NEW DELHI - A growing trend among Indian men using social website as Facebook, SMS and e-mail to divorce their wives is sparking a new debate among scholars for contradicting Islamic teachings.
It is un-Islamic to divorce through Facebook, Muslim scholar Mushtaq Ali Nadvi told OnIslam.net.
There is a set procedure in Islam to divorce and if someone goes against it then it is un-Islamic.
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Several cases were reported in India of men using Facebook, SMS and e-mails to divorce their wives.
In one case, a husband divorced his wife through Facebook just two-and-a-half months after their marriage. He wrote talaq' thrice on his wife's Facebook wall.
In another case, Majidi Begum learnt about her divorce two years after the action.
I was kept in dark about the divorce and had no inkling about the action of my husband, she told OnIslam.net.
After marital problems with her husband, Majidi asked for divorce in 2012.
But to her shock, she was told by her husband that he has already divorced her two years ago.
The husband also showed her a stamp paper with the signatures of two witnesses stating that he had divorced her.
He informed me only in 2012 that he had already divorced me, Majidi said.
I am staying with my mother and hardly earn anything for my sustenance.
I don't know what my fault was. I am fighting my case in the court for the sake of meher (dowry given by the husband) and maintenance amount from my husband despite being divorced arbitrarily.
Another case of Dr Yasmeen, who was divorced by her husband orally after a 14-year marriage.
She says she was mentally tortured by her in-laws and husband who used to pressurize her to sell off her clinic and give them the money from the sale proceeds. She is now living with her children, separated from her husband and in-laws.
Dr Yasmeen's husband argued that he had given his wife verbal divorce but she said she was not aware of him doing so.
The divorced wife has now filed a case in the court demanding monthly maintenance from her husband for herself and her two children.
Muslim activists say that triple talaq and using unusual tools run counter to Islamic teachings.
Our sisters along with their children are regularly thrown out of their homes with nowhere to go under this highly un-Islamic practice of triple talaq, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andola (BMMA) convenor Saifia Akhtar told OnIslam.net.
This practice is un-Islamic, inhuman and unjust.
This practice is in total violation of Qur'anic injunctions and values of justice and fairness, she said.
In many cases, even the Qazi or the Mufti (Muslim judges) supported this practice out of ignorance and lack of understanding of the Qur'anic injunctions.
She said that pronouncing the word talaq trice at once violates Islamic teachings.
Unilateral talaq, that is pronouncing the word talaq' thrice in one go to annual marriage, is not in accordance with Shari`ah.
Ironically, it is widely prevalent due to lack of awareness in India.
The Qur'anic injunction regarding arbitration before divorce proceedings is not followed and hence women don't get justice, she said.
In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that brings together a man and a woman by virtue of the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other properly and with respect.
Divorce is not at all viewed favorably in Islam and is discouraged unless warranted by valid reasons.
Divorce is one of the rights that Islam grants to husbands. In most cases, a husband can claim that right.
However, there are also some cases in which a wife can terminate marriage; for example, by means of khul` (wife's right to obtain divorce under certain conditions).
Muslims account for 160 million of India's 1.1 billion people, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.
In India, divorce and marriage issues are dominated by All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the single largest religious body consisting of scholars of different schools of thought.
The AIMPLB was formed in 1973 to protect and apply Muslim Personal Law in marriage, divorce, succession and inheritance.In 2005, Shiites and women seceded to form their own separate Boards, the All India Shiite Personal Law Board & the All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net