Nikah (Marriage) Halala is an Islamic practice by certain sects of Sunni Muslims which approves of a female divorcee marrying someone else in order to remarry her first husband. According to this practice, the only way a woman can reconcile her marriage is by marrying someone else (and having intercourse with them) getting a divorce from them before remarrying her first husband.
According to an Islamic awareness platform reported that, a man can take his wife back after 3 talaq’s before her iddat (a waiting period after death or divorce) ends. The platform explained that after the third talaq the separation between a man and his wife is “irrevocable”. After the third talaq, a woman is free to marry someone else however, if for any reason her marriage to her second husband does not work and leads to a talaq, she is free again to be get married to any person of her choice including her first or second husband.
The platform reported that, the practice of Halala should not be PLANNED between a woman and her second husband as a way resuming her first marriage as this is not Illegitimate.
Surah Al-Baqarah 2:230 states that, “And if he has divorced her (the third time), then she is not lawful unto him thereafter until she had 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.”
Some argue that the reason for such statement (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:230 ) in Quran is to is a warn “anyone tempted to divorce their wife by triple talaq (as the idea of a wife having intercourse with another man can be emotionally painful), because if you do, Allah says your wife has to have sex with another man before you can get back together”- (Schofield, L. 2017).
Others argue that this practice is oppressive and a breach of human rights (women’s rights) as the “condition strictly states that either her second husband divorces her with will or he dies” any other agreement is prohibited – (Pakistan, K.S.2016).
Some Muslims believe that in cases of “triple talaq” (where a man says “talaq” (divorce) to his wife three times) an Islamic marriage ends instantly. At present, this practice is banned in most Muslims countries but is unclear how many women in the United Kingdom have been divorced as a result of their husbands saying “talaq, talaq, talaq”.
Subsequently Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The Curse of Allah be upon the one who marries a divorced woman with the intention of making her lawful for her former husband, and upon the one for whom she is made lawful”. This suggests that a PLANNED Halala is unlawful and any woman who PLANS with another man to partake in Halala in order for her to reconcile her marriage with her first husband will be cursed alongside the man who assisted with the Halala marriage.
The above religious repercussion of a planned Halala, the “curse of Allah” suggests that, anyone who intentionally plans and take part in Halala will be distanced, expelled and removed from the mercy of Allah.
In addition to the religious repercussion of this practice, it has to be acknowledged that some women living in the UK are being exploited as a result of the practice. Women who are desperate to reconcile their marriages are being financially and sexually exploited by perpetrators asking for a fee to be a second husband. Women are at risk of blackmailing and are likely victims of domestic violence swell.
A BBC (2017) investigation has found that “a number of online services are charging “divorced” Muslim women thousands of pounds to take part and in “Halala” Islamic marriages”.
The Islamic Sharia Council in East London reported that: “It’s haram, it’s forbidden. There’s no stronger word I can use. There are other options, like getting help or counselling. We would not allow anyone to go through with that. You do not need Halala, no matter what,”- (BBC. 2017).
Halala is a practice majority of Muslims are against and is only practiced by people who have misunderstood Islamic laws around divorce.
For support around marriage/divorce, please contact:
- The Islamic Council UK – 0800 622 6111 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your local Iman.
References and further Reading
- The Quran ( Surah Al-Baqarah 2:230)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlvNMlIMWhw – YouTube Video