As Triple Talaq Continues Illegally, Muslim Woman Marries Hindu Man Saying She Does Not Want To Live Under Its Threat

As Triple Talaq Continues Illegally, Muslim Woman Marries Hindu Man Saying She Does Not Want To Live Under Its Threat

by Swati Goel Sharma - Jan 9, 2023 11:56 AM +05:30 IST
As Triple Talaq Continues Illegally, Muslim Woman Marries Hindu Man Saying She Does Not Want To Live Under Its ThreatAmreena and Pappu getting married.
  • Amreena married Pappu because she was worried about triple talaq.

The scourge of triple talaq, a practice in the Muslim society where men are allowed to unilaterally end the marriage by only uttering the words ‘talaq talaq talaq’ in a go, continues to be followed despite the Indian government declaring in unlawful in 2019.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, came into effect in September 2019, making such an instant divorce null and void and providing for a three-year jail term for the husband practising it.

In November, a man from Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district uttered the word 'talaq' three times in rage in front of his wife. When she began packing the bags to go to her parents, her husband Mohammed Salman asked her to stay while he rushed to the nearby mosque to ask if the talaq could be revoked.

Despite the law, the cleric, one Guddu Haji, stated that the talaq was very much valid and the only way Salman could stay in that nikah (marriage) was to make his wife undergo the custom of 'halala'.

Under this Islamic custom, the divorced wife must marry someone else, establish sexual relations with him, get divorced from him, wait for a menstrual cycle to get over to confirm non-pregnancy, and then have nikah with her previous husband again.

Salman chose his younger brother Irfan for the custom, to which the woman was forced to agree. She later filed a case of rape against Salman and Irfan, besides the Muslim women protection act. Read more details of the case here.

The practice is not uncommon in the financially higher strata of the Muslim society.

Last month, a woman named Rumana from Gujarat, who was given instant talaq by her husband Ali Habibi over a video call, filed a case against him under the triple talaq and dowry laws, alleging that his family took Rs 80 lakh from her family at the time of their wedding.

At the same Vijalpur thana of Ahmedabad, a case of triple talaq was filed in January 2022.

In June, a woman was  kicked out of her in-laws’ house merely 15 days after her nikah with a man named Mohammed Rizwam in UP’s Firozabad district. The man threatened her saying she must bring more dowry else he would give her talaq in a go.

In May, a man gave instant talaq to his wife over the phone in Jharkhand, allegedly for not giving birth to a male child.

The same month, court conviction came in a case of triple talaq in Gujarat, where the Palanpur court in Banaskantha district sentenced one Sarfaraz Khan Bihari to one year imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 for the offence. Sarfaraz is reportedly a government Class-2 officer.

While reasons for such divorces are often alleged to be demands of dowry and male children, threats of triple talaq over differing opinions expressed by wives are also not uncommon.

In Basarikpur village of Ballia district in UP, a woman, Nagma, was thrown out of the house by her husband for making a painting of her tying rakhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In another case, a woman was threatened with triple talaq for voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party in an election.

While reports of such cases keep appearing in the media, in August 2021, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, speaking at a political event, claimed that in Uttar Pradesh, cases of triple talaq had dropped by 80 per cent.

He said that before the law was enacted, more than 63,000 cases were registered in UP, but after the law, the cases dropped to 221.

However, experts and activists maintain that the main issue with the triple talaq practice, that of wife desertion without provision of financial maintenance, continues to be widely followed.

In many cases, men are forcing their wives to give them ‘khula’ in order to circumvent the triple talaq law, they say. Khula is a practice in Islam where a woman can give divorce to her husband by returning the ‘mahr’ amount. She gets no maintenance after this form of divorce as well.

Activists also say that many police cases for triple talaq have been compounded. Compoundable offences are those where the complainant gets the charges dropped against the accused under Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. This happens because the law still has no provision for making Muslim husbands give maintenance to their wives after unilateral divorce.

This correspondent recently shared a video of a man giving instant talaq to his wife and recording the video on mobile phone as proof. The man, Mohammed Sohrab, sent the video to his second wife, a Hindu woman, who then shared it with this correspondent. The first wife did not file a case against Sohrab for the offence.

Amid such a scenario, cases of Muslim women opting to marry Hindu men in order to escape the fear of triple talaq, are also emerging.

A recent such case is of Amreena Ansari from UP’s Bijnor district, who has married a man named Pappu Kori under Hindu rituals. At the ceremony, she told the reporters that she was scarred by what happened to her friend, also a Muslim like her.

She said her friend was deserted after triple talaq by her husband over a trivial issue. Amreena said that it was this reason why she chose to fall in love with, and marry into, the Hindu society.

Pictures of Amreena clad in a red saree, and sporting mangalsutra and vermilion, were shared on the Internet.

On 16 December 2022, Amreena left her home and went with Kori, who is from a scheduled caste, to Bareilly. The couple married at Agastya Muni Ashram on 26 December after Amreena underwent a ‘shuddhi’ ceremony to enter the Hindu fold. She was renamed to Radhika.

A report by Dainik Bhaskar said that Amreena’s family has filed a case of kidnapping against Kori, which is pending with the police. Amreena is a major, reports say.

Before Amreena, a woman named Shehnaz from UP’s Bareilly similarly married a Hindu man, saying she wanted to escape the scourge of triple talaq and purdah system.

Swati Goel Sharma is a senior editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @swati_gs.

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