The triple-talaq or nikah halala in Islam, which gives the husband the right to unilaterally divorce his wife has been a topic of debate for a long time. Not only is it biased towards women, but it's also unconstitutional. We keep coming across news of Muslim men divorcing their wives over a phone call, or a text message, or via a letter! Can you imagine that?
While hundreds of Muslim women live in the fear that their husbands might divorce them on a whim, one woman from a small village in India kicked this regressive law in the gut and stood up for herself.
Unhappy with the repeated dowry demands from her in-laws, 19-year-old Mohsina, from Daha in Uttar Pradesh, said Talaq, talaq, talaq to her husband and ended the marriage.
It was only a few days ago that Mohsina, a class 10 student, and Mohammed Arif had tied the knot. Also, just a month ago, the village Khap Panchayat had passed a diktat making the dowry demand illegal in the district. But when Mohsina's father-in-law, Mohammed Sattar, pressurised her for dowry after marriage, she informed her widowed mother, who asked Mohsina to return home. To resolve the issue, Mohsina's husband and father-in-law requested that a panchayat be called.
Around 500 people were present in the panchayat, when Mohsina's husband called her and kept the phone on speaker as he apologised. But Mohsina had made up her mind. She uttered the word Talaq thrice and disconnected the line.
As a punishment to Mohsina's in-laws, the panchayat banned any marriage alliance in their family for the next 3 years. Although, Islam does not give women any right to divorce their husbands using the triple-talaq, the panchayat stood by Mohsina's decision. To make the divorce official, Mohsina will have to go to a kazi, but the Imam of the Jama Masjid in Daha, Maulana Mohammad Farman, said that the divorce was official. As reported by The Telegraph he said:
"The village elders heard it. The bride and the groom identified each other on the mobile phone. A community is free to ostracise a greedy family."
Mohsina has set an example for every woman who faces oppression by such regressive laws. You go girl!
All the images used are for representational purposes.