Friday, October 29, 2010

Man Joking About 'Talaq' on Skype Has His Marriage Ended By Deoband

There are some pretty stupid edicts in every religion, but 'Talaq' in Islam takes the cake. First of all, being able to divorce your spouse simply by saying 'Talaq' three times is a major joke, and not a laughable one. It's absolutely ludicrous that all it takes to divorce your spouse is one word repeated three times. Talaq, talaq, talaq - and bye-bye wife. But it's even more ridiculous that a man who was joking around with his wife on Skype is now divorced because of this idiotic rule, and no-one will bend those rules for the hapless couple. And what they have to go through to 'remarry' is even more absurd.

An e-savvy Qatar resident learnt this the hard way when he typed talaq thrice while chatting with his wife on Skype. He says he did not mean it but Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband has ruled that his nikah stands terminated.

That's not all. For his careless 'chat', the man can remarry his divorced wife only after halaala, a practice under which the woman has to marry and divorce another man before she can marry her previous husband again.

Deoband's fatwa section — Dar-ul-Ifta (DuI) — recently received a written request from Qatar, seeking a fatwa on a rather amusing situation. The youth stated that he was recently chatting with his wife on Skype when he typed the word 'talaq' three times, though he did not mean it and asked if his nikah was still valid.

Dar-ul-Ifta shot back that the nikah stands terminated. "When you pronounce talaq three times, it means talaq has taken place, and it does not matter whether the woman has reciprocated or not. Your wife has become 'haraam' for you whether you are aware of the commandment of Islam or not. You neither have the right to take her back nor solemnise new nikah with her without a valid 'halaala'. After the completion of 'iddah' (iddat) period, the woman can marry where she wishes except you," the seminary said.

As per senior Islamic scholars, 'halaala' requires the woman to complete her iddat period of 40 days beginning immediately after talaq. During this period she is supposed to stay away from celebrations and socialising.

At the end of iddat, she would have to marry another man who should then divorce her. She will be required to go through another round of iddat only then would she be eligible to marry her "first husband".

Why the stupid young man even bothered to inquire about this, if it was simply a joke, demonstrates how incredibly fearful people are in that religion. Had he not written Deoband (an Islamic school in India), he wouldn't be dealing with the situation he's now in. In some ways it's his own fault for being so scared that he felt compelled to ask about it, but the whole idea of  'Talaq' needs to be addressed. Divorce shouldn't be that simple. And not to make an exception when it was said in jest is just plain cruel.

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