countries in Europe where muslims are in the minority, India and other muslim countries practise nikah halala
Contributions from Islam issue, BBC
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