Halala is a Sharia Ruling, according to which [1]:

  • If a husband and a wife are separated through divorce, and later they reconcile and want to remarry, then Islam forbids such remarriage and does not allow them to come together again.
  • Islam stipulates, there is only one way for them to come together again, and that is Halala (Tahleel Marriage نكاح التحليل).

In Islamic Halala itself [1]:

  1. the woman first has to marry another man.
  2. And then that 2nd husband also has to taste her (i.e. to consummate the marriage).
  3. And if that 2nd husband also divorces her, only then will she become eligible to remarry her former husband.

Many kinds of problems and situations could occur during Halala, where the woman has to pay the price. For example:

  • If a husband says Talaq to his wife 3 times in a state of anger, then it destroys the whole family in one second.
  • And it is the woman, who has to suffer, even if she is totally innocent and the divorce was totally the fault of the husband.
  • And even if she is ready to undergo all these sufferings of Halala, still there is no guarantee that the 2nd husband is going to give her freedom by giving her a divorce later. In this case, she is stuck for her whole life with her 2nd husband and not able to reunite with her children and the family and the former husband. Thus, Halala comes with extreme risk factor for the women.

Halala was a practice of the pre-Islamic era of Ignorance

Dr. Jawad Ali wrote:

ويظهر أن الجاهليين كانوا قد أوجدوا حلًّا لهذا الطلاق الشاذ، فأباحوا للزوج أن يرجع زوجه إليه بعد الطلاق الثالث، ولكن بشرط أن تتزوج بعد وقوع الطلاق الثالث من رجل غريب، على أن يطلقها بعد اقترانها به، وعندئذ يجوز للزوج الأول أن يعود إليها بزوج جديد.It is apparent that the people from the era of Ignorance found a way to make their wives permissible (Halal) for them even after 3 divorces. Therefore, if the husband wanted to take her back, then that woman had to marry a stranger man on the condition that he would divorce her later. After this process had been completed (i.e. the divorce from the stranger), then the first husband was allowed to remarry her.

Thus, Muhammad also continued this practice of Halala after the arrival of Islam too.

Halala Ruling didn't come from Hadith/Fiqh, but directly from Quran

Halala is not a Hadith/Fiqh discussion, but a 'Unanimous Ruling', which came from the Quran directly:

If a man divorces her again (a third time), she becomes unlawful for him (and he cannot remarry her) until she has married another man. Then if he divorces her there is no harm if the two unite again (by remarrying)

Therefore, no Muslim jurist ever denied Halala. The only difference occurs in the secondary issue, i.e.[2]:

  • Hanafi and Shafi'i Fiqhs allow a woman to marry a 2nd man with the 'intention' of taking divorce later, and to remarry her first husband. That is why, we see 'Halala Centers' in the Islamic countries, and even in the western countries too where Muslim population resides.
  • While Hanbali and Maliki Fiqhs don't allow such marriage with the intention of later taking Talaq. In this case, all the doors are shut for a woman to reunite her children and the former husband.

Muslim women still feel themselves compelled to go back to their ex-husbands despite the humiliation and risky process of Halala

The process of Halala brings a lot of shame and humiliation and risks for a Muslim woman in an Islamic society, and people don't look good at the women who undergoes the Halala process. But many divorced Muslim women still wish (or even feel themselves compelled) to undergo the humiliation of the process of Halala in order to reunite with their ex-husband.

The reasons are as under.

First Reason: She still loves her ex-husband despite the temporary anger

According to human nature:

  • Humans have both love and anger in their nature.
  • And humans are prone to make 'temporary' mistakes in their anger.
  • What if a husband pronounces Talaq 3 times to his wife in a state of anger?
  • Will the husband now get no chance to correct his temporary mistake?
  • Does this temporary mistake really end all the love between them?
  • According to the human nature, it is certainly possible for a woman to still love her ex-husband and vice versa despite the divorce.

The point of view of the Islam critics is:

  • Their "mutual love" and "mutual consent" should be reason enough to allow them to remarry.
  • Actually, if they are willing to reunite, then they must be strongly "encouraged and supported", while this is more beneficial for their children too, otherwise the family life of the children is destroyed.
  • And any prohibition upon their reuniting is against human nature, and illogical and brings only unnecessary hardships in their lives and in the lives of their children.

Second Reason: Preserving family life for their children

In case of divorce:

  • Both partners have to live separately,
  • And thus, the children are also separated either from the father or from the mother.
  • In both cases, the family life of the children is destroyed.
  • Therefore, for the sake of their children, and in order to provide them with the love of their fathers in a family life under one roof, many divorced Muslim women wish to return to their ex-husbands later.

Third Reason: Islamic Ruling that all the children will be separated from the mother, if she marries any other man (except for her ex-husband)

Halala Ruling does not affect the life of a divorced woman alone, but it works with another Islamic Ruling which says that [3]:

  • A woman will lose all of her children and they are separated from her if she marries any other man (except for her ex-husband).
  • Islamic Logic is that all the time of the wife (except of the prayers) belong to the new husband. He could call her for sexual enjoyment at any time. But if children from the first husband are still there, then it hampers the right of 2nd husband to enjoy her. Thus, the children should be separated from her if she decides to remarry another person.

Please read out article: Strange Islam: If a divorced woman remarries, then she will lose the custody of her children

Thus, all the divorced Muslim mothers are badly affected and they are in a hard rock and hard place due to the "combination" of these 2 "Islamic Rulings". They are practically "compelled" to choose one of the lesser evils from the 3 options below:

  1. Their first option is to choose to stay with their children, but the evil for them is that they have to give away their right to remarry any other man. In an Islamic society, it is very difficult for a woman to survive alone. She has to face a lot of restrictions (like taking Hijab and not to make interaction with men). Thus, her life becomes really difficult to go outside of the house, and then to find a good job, and then to work whole day there, and at the same time to look after her small children at home too. Thus, the easiest way for a divorced woman to survive in an Islamic society, is to remarry and get the support of another man.
  2. Their second option is to marry another man of their choice, in order to get the financial support and love from him. But the evil for them in this option is that all their children will be separated from them. And it is one of the most horrible things for any mother to lose any or all of her children.
  3. Their third option is to remarry their ex-husband. In this case, they will get the financial support of a man, and children will also not be separated from them, and actually the it is best in the interest of the children to stay under one roof in a family life with their mother and father. That is why, many divorced Muslim mothers feel themselves compelled to desire for Halala, despite it being a shameful process for them to allow other man to play with their bodies against their wish.

Risks, that are involved in Halala for a woman

There are three big risks involved in Halala for a woman.

  1. Firstly, what if the 2nd husband decides not to give her a divorce? In Islamic Sharia, a woman has neither a right of divorce, nor of Khul'. (Please read the Khul' article regarding the details).
  2. Secondly, what if the 2nd husband not only wants to keep her as his wife, but he also becomes abusive and starts beating her, so that she becomes submissive and starts providing sex services to him properly? Note: Islamic Sharia allows the husband to severely beat the wife (even with bruises) if she is not providing him with the sex services properly. No Islamic court could provide her with freedom even in case of such abusive husband, except that he breaks any part of her body (like bones etc)[4].
  3. Third big risk for a woman is the so-called Ghayrah of the 1st husband. After the 2nd husband already had sex with her, then certainly it lowers her status and value in the eyes of her 1st husband, and he could not love her as before. Especially, when men in an Islamic society become extremely emotional and unsensible in name of (Ghayrah (Arabic: غَيْرَة‎), which means a person's dislike of another's sharing in a right (which belongs to the former). Thus, the whole Muslim society think bad about such woman, who undergoes the process of Halala in order to reunite with her ex-husband and the children. And it is not only the hatred from the whole Islamic society, but risk is there that 1st husband will deny to remarry her in name of Ghayrah, even after she takes the divorce from the 2nd husband.

Combination of Halala + Wife Beating + Wife not having the right to get her freedom through divorce

Halala does not come alone. In another combination, it affects the women as under:

  1. Halala
  2. Wife Beating
  3. And a wife does not have any right to get her freedom from an abusive husband in any way.

The combination of all three of them in action is found in the following Hadith:

Rifa`a divorced his wife whereupon `AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. `Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by severe beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, `Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women (i.e. men were not beating their wives so brutally during the era of ignorance as they beat after Islam). Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!" When `AbdurRahman heard that his wife had gone to the Prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, "By Allah! I have done no wrong to him but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this," holding and showing the fringe of her garment, `Abdur-Rahman said, "By Allah, O Allah's Apostle! She has told a lie! I am very strong and can satisfy her but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifa`a (i.e. the first husband)." Allah's Apostle said, to her, "If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifa`a unless `Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you." Then the Prophet (ﷺ) saw two boys with `Abdur- Rahman and asked (him), "Are these your sons?" On that `AbdurRahman said, "Yes." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "You claim what you claim (i.e.. that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow,"

Therefore:

  • Either this Sahabia lady (i.e. female companion) was telling a lie about the impotency of her husband (and that too in front of Prophet Muhammad himself), or her 2nd husband was telling a lie when he claimed to not to be impotent.
  • Muhammad later declared that female companion to be a lair, due to 2 sons of that man from another wife.
  • So, what compelled that female companion to come up with this lie of impotency of her husband? Answer is, in this rare case of impotency, she has a chance to get her freedom through an Islamic court. Here you could read about these rare cases, where an Islamic court could give freedom to the women through Faskh فسخ (i.e. dissolution of marriage): List of hardships that a woman has to bear before getting her freedom through an Islamic court.
  • But such false charges and disputes are only going to destroy the peace in the house, and no one could live happily in such an environment.
  • And if a Sahabia (female companion) lady was unable to control over her love and desire for the 1st husband, and if she was ready to come up with false slanders to achieve her desire, then it could not be expected from the women of today to not to love their ex-husbands and not to make such false moves in order to achieve their true desires.

Moreover:

  • Firstly, according to this hadith, the husband beat her so brutally that her skin became green (she got bruises), but she was still unable to get freedom from him (through divorce or Khul' or court or any other way), as husbands are fully allowed to beat their wives in Islam. Even the Islamic courts are also not allowed to give her her freedom (except that any part of her body is broken during the beating).
  • Even if the sole mistake is of the husband himself, and even if he is an abusive bad-tempered person, still Islam does not allow the woman to get rid of him. She is compelled to live whole of her life with him (if he wishes so).
  • And 'Aisha testified that after the arrival of Islam, the Muslim men used to beat the women much more brutally as compared to the pre Islamic period (i.e. Kafir husbands didn't beat their wives so brutally as Muslim husbands beat them).
  • And we see that the Lady loved her first husband and she wanted to reunite with him through Halala, as Islam didn't permit her to directly wed her ex-husband without Halala.
  • And the risks of Halala became true for that lady, as her 2nd husband turned out to be an abusive person. He didn't give her a divorce, despite knowing this fact very well that she didn't love him, but she loved her ex-husband only.
  • And in such cases, not only is one family destroyed, but both the families are destroyed. The house of the first husband is destroyed, while the children are without the mother. And the house of 2nd husband is destroyed while there is no peace there and this house becomes the the center of beating for the woman.
  • The children of the first husband are certainly going to be disturbed to see their mother tortured in this way.
  • And it is only the woman who has to undergo and face all these difficulties alone. Either it is the period of 3 menstrual cycles during the process of first divorce (where woman is alone in the house, but husband is allowed to enjoy his other wives and the slave-women) or it is the 'Iddah of 3 menstrual cycles after the divorce, or it is marrying the 2nd husband, and then providing him the sex services, and then again going through the process of 2nd divorce and then 2nd Iddah. Please read the '‘Iddah article for more details. In this whole process, man is free to enjoy his other wives and the slave-women.

What is the LOGIC behind Halala?

Islam has been severely attacked on the issue of Halala, and questions are asked:

  • What is the logic behind Halala?
  • And how is Halala going to solve the problems between the husband and the wife?
  • And how is Halala going to secure the interests of the children?

Defenses of Halala by Islam advocates

Here are the defenses, that have been made by Islam advocates today.

First Defence: Halala is a punishment for the 1st husband for his bad temper

An Islam advocate gives the following reason [5].

  • In Islam, only husband has the right to give divorce.
  • Thus, if a husband wants to remarry his ex-wife, it means that he made a mistake and divorced her in anger.
  • That is why Halala is a punishment for the 1st husband of his bad temper.
  • It is a severe punishment for him to share his wife with another person.

But the problem with this logic is that the wife and the children have also been suffering severely due to Halala, despite being innocent:

  • It is the wife, who has to first face the hardships of process of divorce (which is 3 menstrual cycles long). In this period, she has to stay in the house of her husband, but he would neither touch her, nor show her any love. She is in a solitary confinement like situation.
  • Then after the divorce, she again has to suffer alone the difficulties of 'Iddah for 3 more menstrual cycles, where she is again in a solitary confinement like situation, and could not fulfill her sexual desires, or to get the love and attention of any other man
  • Then she has to go through the hardships of marrying another man, and let him play with her body against her wish. And then comes again the 6 months long process of 2nd Talaq and 2nd 'Iddah.
  • And if the 2nd husband is an evil abusive person, and he wants to keep her against her wishes, then he is going to beat her whole of her life and keep on playing with her body against her will for the rest of her life, and she is never going to be reunited with her children.
  • And despite being innocent, she also has to face the hatred of whole Islamic society, which deems Halala to be against the modesty of a woman.
  • And it also lowers the status of the innocent woman in the eyes of her 1st husband, and he might not love her as before, or even deny to remarry her.
  • And what about the children? Why do they have to bear the hardships of being separated from their mother (when she goes to the house of 2nd husband according to the Islamic law)?

Second Defence: Halala was introduced so that the men don't take divorce lightly

Another Islam advocate claims that [6]:

  • Halala was a warning for the husband to think carefully before divorcing her.
  • In the pre-Islamic days, people used to divorce in the morning, and then take the wives back in the evening.
  • Therefore, the logic behind Halala is that men don't take the divorce lightly.

But the problem with this logic is:

  • Halala is still a big risk for the woman and the children.
  • What if the husband does not think carefully, and still divorces her in anger, then it is she who has to suffer a lot of hardships and her life is going to be ruined, along with the family life of the children.
  • She either has to separate herself from her children, or to give up her right of fulfilling her sexual desires and have love and attention of a man in her life.
  • And what is wrong if the husband divorces her in the morning, and then takes her back in the evening with mutual consent. Let them divorce each other thousands of times and then reunite with each other's mutual consent again and again in the evening. Such a reuniting is not harming anyone. But Halala closes this door of reunification and it causes a lot of damage to the women and the children.

3rd Defence: It is only the Hanafi Fiqh Ruling (i.e. marrying with the intention of divorce and Halala Centers), which gives bad name to the Islamic Halala

Modern Islam advocates (basically Salafists) also criticize Hanafi Fiqh and claim that:

  • Islam does not allow to marry the 2nd husband with the intention of divorce. And prophet Muhammad cursed those who hire a 2nd husband with the precondition of divorce later [7].
  • And if there are Halala Centers present in some Islamic and the western countries, then these are not due to Islam, but only due to the Hanafi Fiqh.

This argument triggers a response by two parties.

First one is the Hanafis, who say that [8]:

  • Any such "precondition" at the time of Nikah is prohibited and such people are cursed.
  • But if no such precondition is stipulated, and people are only "intended" in their hearts, then such Nikah does not become void only due to the intention.
  • In the Hadith of Bukhari (which has been mentioned above), the female companion (i.e. the ex-wife of Rifa`a) married that other man (i.e. `AbdurRahman) with the intention of divorce later. But prophet Muhammad didn't invalidate that marriage due to her intention, and only put this condition that she could only return to her first husband after her 2nd husband had sexual intercourse with her.

And the second party is of Islam critics, who counter this by claiming:

  • Halala is in its EVERY form oppressing the woman and the children (either it is Hanafi Fiqh, or if it is Hanbali/Maliki Fiqh).
  • The only difference is one is MORE harming, while the other is little bit LESS harming.
  • If we accept the Hanafi Fiqh as a true Islam (i.e. marrying another person with the intention of marriage is allowed), then it brings less harm to the woman and the children and they have indeed a chance to save their family life.
  • But if we accept the Hanbali and Maliki Fiqhs as a true Islam (i.e. marrying another person with the intention of marriage is not allowed), then it brings EVEN MORE harm to the woman, while in this case all the doors have been shut upon the woman to rejoin with his ex-husband. And her children will be separated from her, in any case, which is the biggest punishment for a mother. And children will also be greatly affected as they will lose their family life in this case.
  • And as far as the presence of "Halala Centers" is concerned in the few Islamic and the western countries is concerned, then it may be a stupidity, but still desirable as they indeed help the poor woman and the children in order to get back to their complete family life. The absence of such Halala Centers will only make their lives more difficult.
  • Thus, when the modern Islam apologists bring this argument that marriage with the intention of divorce with the 2nd man is not allowed, then it does not serve as a DEFENCE for Islam, and it does not relieve it from this oppression and illogical ruling of Halala, but it proves only this that this Islamic Ruling is even more illogical and even more oppressing.

4th Defence: The emergence of Nikah Tahleel (Halala) is only a consequence of an incorrect form of divorce known as “Triple Talaaq” (which is common in Hanafi and other Fiqhs)

Modern Salafi Islam advocates claim that [9]:

  • Quran stipulated the process of Talaq which consists of a period of 3 menstrual cycles.
  • This period is enough for the husband and the wife to think about all the consequences in case of divorce.
  • And if even after those 3 months, they still proceed for the 3rd and the final divorce, then they are themselves responsible for Halala, and Islam should not be blamed for it.
  • And the emergence of Nikah Tahleel is only the consequence of wrong Fiqh rulings about 3 divorces in one sitting [10]. For that, these Fiqhs are responsible and not Islam.

But the problem with this logic is:

  • What is the guarantee that the dispute between the husband and the wife is going to be over within 3 months?
  • Is it not possible that they need more time to learn their lesson? For example, what if the husband learns his lesson after 1 year that it was his mistake to divorce his wife? So, what could be done in this case? In simple words, limiting this problem within 3 menstrual cycles is not a wisdom, but a blunder. Some people sometimes need some more time to learn their lessons than the 3 months.
  • Moreover, it has been seen that the disputes are also solved if the couples don't stay under one roof, but take a break from each other. In this case, one partner learns the lesson due to the separation of the children, while the other partner learns the lesson when he/she has to look after the children alone. But in an Islamic system of divorce, the wife is forced to stay in the house of her husband during the whole divorce process (which is about 3 months long), along with their children. This Islamic process of divorce is sometimes not enough for them to learn their lessons, especially not for the husbands who are allowed to enjoy the other women and slave-women during whole period.
  • Human logic guides us that the pair should be given as much longer time as they wish/need to overcome their disputes and learn the lesson. This is always a much better option than any permanent separation in the name of Halala.

Moreover:

  • Triple Talaqs is not limited to the Hanafi Fiqh only, but all the 4 Sunni Fiqhs accept that divorce does take place in case of Triple Talaqs in one sitting.
  • These are only later coming few Zahiri scholars, who denied the Triple Talaq in Islam.
  • Thus, for the last 1400 years of history of Islam, the triple Talaq and the resulting Halala is happening all over the Muslim world.
  • And even without Triple Talaqs, still a lot of divorces take place in Islamic world, which follow the Quranic procedure of 3 menstrual cycles, but still many divorced women wish to return to their former ex-husbands.

A Muslim Owner could destroy the family of his slave-woman and made her Halal for him as many times as he wishes

Moreover:

  • Islam allows a Muslim owner to do sex with his slave-woman, and after fulfilling his sexual lust in temporary sexual relationship, he could forcefully marry her to any of his slave-man.
  • But if the Muslim owner again wishes for her later, then Islam allows him fully to break the slave's family, and take her back again to have sex with her.
وَقَالَ أَنَسٌ: {وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ} ذَوَاتُ الأَزْوَاجِ الْحَرَائِرُ حَرَامٌ إِلاَّ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ لاَ يَرَى بَأْسًا أَنْ يَنْزِعَ الرَّجُلُ جَارِيَتَهُ مِنْ عَبْدِهِ.

Translation:

Anas said: The meaning of the Quranic verse: {وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ} (Suran Nisa) is this that if the slave-woman of any person is in the Nikah of his slave, then he could take her back from his slave for himself (to have sex with her)

(Note: There is a distortion in the English translation of Sahih Bukhari, as this tradition is present in the Arabic Sahih Bukhari, but the Muslim translator of Sahih Bukhari didn't translate it.)

This becomes a sort of 'double standards' here:

  • On one side, there is a free man and a free woman, who want to again begin their family life along with their children, with each other's mutual consent, but this door is closed upon them in name of Halala.
  • While on the -other hand, there is a slave-woman, who wants to live in a family life modestly with her slave-husband, but she is forced against her will, to leave her husband, and to to go to the owner, who rapes her again against her consent.

Secular Western Laws vs Halala

Secular western laws are totally opposite to Halala:

  • Secular western countries have given equal rights to the women in case of divorce.
  • They have also provided full protection to the women in case if their husbands turn abusive.
  • They accept it as a part of human nature that a wife could still love her ex-husband, despite the divorce (and vice versa).
  • They value the mutual consent of both the parties the most. Thus, they give the option of resolving the conflict between the husband and the wife internally, with their mutual consent.
  • They give this opportunity to the pair to decide for themselves how long do they need to solve their disputes and to reconcile.

 

 

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Don't forget the Bigger Picture: Whereas a woman in the West gets her freedom just by going to the court, Muslim women suffer horribly in an Islamic system due to these unjust and oppressive 10 Sharia Rulings. Islam provided women with almost no protection, and exposed them badly for blackmailing at the hands of their abusive husbands. Muhammad took all these rulings regarding divorce from the pre-Islamic era of ignorance (like only husband having the right to give divorce, the system of 3 Talaqs, Halala, Ila, Zihar etc.). All of them are not only extremely oppressive against the women, but they are also illogical and unnecessary. They became part of Islamic Sharia while no divine Allah is present above in the heavens, and Muhammad was making the revelation and Sharia rulings on his own. Thus, we see the human errors and influence of the era of ignorance in these Islamic rulings.