Triple Talaq Bill: a historic decision indeed. A ban which a number of third world Muslim countries have enforced came very late to the largest democracy of the world.
I was in favour of the bill since the very beginning not only because of my political ideology but also for the Muslim community. Since the bill has been in the limelight recently, I have been doing my research and came to know that the petition was actually filed by Shayara Bano, a Muslim woman.
I was eager to know more and found something really interesting about the actual system of divorce in Islam. Here’s what I found:
Divorce is once at a time. Even if “I divorce you” is said in anger 15 times not 3, it still counts as one. There is a misunderstanding about the concept of instant triple talaq and is considered Bid’ah. It is explained better in Sura Al-Baqara 227 to 230.
This Qur’anic passage explains that the act of divorce has to happen on three separate occasions and most scholars say that divorce in the heat of the moment with the husband saying “I divorce you” is not binding.
The Qur’an’s Chapter 2, Verse 227 to 230 explain:
227. And if they decide upon divorce, then Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
228. And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.
229. The divorce is twice, after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness. And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of your Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) which you have given them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allah (say, to deal with each other on a fair basis).
Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or a part of it) for her Al-Khul (divorce). These are the limits ordained by Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits ordained by Allah, then such are the Zalimun (wrongdoers).
230. And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she has married another husband. Then, if the other husband divorces her, it is no sin on both of them that they reunite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. These are the limits of Allah, which He makes plain for the people who have knowledge.
The Quran establishes two further means to avoid hasty divorces. It prescribes two waiting periods of three months before the divorce is final in order to give the husband time to reconsider his decision. Moreover, a man who takes an oath not to have sexual intercourse with his wife, which would lead to automatic divorce, is allowed a four-month period to break his oath (2:226).
I am not calling myself an expert on Muslim law, but I think everyone who’s opposing the bill by calling it anti-Islam should read the above mentioned sections of The Qur’an.
PS: I wrote this after a long discussion with a friend of mine, a Muslim woman herself.