Will You Marry Me … Again?
Read the first part here.
In an attempt to get back together after the divorce, he decided that halala or temporary marriage is the only solution. She was skeptical at first but – nobody knew why or how – eventually gave in to the plan. Confident that she had finally agreed, his next step was to convince their building watchman to marry her.
This guy—the building watchman—was a middle-aged Muslim, who was still single due to financial instability. He was a quiet fellow, always found busy doing his job. Residents of the building rarely saw him engaged in idle chatting or the sort. He would be found most of the time making sure the building is safe and clean.
So when the watchman was approached by the guy with the proposal that he marry his ex-wife, the poor guy was naturally shocked! After it had been clearly explained to him what the purpose of the marriage was, he flatly refused. He simply told him that he didn’t want to have anything to do with their plan.
But the guy was persistent to marry his ex-wife off to him, so after a few days he went back to the watchman and offered a handsome amount for his services. He assured the watchman that nobody would know about the entire affair and that if he thought that the amount was insufficient, he’s willing to pay more. So eventually, the watchman agreed.
So they managed to get married somehow, and the watchman quietly took her to his small room. There was no formal announcement of the marriage, no celebrations, and no guests to congratulate them.
Though, in accordance to the plan, the watchman was supposed to divorce his wife the next day, it didn’t happen. So 24 hours after the marriage, the restless ex-husband knocked at the watchman’s room and demanded why he hadn’t divorced his wife yet. The watchman assured him that he was willing to divorce his wife, but it was the wife who was now refusing to get divorced! Of course, the ex-husband didn’t believe him at all. Why would she want to remain married to the watchman when it was he – her ex-husband – whom she loved?
But the watchman proved to be right. She told her ex-husband how selfish of a man he was and that she couldn’t trust him because of his bad temper. She decided it was better to stay with a man who respected her. She also told her ex-husband how she felt that he would – in a fit of fury – divorce her again in the future if she returned to him.
Everyone in the building knows their story: how the simple watchman ended up marrying a young, professional woman. It has been over a year now and they are still living together.
I don’t know whether or not they have done a proper nikah afterward because when a man marries a woman with the intent of either divorcing her to make her halal for her ex-husband, or to keep her for a specified period of time for whatever reasons, then that nikah becomes void. It would appear as if they are both committing zina.
In Islam, nikah is a beautiful union that should take place in the presence of family and friends. There should be witnesses. The occasion should be formally announced (unlike in halala where it is done in secrecy). Both the man and the woman enter this union with the intent of remaining loyal to each other and staying married for the sake of Allah (unlike in halala where the intention of divorce comes first). And then there’s valima after consummating the marriage (there is no concept of valima in halala marriages).
If a divorced woman remarries – with all pure intentions – and for whatever reasons get divorced by her second husband (it could be after a week, a month, a year, even a decade), only then she becomes halal to marry her first husband again. But how often do we see genuine cases like these?
What we commonly see is the following:
A husband pronounces talaq three times in one setting – sometimes over the phone if he couldn’t wait to get home to tell it to her face – and every one jumps in to declare that the wife is now haraam for him. And when he realizes his mistake, he goes to local imams hoping to get a solution. Now some of these imams are knowledgeable enough to explain to him to return to his wife, for three talaqs uttered at a time counts as only one talaq, hence she is still married to him. If this were the case, then the guy is fortunate enough to salvage his marriage and repair whatever damage he had caused.
Sadly, halala is a more prevalent practice. When distraught men bring their problems to imams, they are immediately advised to have their wives – who are in fact still legally married to them because there are more cases of men pronouncing talaq three time at once – married to another man for a day or two. Some men advertise their services. And in most of these cases, the imam offers the ‘services’ himself in exchange for a fee! How sick is that?!
I can not imagine what a woman in a situation like that must going through emotionally, spiritually and physically. If a husband does indeed divorce her wife thrice – each on a separate occasion – and still insists on getting her back, she should never return to such a relationship – because then there is only one way. And that is very, very wrong.
This practice must be stopped.