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What is ‘Nikah Halala?’


New Delhi, June 30: The government is all set to oppose in the Supreme Court the practice of 'Nikah Halala.' The practice forbids a divorced couple from re-marrying until the woman marries someone else and consulates her new marriage and gets divorced or widowed.

What is ‘Nikah Halala?’

The government believes that the practice is against the principles of gender justice and had made its stand clear in the court on the issue, the functionary said.

What is Nikah Halala?

According to the rules of Islamic marriage, if a man divorces his wife, she cannot remarry him unless and until she marries another man and this new husband divorces her, or she becomes a widow.

Passage 2:230 in the Quran states "And if he has divorced her for the third time, then she is not lawful to him afterward until 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."

Halala means making something lawful which is currently unlawful. Halala marriage makes the divorced wife lawful to the former husband, after she had become unlawful due to the three-time divorce.

What the Government plans to do:

The Supreme Court court had decided to only take up the issue of instant triple talaq and consider the issues of Nikah Halala and polygamy separately.

In March, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to the Centre on the issue of Nikah Halala and polygamy. "The stand is the same ... the Union of India is opposed to the practice. It will be reflected in the Supreme Court," an official said.

The court had last year declared instant triple talaq as unconstitutional. The government had later brought a bill to make triple talaq a penal offence. The bill, passed by the Lok Sabha, is pending in the Rajya Sabha.

It makes instant Triple Talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the husband. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or 'talaq-e- biddat'.

It gives power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking "subsistence allowance" for herself and minor children. A victim can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate.

Under the draft law, instant Triple Talaq in any form -- spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp -- would be illegal and void. The legal validity of Nikah Halala will now be examined by the Supreme Court.

A Constitution Bench of the top court will hear four petitions challenging the legal validity of the practice.

Under Nikah Halala, a man cannot remarry his former wife unless she marries another man, consummates the marriage, gets a divorce and observes a period of separation period called 'iddat'.

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