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Triple Talaq: Can anyone say it easily?

 “We wanted to have a legitimate relationship… So we got married.”  - he.

“It was easy for us not to fall in love with each other. We were more willing to try out passion. But we wanted to do it in a halal way. So, we decided to get married.” -she.

He was a student of Delhi University, and so was I. I have been brought up in a very conservative family with very high moral values. But this world is changing so fast, and sticking to old moral values is a tremendous task. You would ask me, how can I be so pure? Well, I am not. I have my vices. My name is Farnaz, and I am a typical Muslim girl from Hyderabad, India. My religion is what is above me.
I do things that do not disturb my conscience. I fear telling lies, I fear doing bad. It makes me nervous, and I feel I am more likely to get caught if I do something wrong. So I avoid doing wrong altogether.
I usually wear hijab and abaya like most conservative Muslim women do. Once in the college in Delhi, I was unleashed into the world of modernity. This world has changed so much. I live in a hostel, and almost everyone has a boyfriend. Not having a boyfriend is a matter of shame for girls. Only the one with a low self-esteem wouldn’t have a boyfriend. Being a virgin is looked down upon. It wasn’t long, before I was also introduced into this world of radical change. Being a girl from a conservative Muslim family I initially abhorred all the freaking things. But for how long? I too had the desires in me. I couldn’t remain the odd one out. I grew envious of my room-mates merry making. And they told me stories, how it felt to make love. How it felt to be in love!
Men from my community respected me for what I was. I wondered if I allured anyone, who would have a crush on me! Someone who could love a hijabi girl, who kept to herself, covered up. Someone who despised going out to parties. I am an introvert, and yet the romantic desires in me are infinite. Well, it is the desire of love and being loved.
My home in Hyderabad is in a typical Muslim neighbourhood. The roads are narrow and crowded. There are litters and refuse on the road. The drains are usually open, and stink a lot. Sometimes, filth and garbage get stuck and dirty water flows on the road. And you will find naked children running on the street. Most of the girls do not get the opportunity to study. The best they can do is learn to read the Arabic script, and read the Holy Quran without understanding the meaning. Yes, that is what most of the women do. Only a few delve into the meaning of the sacred verses, taking the time to understand the translation.
Only few Muslim girls goes to some good English Medium Schools. And those who do are kept under strict surveillance. It is good for parents to be protective – nearly all Indian parents are! But at a certain age, the children should be given the right to take make their own decisions. I agree 18 is quite an early age, but parents should gradually relinquish their hold on their children when they are between 21- 25 years of age. Let them be independent to carry on their lives. They will learn from their own mistakes.
It is both a good and a bad world. I have made to see the wickedness of the world more than its goodness. I have been made to fear and avoid the dark. Going out alone is a strict “No”, especially at night. Well, the news on the media amplifies the negativity in this world. And I have therefore taken every care to stay physically pure as a human being.
Coming to Delhi for higher studies changed my world. Resisting to temptation was the toughest thing to do. We are surrounded amicably by the Devils who are a master in the field of persuasion. In three years’ time, a person can change completely. The environment affected me, and I too wanted to enjoy the bliss of freedom and adulthood. This life is so strange, that we don’t know what we once detested will be a source of pleasure later on.
Premarital sex is very common among youths in Delhi. And during the two years I stayed, I grew from a shy woman to an independent woman. But still I kept my modesty. Peer pressure, as you call it or the surge of hormones, I too felt the need of a man in my life. Falling in love would be easy. That is what I had seen. But keeping the relationship strong for long, was the toughest thing to do. Something would happen and the couples who couldn’t live without each other and had made solemn promises to each other, broke up.
Marriage was something for the parents and society. And it has become a trend. Enjoy your life with some boys and in the end get married according to your parents’ choice. Well, everyone has adapted to this modern culture, and I don’t see people grumbling. Though there are some old folk who complains about the rampant indecency, but who cares!
While I was doing masters, this young gentleman who happened to be my junior in his graduation took a liking to me. Not that it was one-sided. But it is usually, the guy who asks the girl. Well we were working on a project together. He had been working with me, and I had to guide him through his work. He was handsome of men, and I was drawn to him. I watched him closely, and I knew he was observing me closely. The closeness brought us closer. I can’t clearly recollect it was when, but we grew fond of each other’s company.
Now, it was only with time, we would be getting physically involved. And that’s where I didn’t want to go.  I had my own apprehension. Falling in love was the purest thing in my religion. But getting into a physical relationship without marrying was a grievous sin. Maybe it had a social evolution, to protect the rights of the unborn child if conceived out of such relationship, if the biological father failed to keep his obligation to the mother and the child. There were no contraceptives those days, so the rule was logical. Nowadays with contraception in plenty, and a great deal of awareness campaign, these old rules are chucked out of the window like garbage.
It was during one session, when he was trying to get intimate, I cautioned him, that I wouldn’t let him do anything before marriage. And since he was a junior, younger than me by 3 years, I wondered if we could ever marry. This love was something really stupid. It doesn’t reason and catches a person unawares. He was sad and didn’t speak to me for some days. I too felt sad for the poor man. And I was thinking of giving in to his demands, when he came up with a novel solution.
While in one of our intimate moments seeing my reluctance he asked me, “Let’s get married.” It was an awkward moment for me. It was more of his decision, rather a command. I looked at him in his eyes seeking an answer.
“Let’s get married,” he repeated.
“Is it so easy to get married?” I retorted. “If so, by now every couple in a live-in relationship would have got married. It needs family involvement. Two families. And the society. Do you think, it is easy?”
“How about a secret marriage? We can quietly get married. There won’t be guilt in our conscience after that!”
“I don’t want to marry secretly. I would be cheating my family.”
“Then, you say for a solution. I have read in newspapers and the internet, that Arab men come to Hyderabad, and marry girls out there. They marry for a period of say one or two months, and pay heavily as Mahr for a virgin wife. After enjoying for some time, with the three talaqs they divorce their young wives.”
I wondered where he was getting at.
“If you fear we will be sinning, let’s get married and enjoy the bliss of a husband and wife. And if you want to marry someone else or if your parents have chosen someone else for you, then I will divorce you. It will be a sort of Misyar or Muta marriage, and will be convenient for all of us.”
A Misyar marriage is a licit marriage contract between two adults of opposite sex of sound mind in Sunni Islam. Well, it is seen more for the sake of pleasure, wherein the husband has to pay some fixed amount for the duration of cohabitation with his wife. The children born out of such marriage are legitimate, and can inherit property from both the parents. And the duration can be extended till life, until the husband doesn’t formally divorces the wife, or the wife seek a dissolution of the marriage. A Muta marriage is similar to Misyar marriage, practised by Ithna Asharia Shias.
Now this was a real drama for the sake of making love. Well there was less love, but more lust in such marriages. And we had to justify our relationship so that on the Day of Judgement, we wouldn’t be held guilty for our actions. Whatever we had done had been in within the bond of marriage. And seeing the frequency of illegitimate relationships (physical relationship not to one’s spouse), my next future husband whoever would be, wouldn’t care for virginity. And anyway, I would tell him the truth before marriage, that I was a divorcee.
Now, the word divorcee clicked in my mind. Well I didn’t like it at all. Either I would be cheating my future husband (if he was someone else) by not telling him the truth, or he wouldn’t be able to digest the fact and call off the marriage.
I didn’t want to think. So kept silent. Our relationship was under strain. We could feel the strain in our lives when we worked together. I wondered how long we would last. A relationship that began in lust was more of disastrous. Legalizing lust would be wrong in the eyes of God. But we are mammals. And as humans we follow the innate instinct. We are verily weak in flesh and blood and devise our own ways to bypass the Laws for our own benefit, in a way cheating our Creator and satisfying our conscience.
After lot of musings, I decided to accept his secret proposal for marriage. At least something was better than nothing. And who knew the future? If I were dead by tomorrow, my life would all be gone. Maybe, my soul would regret that I missed the chance when I had.
We were secretly married in the presence of two of his friends as a witnesses, and a Maulana whom he had arranged. It had been all a game up till then. I hadn’t given much thought of this marriage, meaning it would be dissolved anyway. And the Mahr had been agreed to one rupee (I had put it that way, so that it wouldn’t be I was a gold digger). If he divorced me, he would have to pay me one rupee and was free of his husband duties.
Up till then, I had seen him just as my junior. Someone I was attracted to. Someone I wanted to quench my thirst on. But once I said those magical words, “Qubool hai,” I felt the transformation in me. I don’t know what came over my heart. But, I saw him first time as a man, who would protect me from this world. A strange feeling crept over my heart, when he too said “Qubool hai.” We were officially married in the presence of the Maulana. I was married! And this wasn’t a game.
We began our lives as a married couple. In today’s society, where live-in relationship has become common, we decided to move in together under the umbrella of marriage. I moved to his place. The first night was the most memorable one. We lost our virginity. Pleasure came with pain. I loved the feeling of his warm body wrapped around me. I hugged him closely and felt this was what the world meant.
Life was not rosy as it seemed to be. Now, I developed intense feelings for him. I don’t know why, I felt jealous of every women whom he talked to. Now the situation was different. I started respecting him for his efforts. Earlier, I had taken everything for granted. I knew he loved me. He had always showered me with his love. But, it was now I started reciprocating to his love. I don’t know what came over me, I read the Urdu romantic novels, and how to please a husband.  Earlier, I used to call him by his name. But now, I would refer to him without taking his name. Work was my priority however, and he never proved to be a hindrance in my career. He supported me throughout. Staying together with him, was one of the happiest days in my life. I still had my room in the college Hostel, for whenever my parents came to visit me or his parents came to visit him, I would shift there, without rousing anyone’s suspicion.
After my masters, I got placed in a multi-national company. My parents decided it was high time, their daughter should get married. They searched for a suitable groom.
While I was trying to postpone the marriage. I don’t know, but I felt nervous thinking of the divorce. He had promised me, he would divorce me and we could part in amicable terms. I told him, that my parents had found a groom for me. He told me it was fine. He would say the words, when the time would come. Till then we could live together. Well, I was happy. Maybe a miracle would happen, and we all would end up living happily.
I cared for him affectionately during the time. He had his exams, and I made sure he had proper food. I cooked when I came from my job. I took to groom him and encourage him. And he was true to me all along. He would listen to me, as I told him of my day.
It was just this divorce thing that was causing some psychological strain on our mind. I don’t know, but whenever we talked of my marriage to someone else, I could see him a bit depressed.
“Will you be happy?” he asked. “With someone else?”
“Let’s see. Only if you would be happy.”
My parents selected a man. And decided a date for our meeting. I saw my would-be groom, Salim. He was a handsome young man, with beard. That’s the recent trend. He was from Hyderabad, but he too had studied in Delhi.
It was a formality, when I met him. We talked about our likes and dislikes. Now, he wanted to know if I had been in a relationship. I told him I was. He was quite open minded. He said, “I wouldn’t have believed it if you would have said no. Almost everyone is in a relationship in Delhi. I myself had three girlfriends. I don’t care what you did before marriage. But after we get married, I hope we will be faithful to each other. Cause, I have no right to seek a virgin wife, when I ain’t myself a virgin!”
He smiled. His words breathed a cool air into my soul. I could trust this man. I would tell him, whatever had happened to me. My relationships. And I would like to know about his.
I waited for my man to send me his divorce notice. I didn’t ask him, I waited for his decision. When I confronted him next time we met, he asked me,
“Do you want a divorce?”
I looked in his eyes. “Do you have the courage to come to my house and ask my parents for my hand? They would kill you and me, for bringing shame to the family!”
He relinquished. That day, I saw his blank face, without emotion. Maybe he had become a mask. I was getting married to someone else. I don’t know if I really wanted that.
It was on the day of my engagement that the greatest drama in my life unfolded. My would-be groom (Salim) was happy. Everything had been done perfectly. I was apprehensive also of the divorce. I would have to get it at least two months before getting married to anyone else, or the second marriage would be void. Would he send it? Did he love me? I couldn’t be two men’s wife at the same time. Well, it was an engagement only. May be he would message me the word Talaq three times on WhatsApp, and that would be the end of our marriage. I wonder, if people can get divorced on such Apps, then they could also get married on these Apps?
No. Nothing came.
It was the time, during our ring ceremony, when I saw him. I couldn’t control my tears. And as Salim took my hand to put the ring, my man came out exactly like what I had seen in Bollywood movies, “You can’t put that ring on her. She is my wife.”
For a moment, it seemed like an Atom Bomb had been dropped and the shock waves sent a chill that froze everyone. It was then my dad spoke.
“What nonsense is this?”
“It is no nonsense, Uncle. I have married your daughter. Ask her.” He showed him the Nikah Halafnama.
My dad was furious.
He asked me sharply, “If it is true I will gun you both here.”
The shock was too much for me to bear. I fainted.
When I recovered my senses, there was commotion all over. I was lying on a bed.
My enraged dad was helpless. I felt sorry for cheating him. Salim looked amused, however. When everything had calmed down, he told me that my man had told him everything.
“Now you have to choose. You were expecting for his divorce. If you get his divorce, I will still marry you. He said he won’t utter the word of Talaq ever in his life!”
I asked him, where he was.
He had been kept locked in a room. He had come alone, without his parents or anyone to fight for me. What more could a girl would want? Someone who would fight for her. Someone who loved her so much, to stand up for her against all the world. That was the dream of any girl who wanted love. A man who was a Man in love!
I asked for my man. My brother escorted him to me. He looked sad, and his eyes were watery. He had grown thin. I had been selfish all along. He clasped my hand gently.
I asked him, “Why?”
And his reply made him all his, “I wouldn’t trade you for anything. The one rupee Mahr is worth the weight of all the gold on earth. This Talaq is more of a word from the mouth of a Devil. I realised how broken I would be, without you. Every moment that I spent with you, whether good or bad was and is the best of my memories. We marry once, and forever. God, didn’t make this marriage to be broken. There is always barkat in a halal relationship, and I loved you with my heart ever since I uttered “Qubool hai”. Though I had given little weight to the marriage then, but Allah will guide them those who fear him and seek refuge in Him!”
His eyes were moist. I couldn’t control my tears. I pulled him closer to me, and hugged him and cried like a baby.
 My dad forgave us. Though I had brought him shame, but I had been legitimate in my actions. And yes, I am proud of my man. It was a relationship that had started just for fun and pleasure. But Allah cemented it with a strong bond. It is in the heart that springs forth love and binds two souls together. And who said, it is easy to utter the word Talaq easily? A true Muslim would understand the sanctity and sacredness of the marriage. And would never utter the word in his sense. The power had been given to the Muslims to value their tongue and the words they spoke.
But in today’s time, when Muslims have lost their worth of words and can utter the word, the frightful word without giving a thought – well your worth has also declined! When you make women objects for Nikah halala, Allah will surely impose on you a ruler who will ban your religious practices! 

Triple Talaq: Can anyone say it easily? Reviewed by Polymath on 1:23 pm Rating: 5


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