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Islamic Custom ‘Nikah Halala’ Practices Sexual and Financial Exploitation of Women

Nikah Halala is the practice imposed on the woman of marrying another man for a night

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Nikah Halala
Muslim Women are exploited through Islamic custom called Nikah Halala. Wikimedia
  • Another Islamic custom called Nikah Halala has come under criticism in the media
  • The custom is said to practice financial and sexual exploitation of women
  • Through Nikah Halala, a woman can remarry her ex-husband after marrying another man and spending a night with him 

August 20, 2017: At a time when the customary practices of Islam are questioned worldwide and triple talaq is a contentious issue in the country, another Islamic custom, called Nikah Halala, has made it to the spotlights from the media.

It was a sting operation done by India Today that revealed to the country this shocking practice in the Islamic world. Divorced women are taken advantage of in return for Nikah Halala, the tradition which lets a woman remarry her husband.

Also Read: Christianity and Islam don’t have room for a discourse. Hindus must Stop Pleasing their former Christian or Muslim masters, says Maria Wirth

The Islamic scholars and maulanas extort money from the divorced women.

It should be noted that Nikah Halala does not feature anywhere in the Shariah or the Quran. These are constructions of religious leaders to benefit themselves by fooling innocent people.

This is what the Maulanas preach as Nikah Halala.

In order for a divorced woman to marry her ex-husband again, she has to marry another man, spend one night with him, then divorce him the next day. This will “allow” the divorced woman to remarry.

Nikah Halala, hence, is the practice imposed on the woman of marrying another man for a night. Why this practice is absolutely derogatory and absurd is thus obvious. This idea coming from the religious scholars and maulanas who have all the power to influence people in masses is dangerous to the well-being of the Islamic community.

These maualans have distorted what Islam says about divorce. The period of Iddah which is the phase of man and woman living separately before the divorce has been preached differently to exploit women sexually and financially.

Over time, the marriage in the Nikah Halala has been skipped and only one night stands are made permissible to get a quick acceptance for remarriage.

The maulanas have very cunningly taken advantage of women who would do and believe anything to save their marriage from havoc. The Muslim woman makes the choice of spending a night with a total stranger than inviting criticism and remarks on her family from her neighbours and community.

Muslim women also rank low on literacy rate and hence it is usually a terrible thought for them to leave their husbands and survive alone.

But with the Sting Operation showing that such practices have taken place, it is now time for the government to act. Solid actions need to be adopted by the government to save the girls of the country from these monsters operating in the name of religion.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Article Published by Muslim Website based in Canada Defends the Medical Benefits of Female Circumcision

The WHO has explicitly maintained that there are absolutely no medical benefits of FGM and circumcision

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Female Circumcision
The barbaric practice of genitalia mutilation has been banned in developed nations. Wikimedia
  • An article published on a Muslim website based out of Calgary, Canada has defended the medical benefits of female circumcision
  • The article is authored by Asiff Hussein, a journalist who is also known for defending his pro stance on female genitalia mutilation
  • Calling female circumcision as part of Islamic culture, the author claims that is the contemporary feminists that have “denigrate” the practice

September 06, 2017: Female Genitilia Mutilation (FGM) is one of the biggest gender issues in the third world nations. It is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as, “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”

The WHO has explicitely maintained that there are absolutely no medical benefits of FGM and circumcision.

Also Read: “The Restorers” : Kenyan Girls Use Technology to Combat Female Genital Mutilation

Asiff Hussein, a journalist who is popular for his pro-FGM beliefs, partially accepts the WHO definition, but turns away from it claiming that there is a lack of knowledge in public domain regarding FGM. He blames the controlled media and propagandists for the lack of research in finding out the medical benefits of the practice.

Hussein’s recent article, published by Canadian based Muslim website in Calgary, defends these “medical benefits.” The author believes that the contemporary feminists are responsible for “denigerating” the practice.

The author claims that Islam justifies the practice of the removal of a layer on the skin of women’s genetilia called the prepuce. This practice, as the author claims, is circumcision rather than genetilia mutiliation!

FGM has come under fire for its cruelty against one gender. While many Islam scholars have clarified that there is no association between FGM and the religion of Islam, the article on the Muslim website says that the Hadith clearly talks about the practice.

The barbaric act of FMG is banned in Canada and other developed western nations, however, UNICEF has reported that 200 million girls are still suffering from forced circumcision all over the world.


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Triple Talaq verdict is a small victory. But there are more battles to be won

Are the divorced Indian women getting their due?

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Triple Talaq was a harmful practice faced by Muslim women
Triple Talaq was a harmful practice faced by Muslim women. Pixabay
  • Women are asked to compromise for the sake of family honor, children, not being financially independent and many such reasons
  • It’s a tough decision for Indian women to file for a divorce even if their marriages have been exploitative, oppressive or unhappy
  • The problems are most dreadful for women whose marriages have not been formally ended

 New Delhi, September 3, 2017: Supreme Court’s verdict on Triple Talaq case is like a ray of sunshine. The verdict has been welcomed, applauded and celebrated all across India by the people who advocate for women’s rights. Judgement on Triple Talaq has been possible because of courage shown by strong Muslim women to change the course of their lives and a long struggle of groups such as the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan who did not put their foot down in spite of having to face pressure, threats from the Muslim community and outside of it.

Reactions women in country face when they consider getting a divorce

There are many other societies where higher rates of divorce are often equated with an expression of choice that women possess and the liberation of women. But, sadly this is not the case with India as divorce evokes dark, shameful reactions, taunts, rage, and pity from the society, often a woman is blamed for it. It is not considered as a suitable option for women suffering from unhappy marriages, they are asked to work it out, to solve the differences even if there’s no easy solution to it. They are asked to compromise for the sake of family honor, children, not being financially independent and many such reasons.

Why do Indian women hesitate from taking a Divorce?

It’s a tough decision for Indian women to file for a divorce even if their marriages have been exploitative, oppressive or unhappy. One reason for this could be the low status of women or not enough respect and value given to them in the society, especially rural India. Another reason is that the women who have low income don’t spend their independent share on themselves out of guilt, they utilize most it in taking care of their homes and save the rest. Also, some regressive and unequal practices are still going on like inheritance, asset ownership which means that no matter which religion a woman belongs to they are denied access to owning assets.

It means that most often than not an end of marriage leaves women with a financial crisis, along with emotional pain, on top of that they not only have to manage their own life but also their children’s without much financial aid.

Divorce Percentage

According to 2011 census on Indians marital status, “among divorced Indian women, 68% are Hindu, and 23.3%, Muslim.” This implies that more Hindu women are getting divorced than Muslim women.

The State governments have failed to empower Muslim women, issues related to their rights and needs are hardly addressed by politicians. Thus their social and economic conditions are degrading- they have unequal access to job, education and other opportunities in life.

More failed marriages were recorded in rural India with 8.5 lakh divorced persons and in urban India, the number is 5.03 lakh divorced persons. Maharashtra has the highest number of divorced citizens which is 2.09 lakh persons. The state which holds the record of lowest failed marriages has 1,330 divorcees.

Negatives of Triple Talaq

A Muslim man being able to end a marriage by a means of disrespecting and utterly irresponsible manner of triple talaq (uttering the word talaq 3 times, it can be oral, written or electronic). The practice of triple talaq was gender biased and gave unequal rights to Muslim women. So, it’s a victory worth celebrating that this shameful practice has culminated legally.

Why is Separation more harmful?

More dissolved marriages in India happen through separation and not a formal divorce. It’s a growing concern as separation (abandonment by a husband) is more common for women in all religions than a divorce. It puts women in a more dangerous spot as they can’t ask for alimony as there is no legality connected to it, which further weakens their financial status. Also, their husbands take away their freedom to remarry. According to census data, “More women than men in India are separated (out of a marriage without a formal divorce).”

So, though triple talaq was definitely a truly intolerable practice, it is only one of the ways through which married women could be abandoned. There are women across different communities who continue to face problems of abandonment, also called separation without having a proper means to survive or lead a decent life.

Also Read: Ishrat Jahan, a Triple Talaq Petitioner Writes to West Bengal CM Seeking Security After Supreme Court Verdict

Effectiveness of Divorce Laws

Marital dissolution in India comes under various laws but more often than not, the decisions don’t benefit women in a big way.  No matter how strong or secure is the legal framework, the single legal right that an Indian woman has after getting a divorce- the right of maintenance from her spouse or alimony. But maintenance or alimony reaches them much late due to the ‘prolonged legal processes’ and they are sometimes provided with very small and negligible amounts. Another loophole is that the court doesn’t ensure regular payment from their husbands.

Obviously, the problems are most dreadful for women whose marriages have not been formally ended, who are separated and not divorced from their husbands. Even for those women who have a formal divorce, the courts (be it family courts or formal courts) turn out to be grueling and intimidating places to seek justice, especially for the ones who are illiterate, not much educated, or belong to poor families.

Struggles faced during and after a divorce

Taking Divorce is a tedious process with repeated court trips, cases getting postponed, and lawyers charging heavy fees and most important but sidelined factor- to deal with patriarchal attitudes shown by lawyers as well as judges. All these reasons contribute to women feeling helpless with wasted efforts, and even lead to dissuasion of women (by family, relatives, friends, lawyers) to pursue the cases after a point.  Those women, who have taken up employment (for financial security) after the end of marriage, even if their employer pays them very less, they get little sympathy from the courts regarding alimony.

This should be the focal point in viewing the triple talaq judgment by the court. Muslim women have been successful in getting triple talaq scrapped by law but the war is not over yet. Indian women still have to face difficulties in getting some alimony or maintenance which is due to them, on which they have a deserving right.

Also Read: Namaz Offering Mamata Banerjee Remains Silent on Triple Talaq Verdict

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act

But, there has been a setback for Muslim women, we are talking about the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986, also known as MWA. This was widely seen as a patriarchal response in response to the clamor by the Muslim men to the Supreme Court judgment in the Shah Bano case in which her former husband was forced to pay continued alimony to her.

“The MWA drastically limited the husband’s liability to his former wife. It stated that once a woman’s iddat expenses (covering three months’ subsistence) had been paid and she had received her mehr (dowry) and any other money or property that had been gifted to her at the time of marriage, the husband had no further financial responsibility towards her.”

This law came was criticized by women activists and others who were sensitive towards women’s rights. It was called a discriminatory law that singled out Muslim women and deprived them of maintenance rights which are available to all the other divorced Indian women. They were taken for granted and the act had some harmful consequences. It encouraged a higher rate of divorce in Muslim community as it allowed Men to get away from the marriage without providing any maintenance for their wife’s survival.

Revision of Act

As per MWA, the husband should provide “reasonable and fair provision” during the 3 month iddat period. A clause was further added in 2001 by a Supreme Court judgment that “during the iddat period, a Muslim man is liable to make a payment to his ex-wife that will secure her ability to sustain herself in the future. As a result, courts began to require men to give their ex-wives substantial lump-sum amounts or to transfer some material assets such as land, a house, or gold and jewelry.”

The implementation of the law made divorced Muslim women heave a sigh of relief and will force the ex-husbands to give a substantial lump-sum amount to their wives. This would thus release the divorced Muslim women from worrying over the unreliability and uncertainty of periodic payments (by law) for maintenance.  This might make them even better off than non-Muslim counterparts. But in most other cases of divorce, lack of financial support from husbands remains a big concern for them.

The war is not over

The point we are trying to make is that the problems faced by divorced Indian women are plenty, and they are because of the social, cultural, economic and legal practices that are still present in all religions. This Supreme Court verdict should be reminders for all of us to take note of this small victory, to keep in mind the loopholes present in Divorce rights still and should also motivate us to take up more such battles in future in order to make our country more gender sensitive. So, that both the genders can live a life of peace and dignity.


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Hope “Real” Issues Concerning Muslims will Also Get Attention: Swaraj Abhiyan

Swaraj Abhiyan's leader Yogendra Yadav said educational inequality, discrimination in jobs and housing, and framing innocent Muslim youth with terror charges are their next major issues to focus on

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Muslim lady seeking for justice. Pixabay.
Muslim lady seeking for justice. Pixabay.
  • Post triple-talaq settlement, the Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj Abhiyan said that now attention should be given to other real serious issues of Muslims
  • Apex court should stop the abandoning of women without divorce
  • More attention should be given to the serious issues such as educational inequality, discrimination in jobs and housing, and framing innocent Muslim youth with terror charges

New Delhi, August 23, 2017: The Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj Abhiyan on Tuesday said with the triple talaq issue settled, now attention should be paid to the “real” issues concerning Muslims such as education, discrimination in jobs and habitation etc.

The Swaraj Abhiyan, while welcoming the Supreme Court decision banning instant divorce in one sitting by Muslim men, added that now anti-women rights practices in other religions, such as abandoning women without divorcing them, should also stop.

“We believe triple talaq is not only unconstitutional and inhuman, it is also un-Islamic. We hope that with the legal wrangle settled, now the country’s attention will go towards other big problems of the Muslim community,” the party said in a statement.

“Today, the Muslims across India are living in fear. It is high time that Muslim leaders and the so-called ‘secular’ parties paid attention to real serious issues like educational inequality, discrimination in jobs and housing, and framing innocent Muslim youth with terror charges,” it said.

The party also said that as the apex court had set aside the triple talaq, in the same spirit discriminatory practices against women in other religions, such as abandoning women without divorce, should also stop. (IANS)