A news expose lifted the veil of the darkest and the most exploitive practices of Islam about how Maulvis take money for one-night stand with divorced women trying to save marriage. No matter how strange this sounds, such customs are still prevalent in our society even in the 21st century. Nikah Halala has become one of the most regressive practices of modern day Islam. It is a practice which involves a female divorcee marrying someone else, consummating the marriage and then getting a divorce in order to make it allowable to remarry her previous husband. It’s the one-night-stand where women are forced to have sex and marry a man who they don’t know, only to be able to reconcile with their estranged husband.
Now a days Nikah halala has turned into a business practice for several maulvis who are making a killing by exploiting women and by forcing them to sleep with them.
Deals of Nikah Halala across India has been brokered by maulvis themselves who are charging between ₹20,000- ₹1.5 lakhs per women for the entire process of Halala. They charge money and project themselves as prospect grooms irrespective of their age and marital status.
An Imam from Moradabad admitted on national television that he had officiated several Nikah Halala marriages before. This time, he proposed a package deal for the entire service, including sex. “It’s ₹1 lakh,” he demanded. The Imam guaranteed issuing divorce after spending a night with the bride for her to become eligible to go back to her first husband in accordance with the personal law. On being asked whether he has informed his wife and whether she would object he replied that he hadn’t spoken to her and she need not be told off this matter.
Next is the case of an Imam from Delhi’s Jamia Nagar who although has two wives had nominated himself up for a third at the prospect of Nikah Halala, in exchange for money. He charges about ₹40,000-₹50,000 per halala and promises that he would divorce the woman around 2-3 am in the night after sleeping with her.
There are even Maulanas who have performed Halala without marriage. They claim that they just go and sleep with the woman for a day or two and leave them. Others as old as 60-65 years of age are ready 24×7 to perform for rates between ₹1-₹1.5 lakhs. There are also instances of men losing wives in gambling, divorcing them and forcing them to perform Halala with the man they lost to before they can marry them again.
The concept of Halala is not part of Sharia or even mentioned in the Quran. What the Quran says in2:229, 2:230 is that “Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment. And it is not lawful for you to take anything of what you have given them unless both fear that they will not be able to keep [within] the limits of Allah. But if you fear that they will not keep [within] the limits of Allah, then there is no blame upon either of them concerning that by which she ransoms herself. These are the limits of Allah, so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah – it is those who are the wrongdoers.” “And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. And if the latter husband divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon the woman and her former husband for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allah. These are the limits of Allah, which He makes clear to a people who know.”
The above is often interpreted as following: if a husband divorces his wife by pronouncing talaq, he can revoke the divorce within the iddah, that is, the period of separation that precedes divorce. If the divorce is completed, the couple can remarry. The couple may divorce and remarry twice. However, if they divorce a third time, they can neither unite within the iddah period nor marry again until the ex-wife marries another man, to ensure that the divorce is taken seriously.
So basically, the concept of Halala is just to show the seriousness of marriage and divorce. The idea behind this was to prevent a man from doing whatever he pleases with his wife. But with the passage of time, the above interpretation has been modified and twisted and now is used as a strategy to remarry, or Halala, and often justified by some as true belief.
Nikah Halala, although banned in many Muslim countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh, still continues in India.
Nikah Halala practice has to be declared illegal and there has to be a law in place to forbid this because this can’t just be an oral instruction or thing that should be done. This must be a law so anybody who violates it operates the law is sent behind bars because this is not less than rape. These men should be booked and action should be taken against them.
And most importantly the civilized society should come forward irrespective of their religion, community and political opinion to comment and fight for human rights and dignity of women. How can you ask a lady to go and sleep with another man who is being paid just because he wants to go back to the estranged husband? This is shocking and there is no place for such customs in a democratic country like India.