• A public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to invalidate Talaq-e-Hasan, the prescribed Islamic way of divorce, has been filed in the Supreme Court.

How is Talaq-e-Hasan different from instant triple talaq?

  • In instant triple talaq a man pronounces multiple divorce in one go. It has no scope for reconciliation between the feuding couple, and often ends a marriage instantly.

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  • It is, as the judges held, not mentioned anywhere in the Quran which prescribes a code of divorce largely through Surah Baqarah, verses 226 to 237 and the opening six verses of Surah Talaq.
  • Incidentally, triple talaq in this manner has been banned in many Muslim countries, including Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Malaysia etc.
  • Unlike instant triple talaq, Talaq-e-Hasan is pronounced with a gap of at least one month or one menstrual cycle. Only a single revocable divorce takes place through the first pronouncement of Talaq-e-Hasan.
  • The husband and wife are supposed to live together after this pronouncement and have the option of rapprochement.
  • If the couple is not able to mend fences in the intervening period and the husband does not annul divorce through word or by establishing intimacy, the talaq stays valid.
  • At the end of this month, the husband has to pronounce divorce for the second time.
  • Likewise for the third time.
  • After the second pronouncement too, the divorce is revocable, and the couple may resume their conjugal relationship anytime they so desire.
  • If, however, the third pronouncement is made after at least one menstrual cycle, then irrevocable divorce takes place. Significantly, no divorce can be administered when the woman is undergoing her menstrual cycle.
  • Even in the case of pregnancy, no divorce takes place. And if such a pronouncement is made, it remains in abeyance till the end of pregnancy.
  • Unlike instant triple talaq, the Quran clearly mentions the process of Talaq-e-Hasan.

Are there other options of divorce apart from the Talaq-e-Hasan?

  • The third option of divorce besides Talaq-e-Hasan and the now repudiated instant triple talaq, is Talaq-e-Ahsan. Under this form, a single pronouncement is made. Following the pronouncement, a woman has to go through iddat or a waiting period of three months.
  • During this period the divorce can be cancelled. However, failure to annul divorce during this period results in it being finalised after which a woman is independent, and free to marry another man or stay single, as she may choose. Both Talaq-e-Hasan and Talaq-e-Ahsan enjoy legal validity in almost all Muslim countries.
  • Interestingly, women too have a right to end an unsuccessful marriage through Khula. Here a woman gives something to the man in return for annulling the marriage.
  • In April 2021, the Kerala High Court held this form of divorce valid. The court overruled a 49-year-old verdict in K.C. Moyin vs Nafeesa and Others (1972) that barred Muslim women from dissolving their marriage through non-judicial modes.



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