Muslim Women Fight to End ‘Instant Divorce’

A practice known as the instance divorce or triple talaq gives men the opportunity to divorce their wives simply by saying “talaq,” which means“divorce” in Urdu, three times. Although banned in more than two dozen Muslim countries, men in India can still do it because the practice is protected by religious law. The Indian Muslim Women’s Movement is trying to change that, according to the Associated Press.

Men do not even have to say “talaq” three times consecutively or to their wives’ face. “There are cases where women don’t even know that they’ve been divorced,” said Noorjehan Safia Niaz, co-founder of the movement. “The children are without any support. So, it has become very convenient for Muslim men to just say talaq thrice and … it is just so easy for him to get the woman out of his life.”

The instant divorce is part of Muslim Personal Law that covers family matters and affects more than 170 million Indian Muslims. Muslim Personal Law allows men to use any medium to divorce their wives, including social media and texting. It follows tenets of Islam as interpreted by religious schools and imams in India.

The Indian Muslim Women’s Movement has been fighting for six years and recently gathered over 50,000 signatures in hopes of banning instant divorce in India. The petition has been put into evidence as part of an appeal filed with the Supreme Court. The movement is also known as Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and has an office in Mumbai, according to The Daily Times.

Shagufta Sayyd has visited the movement’s office after she was the recipient of an instant divorce. Sayyd said shortly after she wed, the groom informed her that he was involved with another woman and that he only married her because of his mother.

“He said, ‘no, I don’t want to keep you,’” Sayyd said. “So he said, ‘divorce, divorce, divorce,’ three times, and that was it.” Sayyd is seeking an official divorce in Indian court. Muslim women are not eligible for alimony. When they are divorced by their husbands they might only receive a small amount of financial support for no longer than three months.

One-sided instant divorces might be harmful to women, especially if they aren’t even aware they’ve been divorced, but the idea of an instant divorce could appeal to spouses with uncontested divorces. Two people who have agreed to divorce and can agree on issues such as spousal support, child custody, and division of assets could spend a lot of time and money consulting lawyers to handle the process. A more affordable and efficient solution is to have a legal document assistant help you with the required paperwork.

Legal document assistants work as directed by clients to file divorce papers as well as provide a range of other services that could save you time and money. These might include notary services, alimony agreements, or handling estate planing. Learn more about what a legal document assistant could do for

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