Triple Talaq in Light of Islam

According to the book of Allah, the Holy Quran, marriage is the gathering of two human beings of opposite gender in “mawaddah and rahma”. In the religion of Islam, “marriage” is considered a holy agreement.  Islam is a peace-loving religion. It grants a couple to right to separate and does not impel a couple to undergo an unhappy and uncomfortable life. Concurrently, it does not propose segregation on superficial and petty causes. In Islam, divorce, when not indispensable, is strongly condemned and discouraged.

with Allah the most detestable of all things permitted is divorce. 

Holy Prophet

There is a lot of misconception among people relating to divorce in Islam. It is a widely held view that a Muslim husband is authorized to divorce his wife whenever he wants even when there is no reason. This concept is wholly wrong. A Muslim husband can’t exercise his right to divorce in minor issues. Uttering the words of talaq three times, at one sitting, is extremely criticize, censured and disapproved. 

Triple Talaq is known as talaq-e-bidat. It is a kind of talaq in which three announcements made by the husband during a single tuhr either in one sentence i.e; I divorce you thrice, or in separate i.e; I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you. 

This is a disapproved form of divorce. In the Holy Quran, the husband is allowed to divorce two times. He can live with his wife after two announcements of divorce. The third divorce holds the right of spouses to reside with each other, and after it, the divorce becomes absolute and irreversible. The last prophet, Hazrat Muhammadﷺ condemned and abrogated the exercise of Talaq e bidat. The second caliph Hazrat Umar (RA) had penalized those husbands who use this kind of divorce.

Triple Talaq is not Islamic and it is departure and deviation from the tenets of the Quran 
to undermine the rights of Muslim women.

The application of this instant divorce is extensive. The Sunni sect of Muslims accept this practice, and it is legal according to Sunni school. Such a Talaq is lawful, although is sinful, in Hanafi Law; but in Shia school of Islamic jurisprudence, it is not permissible. According to Tyabji, by a deplorable development of the Hanafi law, the sinful forms have become the most common for “men have always moulded the law of marriage so as to be most agreeable to themselves”.

So, Triple Talaq is repugnant to Islamic injunctions, it infringes the rights of Muslim women. Reasonable cause is a significant element of divorce. In the case, Saleem Basha vs. Mumtaz Begum, it was decided that a husband cannot use the arbitrary power to use his right to divorce. There must be a sensible root cause and families of parties must try an attempt to resolve their dispute and reconcile them. This decision also upheld in Ahmed Kasim Molla vs. Khatun Bibi. 

The apex court of India gave the verdict on the issue of triple talaq which highlights the accurate interpretation of Sharia law on equality, rule of law, and the human rights promulgated in the constitution. In 2017, the Supreme Court of India set aside the practice of talaq-e-bidat in Shayara Bano v. Union of India & Others. The case had strong positive implications on advancing women’s rights and gender equality in India. Recently, India passed a law The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 which criminalises instant ‘triple talaq’ for Muslim men. 

In Pakistan, the courts are trying their best to control all forms of divorce by meticulously enforcing the provisions of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961 which sets an obligatory procedure to be followed for the purpose of divorce. The Supreme Court of Pakistan had ruled in Syed Ali Nawaz Gardezi v. Muhammad Yusuf that intimation of talaq to the Chairman of Union council is necessary, if husband unable to do so, it would amount to official cancellation of a talaq. 

As we study the Muslim personal law of Sri Lanka, we came to know that there is no concept of triple talaq at once, and the law does not acknowledge it.  

If we go through the Sharia law, applicable in Egypt, we witness that there is no effect of talaq made by three or more consecutive announcements, it is considered as a single mutable divorce. In addition to it, according to family law of Sarawak, Malaysia, it is necessary for a husband to seek the court to make the divorce effective. The court must advise the couple to reconcile.

So most of the Muslim states consider three consecutive announcements of Talaq amounts to one talaq. Also, it is compulsory to wait after each declaration. 

 In Pakistan, triple talaq is still a major practice. It is a stereotype that divorce is a one-sided engine of oppression in the hands of the husband. Unfortunately, divorce rates are rising day by day in the country.

According to research statistics, in 2019, more than 20,000 divorce suits are filed in family courts of Lahore. It is an alarming situation.

The government should take steps to aware public about realities relevant to marriage and divorce to minimize the increasing divorce rate in Pakistan and promote harmony in society. People should change their minds and stop following these innovations (biddah). They should follow the actual principles of the Quran and Sunnah. Institutions must work properly, and should not mislead the people whether it is about triple talaq or any other ritual.

It is a positive initiative that chairperson of the Council of Islamic Ideology(CII) Dr Qibla Ayaz spoke up in favour of the decision that says that triple talaq is a crime, and husband is penalized under the law. We hope that the government would legislate on this important issue soon.

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Fatima Tariq Written by:

Fatima Tariq, a law student at Kinnaird College for Women and a political science student at the University of Punjab. Research fellow at Insaaf Camp. Follow me at