What is Teen Talaq?
There are two normal processes of divorce – Talaq, where a man can utter the word thrice to terminate the marriage, and ‘Khul’, where the divorce is with mutual agreement. The later is not an issue because it is fair that both, husband and wife agree that their marriage is not going work any more. In this case, a wife has a right to appeal for a divorce too. This is highly prevalent in most places which are not ultra-conservative like Turkey, Lebanon, The real issue is the ‘Talaq’.
The word ‘Talaq’ is a word of repudiation (read – divorce). The term ‘TEEN TALAQ’ is related to the process leading to ‘Divorce’. In recent times, with technology available, men have misused the technology to divorce their wives through text message, email, audio/video, in writing etc to divorce their wives. When the word ‘Talaq’ is used to divorce a wife, it has certain preconditions attached to it to make it legitimate.
a) the man uttering it must not be under influence (of alcohol, drug etc)
b) should be of sane mind
c) must provide for livelihood/maintenance for her and children
d) the man should allow the woman to retain her ‘Mehar’ (a sum assured, and mostly given to the bride by the groom (or member of her family, relative or known person), as a protection at the time of marriage.
Apart from these, the man ‘must’ provide financial support to the woman during the ‘waiting period’, (waiting period does not happen in ‘Instant Talaq’ which is the issue being raised for the sake of women.
Women in India especially have been fighting against the ‘Instant talaq’ which men in the community use to terminate the marriage ‘instantly’. In most countries which are governed by Islamic law like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan have ‘banned’ instant talaq. However, in India it continues to be a source of depravity for women in the Muslim community. Under the ‘Teen Talaq’ provision, the man can utter to the wife the word ‘talaq’ with intent, but must wait for a period of three menstrual period which because it allows the couple
1. to learn if the wife is pregnant or not
2. It allows the couple to think hard if they really wish to separate
3. If the couple have sex within this period, the talaq is considered null and void, except when it is repeated twice in future. (then there are complications that come to the fore which women hate to talk about- or even image eg. ‘Halala’where a former husband cannot remarry his ex-wife until she has been through another marriage and consummated that marriage and divorced by the man she has married). This was made a compulsion to unsure that a husband, and ponder really hard if he wants to divorce his wife for good. ‘Halala’ is seen as a deterrence to divorce.