Talaq on WhatsApp: victims move to Hyderabad HC

Hyderabad: Two Muslim women who were victims of talaq given on WhatsApp by their NRI husbands approached the Hyderabad High Court seeking justice. Their husbands are presently residing in the US.

One of the petitioners narrated her woes saying that she tolerated the harassment meted out by her in-laws hoping that her husband may call her to the US. However, her husband also took side of her in-laws and resorted to mental harassment through phone and messages.

The second petitioner also had similar story to tell. She has two daughters from the husband who gave talaq on WhatsApp. She says harassment of her in-laws increased after birth of second child. They asked her to leave their house as she had no right to stay there, since their son had already pronounced talaq. However, the petitioner said she has no knowledge regarding the Talaq.

The petitioners sought police protection and requested the court to declare the action of their husbands as illegal, arbitrary and violation of Article 14 and 21 of Constitution and also violation of Muslim Personal Law Board and dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act.

It must be noted that Islam disapproves of divorce immensely, and in this connection it has cautioned its followers to be very careful, and has pointed out the steps that the spouses have to take for reconciliation in the event of disagreement between them. It has also laid down the correct procedure of giving divorce if it becomes inevitable to do so. But a very large number of Muslims is unaware of these teachings of slam and because of the moral and social corruption a number of people put divorce to wrong and improper use by giving three divorces at one and the same time. There is an urgent need to educate the people about the Islamic teachings concerning divorce and to show to them its correct procedure.

If living together as husband and wife is becoming difficult, Islam directs not to take the decision to give divorce immediately, but all efforts should be made for reconciliation between the husband and wife. If the disagreement between the spouses reaches the point of separation, no haste be made to give divorce, but that one more measure should be tried, and that is an arbiter each from the relatives of the husband and wife be appointed and both these arbiters should try to bring in reconciliation between them.

If even this last measure proves to be ineffective, and there appears to be no sign of reconciliation, then the husband can use his right of giving divorce; and it is definitely better to free the wife from the bonds of Nikah than keeping her suspended indefinitely. As Islam has kept the avenue of divorce open for man similarly Islam has given the right of ‘Khula’ to woman.

In the case of deciding to give divorce, a husband should take care to adopt the Shariah method. i.e.
Divorce should be given when the wife is in a ‘state of purity’. Only one divorce be given. He should not add any numbers to his divorce. Divorce be given in the presence of two just witnesses. After the divorce, the woman will have to pass her term of waiting (Iddat). During the period of waiting (Iddat) a husband can return to her, i.e. take her back as wife.

If he has not returned to her or revoked the divorce, then after the period of waiting (Iddat) is over, the woman would separate from the man.

According to the Qur’an and Sunnah this is the correct and better procedure of giving divorce. In this procedure man gets full opportunity to think and to weigh the pros and cons of his steps, and there remains little or no chance for him to regret.

Generally people, being ignorant of the commands of the Shariah and being carried away by their emotion or rage, pronounce three divorces at one time, and then regret it. This method of giving divorce is against the Sunnah.