NIKAH HALALA @LEXCLIQ

In Islam, ‘halala’ is a term that finds its roots in ‘halal’ that translates to something that is permissible, and therefore ‘lawful’. In context of marriage then, it means that a divorced woman can become ‘halal’ (lawful) for her husband again after nikah halala is complete.

Islam dictates that a Muslim man has the liberty to divorce and remarry the same woman twice. However, if he decides to dissolve the marriage for the third time, he can only remarry the same woman if she first marries another man, consummates the marriage, and only if the man dies or willingly asks for divorce, can the woman go back to her first husband and remarry him.

Indian Muslim jurist Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (1863-1943) explained the concept clearly in Bahishti Zewar (a comprehensive handbook of Islamic beliefs and practices) that, “A person pronounces a revocable (raji) talaq. He then reconciles and resumes cohabitation. Two or four years later, under provocation he once again pronounces a revocable talaq. On recovering from provocation, he again resumes cohabitation. Now two talaqs are over. Hereafter, whenever he pronounces a talaq, it will be counted as the third talaq, which will dissolve the marriage forthwith, and should a remarriage be desired by the parties necessitate halala (inter-mediatory marriage).”

After the pronouncement of talaq, the woman becomes ‘haram’ (unlawful and therefore, prohibited) for the husband.

In context of divorce, a bar was laid down in order to ensure that the man did not use it as a tool for torturing his wife (by marrying and divorcing her as many times as he desired). It was the rule of irrevocability. This rule was introduced to maintain strict discipline and to ensure that marriage was not reduced to mere mockery.

It is said that this rule was established by the Prophet himself. Dr. Furqan Ahmad, a Research Associate at the Indian Law Institute wrote in Understanding the Islamic Law of Divorce that “the Prophet tried to put an end to [this] barbarous pre-Islamic practice” which was “to divorce wife and take her back several times in order to ill-treat her”. The Prophet, by the rule of irrevocability of the third pronouncement, indicated clearly that such a practice could not be continued indefinitely. Thus, if the husband really wished to take the wife back, he should do so; if not, the third pronouncement after two reconciliations would operate as a final bar.”

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