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Muslim Women are not Doormats: The Shocking Truth about the ‘Nikah Halala’

Though many Islamic countries have long banned it, in India, this practice still continues

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Muslim Women and Shocking truth about the Nikah Halala
Muslim Women and Shocking truth about the Nikah Halala
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– by Salil Gewali

  • Many Islamic countries have long banned Nikah Halala but in India, the practice is still done
  • This is a criminal offense committed in the name of religion
  • More vocal Malalas should take birth to raise the relentless voice against Nikah Halala

Shillong (India), August 21, 2017: The most shocking fact about the ‘Nikah Halala’ has recently been brought to light by the India Today media. This media certainly deserves a pat on its back for broadcasting to the world the “darkness of lust” that invariably frightens away the very spirit of womanhood. How on earth such practices which openly dehumanize the woman are sanctioned by law is difficult to fathom. She is sexually exploited by an unknown person for over a night. Is it not outrageous?

Though many Islamic countries have long banned Nikah Halala, in India, this practice often forces the desperate women, who want to regain the warmth of the past husband, to depend on the cleric scholars around. Such lecherous people put up themselves for the job. Is it not humiliating fact that apart from spending one night with a complete stranger, the divorced Muslim women are required to cough up anywhere between Rs. 20000/- to Rs. 150000/-.

This shocking Nikah Halala or one-night-marriage makes only a divorced Muslim women eligible to further seek the formal reconciliation (marry) with the first husband. Is not the sex without “love” itself spiritually a big sin? Alas, this retrogressive and godless practice is still prevalent in the 21st century while the roar of the triple talaq is still getting shriller!

 

More vocal Malalas should take birth
More vocal Malalas should take birth

Though no strong scream of protest against this bizarre practice is heard, a few conscious Muslim men and Muslim women are up in arms, also some Muslim Maulvi’s. Maulana Maqsood-ul-Hasan Qasmi, the head of the Imam Council of India, retorts – ‘This is lust. It’s not permissible in “Islam”. This is a “criminal offense” committed in the name of religion’.  One friend of mine Mr. Shafiq Alam bursts out in deep anguish “As a father of three daughters I know how such anti-female practices have brought “grief” to millions of households. Much of the texts of the Holy Quran have been either misread or deliberately distorted and misinterpreted by the vested interests which they use to justify any inhuman activities”. Indeed, most of the “explosive activities” that have often been rocking and shocking the world have their roots in the “wrong interpretation” of the holy texts.

Muslim women suffering
Muslim women suffering

There is nothing secret how disgustingly countless females across the globe suffer under the veil of chastity which only contributes to stifling their “vigor” of individuality, feminine potentiality, and creativity. I guess, more vocal Malalas should take birth to raise the relentless voice against ‘Nikah Halala’, gender discrimination and irreligious prejudices strangling the holy Islam. Oh Allah the Almighty, save us all from the evil mongers!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter @SGewali


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For Plea Against Polygamy Supreme Court Takes Centre’s Response

personal laws must meet the test of constitutional validity and constitutional morality

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Centre on a fresh plea that challenged the constitutional validity of the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims in India.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Centre on a fresh plea that challenged the constitutional validity of the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims in India. Flickr

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Centre on a fresh plea that challenged the constitutional validity of the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims in India.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud issued the notice to the Centre and tagged the plea with similar petitions pending before it.

The fresh plea filed by Women Resistance Committee Chairperson Nazia Ilahi Khan, a practicing advocate at the Calcutta High Court, has challenged the practice of polygamy, ‘nikah halala’, ‘nikah mutah’ (temporary marriage among Shias) and ‘nikah misyar’ (short-term marriage among Sunnis) on the grounds that these were violative of the Constitution’s Articles 14, 15 and 21.

Under ‘nikah halala’, if a Muslim woman after divorce by her husband three times on different instances, wants to go back to him, she has to marry another person and then divorce the second husband to get re-married to her first husband.

“Declare the dissolution of the Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution in so far as it fails to secure for the Indian Muslim women the protection from bigamy which has been statutorily secured for Indian women from other religions,” said her plea filed through advocate V.K. Biju.

The apex court has been hearing pleas filed by Sameena Begum, Nafisa Khan, Moullium Mohsin and BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay on the issue.

Article 14 guarantees equality before law, Article 15 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and Article 21 guarantees protection of life and personal liberty.

Telling the court that though different religious communities are governed by different personal laws, Upadhyay had contended that “personal laws must meet the test of constitutional validity and constitutional morality in as much as they cannot be violative of Articles 14, 15, and 21”.

Pointing to the “appalling” affect of polygamy and other such practices on the Muslim women, senior counsel Mohan Parasaran had earlier told the apex court that the 2017 judgment holding instant ‘triple talaq’ as unconstitutional had left these two issues open and did not address them.

Polygamy, Man along with his 5 wives
Polygamy, Man along with his 5 wives. Flickr

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by then Chief Justice J.S. Khehar (since retired), by a majority judgment in 2017, had said: “Keeping in view the factual aspect in the present case, as also the complicated questions that arise for consideration in this case (and, in the other connected cases), at the very outset, it was decided to limit the instant consideration to ‘talaq-e-biddat’ or triple talaq.

Also read: Goa Common Civil Code forbids neither Oral Divorce nor Polygamy among Muslims: Governor

“Other questions raised in the connected writ petitions, such as polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ (and other allied matters), would be dealt with separately. The determination of the present controversy may, however, coincidentally render an answer even to the connected issues.” (IANS)