By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
Triple talaq is not at all a big issue for Muslim Indians – it is made so. The ratio of divorce by all calculation is less among Muslims than Hindus and Christians in India as well as other parts of the world. Even if something unwanted occur, In Islam, there is a system to rehabilitate divorced and widowed women. We do not recommend our ladies be shifted to ‘Lady Care’ or ‘Happy Homes’ or our parents be put on ‘Old Age Homes’. Now if a Muslim does not follow the teachings and does something nasty, that’s his personal guilt Islam or Muslims community as a whole has nothing to do with it.
Family life and family bondage is far better among Muslims than others. It does not mean there is no dispute or no unrest in the Muslim families. But numbers of Muslim brides burnt alive or killed in guise of accident is very less in comparison to Hindus – this is a fact and not hypotheses. Then why on earth should these atheists lecture us about Islam and Muslims? If it is their bread and butter then why should we Muslims care them – the least? Most of these atheists are polygamous and have spoiled family lives – they have no time for their own children yet they lecture against polygamy and family life – because they manage to wear makeup for the TV screens and their views provide entertaining reading for some English readers.
What actually these people want to stop – triple Talaq? They actually fail to understand that even a single talaq can separate wife and husband forever, blocking the way of oral or physical reconciliation (raj’at).
Talaq is of three types: Rajiee, Baien and Mughallaza (dirty). In the first one husband can make a return (raj’at) till 2 talaqs. In the second just after one talaq husband cannot make a comeback. He will have to remarry her, with her direct consent only, if both wish to return. The third is dirty – and virtually there is no way for coming back except after moral, emotional and even physical degradation process.
The name of the third type indicates its position in Islam. But why then it is allowed – there is wisdom in it. In short, it is a killer pill you are strongly advised not to use it. It is like a licensed gun with three bullets in the possession of an adult, sane male. He must learn its proper use and must not misuse it. But even if he misuses the affect of the shots will be there. He can be punished for his misuse but the victim will suffer. Hazrat Umar (ra) even penalized and punished some of the users of these third type of talaq.
In the pre-Islam era, people used to divorce woman, send them to their parents for unlimited time, when again the man made his mind we would take her back. They used to do it many a times. Talaq and Raja’at, Talaq and Rajat even hundreds of times. The woman had to suffer a lot, she would have no option of getting in to marriage with other man of her choice but suffer with same man who would not respect her, give her rights nor would let her be free. Islam put a restriction and now man is not allowed to torture her for unlimited time. She can go for a Khula from her end. A man can divorce and return her only two times in case of talaq-e Rajie. She will have full power to return or not return in case of talaq-e Baieen. A man can only use three times talaq in the extreme case and the doors for both will be shut thereafter.
But Islam is peace and mercy thus in the extreme case too if the children and other circumstances compel both of them to come together again. Then there is unwanted, undesired rather dirty way to follow before coming together again which will involve a third person with full authority. This time they cannot come together without having complete and fully authorized consent of three of them. The best option Islam recommends is not to give Talaq at all. Talaq is a bad permission – do not use it. Where things are not working at all and no way out – use the 1st option – give one Talaq, wait for a period – within the period-time man has the option to come back, when the period is over you both will be separated. The woman can remarry another man – relationship is completely over. But if the woman keeps waiting or not married, then again they can remarry with mutual consent. Or both are very angry and want to be separated immediately – go for 2nd type of talaq – 1 talaq Baieen. Here the man cannot return again within the period time, just after one Talaq he lost all his power. The woman is fully strong with complete authority. The option to come together again is remarry with mutual consent within period time or after period. Ulama, Mufties always recommend to use only the first type of talaq – which is better among the three worst.
A true case
Let me put a true case briefly where I have been personally involved along with the grant Mufti of Maharashtra — The incident will tell us how situation goes out of control for some people inviting extreme consequences.
The case is of Saad and Sadia Saga (name and location are being changed to protect individual identity and respect of the concerned family).
Saad is an arts graduate, handsome and successful young man from a wealthy business family of Mumbai city. The family has 2 sons and three married daughter – Saad is the youngest one. He is disciplined and caring for others. Sadia is a science graduate, very beautiful, dearly loved by parents and relatives and equally from a wealthy business family of Mumbai Suburban district. She is eldest with two young brothers.
Saad and Sadia came in contact in a function in Mumbai in late 2012, had a brief affair. Both families came in proper arrangements. Saad and Sadia were married at a lavish ground in Mumbai with crores spent in November 2013.
Just within month following the marriage both the family discovered that children were not happy and things are not going well between them. Saad’s elder brother planned a trip and sent them to Dubai for 15 days, they were though not much interested, to free them fly and bring peace at home. When they returned, Sadia’s brother came to airport and took her home. It was known that Saad slapped Sadia while in Dubai and he did not wish to live with her anymore – things went from bad to worse. Sadia reported to her family that Saad is arrogant, violent and even he drinks but she wish to stay with him and his family – she did not have any issue with her in-laws. After a week Saad’s father came to Sadia’s house and took her to home. But Saad did not come to his room, nor did he talk to his wife Saadia. The family got disturbed. They were not able to figure out the problem and nobody – Saad or Sadia – were clearly revealing anything. Sadia was also good to her in-laws but the parents were very sorry to find their otherwise morally strong son was behaving bad to his wife whom he himself loved and requested them to arrange.
Two months later, after 5 months of marriage, on persuasion of Saad’s mother he broke down, cried and revealed lengthy mobile communication scripts of Sadia via WhatsApp and SMS chatting with another man in the city. Where the communication were utterly explicit and full of sexuality. Parents from both sides got together, worried. Talked to Sadia – she accepted her illicit relationship – says sorry and cries. Saad was broken and not ready to compromise. His father forced him to save the marriage. They both – Saad and Sadia have drafted an understanding on Rs. 500 stamp paper. Where it was clearly written that Sadia has cheated Saad and had an out of marriage relationship with so and so person (name was there with full address) but now she is ashamed, does tauba to Allah – prays for forgiveness from Allah and from her husband, and promises to remain faithful as good wife of Saad etc. There were some seven points on which Sadia signed and as a result their reunion took place.
Till October 2014 things were okay from outside. Then in October Sadia requested her mother-in-law with the help of her mother when both family were together partying that she is feeling bore with no work, thus she be permitted to join some work out of home or be permitted to do her PG. Ultimately Saad’s mother convinced her husband, her elder son and Saad that Sadia be permitted for PG from the Women University, Juhu Campus. She started coming driving by herself, though both family wanted her to take a driver. She then argue with Islam in her support and said how should I stay with a Na-Mahram man in the car – I would rather feel comfortable in self-driving.
Saad was not happy with all these – he was still in doubt about her. In April or May 2015, one day Saad was for a business meeting in Andheri (West). He finds the car which is being used by his wife is parked nearby a bar. He excuses from the meeting, secretly enters the bar. Takes video and snapshots of his wife with two men – one of them was a local politician from MNS and the other one was the same man with whom she was having an affair and did tauba for her wrong doing.
He rushed towards his father-in-law whose office was not far from the Bar – he was furious. The father also got angry at his daughter. The next day his family and her family got together. Saad had decided to pronounce 3 talaqs – father scolded him, mother consoled him and the elder brother requested him not to do anything wrong from his end, that people and friends may shame us.
Both the families decided to come to Bare (grand) Mufti saheb. Each Saturday Mufti saheb seats in my office at Jogeshwari West. One Saturday they were here in 3 luxury cars. Mufti saheb suggested me to sit and help him in the matter, as the parties were known to him as well as they are somehow known business families in parts of the city. Saad and Sadia are young, educated people of Facebook and WhatsApp age. Mufti saheb assigned me to understand their communication well and translate him the undertaking singed by Sadia earlier. Sadia’s father was agree for an instant divorce – since Saad virtually was out of control. I asked then what’s the problem. They said that Sadia has warned them that she will commit suicide and post a note on social media against her husband and in-laws if she is divorced. And her mother and her two brothers do not want divorce too – they want a settlement. Wow – it was a tough condition for us too – Saad’s family did not want any bad name – nor a legal and lengthy complication. They put their case before Mufti saheb with all documented proofs and requested a smooth and urgent separation else they feared their son – Saad may commit something so wrong that things go beyond control. Sadia’s father also said – whatever Mufti saheb says I will go by it. I don’t want any hungama and I wish my daughter is safe.
We asked them to come next Sunday. And in the meanwhile arrange our meeting with Saad and Sadia separately. Saad came in my office on Tuesday after Zuhar with his brother and a friend.
I requested his elder brother to stay out for a while and asked Saad to reveal everything with a consolation that we all will help him to come out of this trouble. He was broken, furious and angry. He narrated all that what I put above along with lot of other masala – how they came together, how he trusted her, how he ignore her communications even in their first night and how she kept on chatting and laughing with that man even in his presence. How she taunted him to be open and broad minded etc. etc. “She thinks she is more beautiful than many of the working actresses and people appreciate her beauty so why should I – her husband, be jealous? And she has her own likings, dislikings and freedom, and I should not come her way”, he said. It was a long around 2 hour chatting with him.
Sadia’s father informed that she does not wish to meet anybody. The father sounded helpless – his wife and sons are with Sadia – and he seems to be alone fighting the winds from both side. On Saturday Mufti saheb informed Saad’s family to not come as he could not manage to have Sadia’s own version. They were in a hurry – Saad was behaving weird, and nobody was aware as what has been in his mind.
Then I called on Sadia’s brother and requested him to come with Sadia – so that we can understand how to go with this problem and how better it can be fixed with less trouble for all concerns. Next day he called back and informed me that she is not ready to come to my office – “You may come Maulana saab if you wish” he said. It was not a good idea – I informed Mufti saheb that it may not be good for us to visit anybody’s home who is a party in the case. And why should we take that much trouble – as we are simply volunteering. I even suggested Mufti saheb to ask them to go to court and do whatever they want to.
Thereby passed 15-16 days. Then Sadia’s father called Mufti saheb again and requested him to visit his home. He was disturbed, wanted Mufti saheb to convey his daughter that as per Sharia, Saad is entitled to leave her and she must not behave childishly – suicide is one more crime which will trouble her as well as both her family and brothers. What she has done was a crime – both socially and religiously. Her in-laws are good and they should be freed untroubled.
Well Mufti saheb decided to visit. He again took me and one of my assistants, I was not happy though, to meet the girl. However, we went and following tea and Khair Khariyat, she came to greet Mufti saheb. He asked him to sit along with her mother for a little while. But to my astonishment, we found Sadia was lecturing us on women’s rights. She, though, accepted most of the facts as narrated by Saad, but in a brave manner. She was rather angry why Saad should video record or take her pictures without her permission in the bar. How could he spy over her? She was arguing wasn’t that illegal and unIslamic? How a husband could publicize his wife’s video clips. She was saying “mai kia karo usse muhabbat hi tu kia – koi paap thurai kia hai?” O my goodness, we were really dumb. She even warned us too… let him divorce me three times and I will take him to the court and make him and his family’s life a hell. Aaj ki nari kamzoor nahi hai, he has beaten me and I will file a suit of domestic violence against him”, she said with a harsh tone. At that time her father shouted at her and said, “these are respected people came here to help us and you are showing your attitude to them. I am ashamed … “ and he breaks down.
By then we could understand that the girl was full of negativity and she sounded to be extremely bold and outspoken. On the other hand the boy was dogged determined to leave her and even could harm her. Their parents and in-laws all seem to be taken into an uncertain and never ending pain. Mufti saheb told me let them spend some time, there may appear a better way, and informed Saad’s father to not do anything, as he was using his mind over it.
Around 20 days passed Saad came alone to my office, entered without formal greetings or permission. The first sentence spoke was, “Aap logoune mujhe bewra (Mumbais’ slang for drunken and mad guys) samajh rakha hai kia? Gomate jarahe ho… Agar kuch sahih bata nehi sekto to mana kardo na… Abhi Akbar me parhna aur TV me dekhna main kia karta ho…” I cooled him down, ask him to wait as I am calling Mufti saheb. Mufti saheb replied that he was in the city side. I should send Saad his home. Mufti saheb would meet him along with his brother and father at their office in the city. I found that the young man was unstable, I was bit afraid about him. So I instructed two my office staffs to accompany him in his car until he meets his brother and also informed his brother about his utterly out of way behavior.
That evening Mufti saheb suggested Saad’s family to call a lawyer, made a paper and give her talaq-e Baieen. The matter might have been over or we do not know the follow up.
Now let us ask ourselves – if talaq is good or bad? If there was no option for Saad to leave Sadia – immediately, what and how he would deal with it? Where actually is our society heading towards?
The above story doesn’t indicate that girls are not victim. In most cases boys and males members are found to be crossing the limits and behaving badly with their wives. It is a social issue and must be dealt with as such.
In the matter of divorce – those who practice Islam are less involved. Less educated or uneducated poor people are generally found to be using 3 talaq as common practice. Almost all advocates in the family courts across the country have a divorce form to fill in and signed by their clients who come for separation – have put in it the option of 3 –talaq only. We have requested some Legal Agencies and Farms in Mumbai to change their forms and make the first two options available only – so that if both later decide to return they may do so easily. But the advocates are quite adamant, they say, people only come to them for complete chotkara (separation) without letting any complication for days to come.
May I request all those women bravoes – armed against Islam and Muslim, to please at least change those Lawyers forms and remove three instant talaq from there.
Talaq, Talaq, Talaq, is a crime but it kills. The killer can be panelized and punished for his crime. An instrument cannot be responsible if one misuses it.
[M. Burhanuddin Qasmi is Editor of Eastern Crescent and Director of Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre, Mumbai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]