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Taking oppression to the next level: Halala

by TrickyScribe
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Numerous online and offline services are charging “divorced” Muslim women thousands of pounds to take part in “Halala” Islamic marriages, a TrickyScribe investigation has found. Women pay to marry, consummate the marriage and then divorce a stranger, so they can get back to their ex-husbands.

Be it social pressure or proper parenting of kids the “Talaqshuda” women have to endure this as this what the orthodox norms prescribe. A survey of 78 cities, all across the globe, states that making payments for this notwithstanding, several “Halala” agents exploit the plight of the divorcee females by denying them instant “Talaq” and even catering them to other men in lieu of money and favours.

Aliya – obviously not her real name – told TrickyScribe that she met her going-to-be husband after being introduced to him by a family friend when she was in her early 20s. They married and had children together soon afterwards but then, Aliya says, the ill-treatment began.

“He was initially abusive for money,” she told TrickyScribe. “He dragged me by my hair through two rooms and tried to throw me out of the house. There would be times where he would just behave like a psychopath, even in front of the kids and relatives.”

Aliya hoped things would change even as she endured the horrific abuse. Her husband’s behaviour though became increasingly erratic and finally he “divorced” her via a text message.

“I was at home with the kids and he was at work. During a heated discussion he sent me a text saying, ‘Talaq, Talaq, Talaq‘,” she said.

“Triple Talaq” – where a man says “Talaq“, or divorce, to his wife thrice in a row – is a practice which some sections of orthodox Muslims believe ends an Islamic marriage instantly.

It is interesting to note here that the practice has been banned in most Muslim countries for long but still happens, though it is impossible to know exactly how many women are “divorced” like this.

“I had my phone on me,” Aliya explains, “and I just passed it over to my dad. He was like, ‘Your marriage is over, you just can’t go back to him.'”

Aliya says she was “absolutely distraught”, but willing to return to her ex-husband because he was the love of her life and father of her children. Her ex-husband also regretted divorcing her.

This led Aliya 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 an already divorced couple, and wish to reconcile, can remarry.

What is actually is Halala?

The practice involves the woman marrying someone else, consummating the marriage and then getting a divorce – after which she is able to remarry her first husband.

It has been found in some cases that women seeking halala services are at risk of being exploited financially, blackmailed and even sexually abused.

It’s a practice the vast majority of Muslims are strongly against and is attributed to individuals misunderstanding the Islamic laws around divorce.

But an investigation by the TrickyScribe has found a number of online social media accounts offering halala services, several of which are charging women thousands of pounds to take part in temporary marriages.

Monetary Exploitation

One man, advertising halala services on Facebook, told a divorced Muslim woman that she would need to pay somewhere between £2,000­—3,000 and have sex with him for the marriage to be “complete” – at which point he would divorce her.

Risks Involved

The man also said he had several other men working with him, one who he claims initially refused to issue a woman a divorce even after a halala service was complete.

There is nothing to suggest the man is doing anything illegal. TrickyScribe contacted him on Facebook – he rejected the 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.

Desperation

Aliya ultimately decided against getting back with her husband – and the risks of going through a halala marriage. But she warned there are other women out there like her, who are desperate for a long-term solution.

“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.

“If you ask me now, in a sane state, I would never do it. I’m not going to sleep with someone to get back with a man. But at that precise time I was desperate to get back with my ex-partner at any means or measure.”

In her desperation to be reunited with her ex-husband, Aliya began trying to find men who were willing to carry out a halala marriage. “I knew of girls who had gone behind families’ backs and had it done and been used for months,” she said.

“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.”

Liberals’ Take

The Islamic Sharia Council, London, regularly advises women on issues around divorce, strongly condemns halala marriages. “This is a sham marriage, it is about making money and abusing vulnerable people,” told a personnel from the organisation pleading anonymity.

“It’s haram and is 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 official added.

The Way Ahead

At a point where the Indian Government is burning the midnight oil to put an end to this practice, we must consider the plight of the Muslim sisters. Being considerate is all we need. After all, if there is injustice in any part of the world, entire human race is at the risk of coming to the receiving end.

 

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