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.


  1. It was a great ending. Thank you.

    Just one question: Is the marriage really void if their intention was something else? As far as I am aware, when it comes to nikah and divorce, intention has no part to play, in fact even if it was done jokingly, the nikah would still be valid.

    1. I think you were referring to this hadith:

      Prophet Mohammed (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam): “There are 3 types of things, if they are serious, they are serious (meaning taking effect) and if they are not serious, they take effect as well: marriage, divorce and returning to one’s wife after divorce”. [Reported by Abu Dawud]

      But, in this case, we’re not talking about the nikah as ordained by Allah. This is halala, with the intention to divorce even before getting married. And according to one of the many articles that I’ve read:

      The Nikah contract would still be valid and legally binding on both parties. In the eyes of the government, man and wife are married. However, the act (i.e. entering a marriage with the intention of divorce) is impermissible in the eyes of Allah, and the scholars have said that it is sinful. (complete article: here)

  2. Wow Nadia, I don’t even know how to comment on this! And MashaAllah it is a true story too. SubhanAllah. I had never heard of a halala marriage before.

    1. I think the first time I’ve ever read about this type of marriage was in a Pakistani magazine a long, long time ago. A divorced woman wrote in to ask whether it was possible to get married to her ex-husband again, to which someone (don’t remember who exactly) replied that she must do halala, it’s the only way plus she’ll be rewarded for her kind deed.

      Seriously, what ‘kind deed’?!

    2. Hi maryann
      It happened here in Manchester with a Pakistani and he went to imam for advice. He asked for the advice. The imam advised him to do halala. This Pakistani said I can find anyone trust worthy than you. Anyway this. Imam conduct nikhah with his wife. He waited and waited for Imam to divorce his halala wife but never happened. Atlast he asked the Imam and Imam said yes sure I will divorce her as agreed but I don’t want to commit sin to divorce against her will. I will ask her in front of you. He called the woman told her we have done nikkah islamicaly would you like to have divorce? She said NO
      This Pakistani is still in Manchester may be now old. This imam and his wife is still in manchestet

  3. Aha! SubhanAllah lol, what a story, thanks so much for sharing!!

    Love this part:
    “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.” 😀

    1. If indeed they had done a proper nikah (with all the right intentions) plus a valima later on (I hope they did), then all is well. I love happy endings 🙂

      The watchman surely is one lucky fellow 😀

  4. Didn’t expect that!

    I do hope they are properly married now too, and happy with each other. And… I hope the ex husband finds someone to be happy with and properly married to now.

    1. Whenever that change of heart occurred, I hope it happened for the best. And I hope that women educate themselves with Islamic rules and regulations so that they can protect themselves.

  5. This is a lesson to be learned for men, not to easily use the “talaaq” card just because of anger…

    Guess they were never meant to be together in the first place… Allah works in the most beautiful of ways to create the lessons in life we should learn…

  6. Wow, I really didn’t expect that. I think she did the right thing, dunno why she thought of getting back with him in the first place. As for the watchman he sure is one lucky dude. Hope they got married properly now 🙂
    It just shows that Allah is indeed the best of planners.

  7. Thanks for sharing this.I commented on Mezba’s blog about this.

    Can I say that halala marriage seems to promote male prostitution? Afterall they do receive money or something for their services.

    “Rewarded for her kind deed”,really! Some jerks they are!

    And one more thing,sorry for being silly! What is valima?

    1. This type of marriage is certainly not recognized in Islam, so it’s akin to prostitution or adultery. I also fail to understand where the ‘kindness’ comes in.

      Valima is a wedding feast that has been strongly recommended by Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). It is an expression of gratitude and means of publicizing the marriage.

  8. OMG… I certainly appreciate the young woman’s decision to stick with the Muslim lad… However, what is more resounding is that the Egyptian lady and this Indian dude managed to communicate with each other through this one year period… I just wonder how they did it (coz being a watchman I doubt if he knew proper Arabic)…

    btw…is the Egyptian dude still living in the same building? If he does, he must have a bad stomach cramp when he sees these people together… what will increase his pain would be if she were to be seen with a “bump”…. Now that’s what I call full circle…

    1. The watchman spoke some Arabic and some English (wife speaks both fluently) so I suppose communication wasn’t a problem.

      The ex-husband left the building.

  9. Halaala is a normal Nikkah – its for keeps untill either party gets a divorce from an Islamic court.

    A Halaala is kind of like a punishment from God for men who unjustly divorce their wives and then want to remarry them. They have to live with the reality that their wife had another husband besides them.

    The couple doesnt need to remarry as the nikkah is genuine and binding.

    The woman got lucky I guess. 🙂

    1. I rechecked a couple of Fatwa sites on the net – Normally, its supposed to end after the marriage has been consummated so the woman can go back to her ex husband. Its called Nikkah Halala. So far I havent read on what the procedure is if the woman refuses to leave the Halaaha husband. They may have to consult Sharia law to make it binding. The first husband can only have her back if she observes her iddah – so in any case, he cant remarry her if she doesnt want to as the remarriage will be a new marriage contract altogether and she owes no loyalty to her first husband anymore.

      I think they should check on the validity of their nikkah as soon as possible and follow the rules of Shariah.

      1. Yes, Asma – the entire concept of halala nikah is to make a woman halal for her ex-husband is which very, very wrong. So when a couple – married through nikah halala, meaning with intention to divorce – eventually decides to stick to the marriage, they have to do another nikah, this time, with all the right intentions and valima.

  10. Very thought provoking post, Nadia. And so horrible and heartbreaking- ignorance of religious laws can cause so much pain and frustration for everyone involved.

  11. Hi Nadia..
    it was a nice experience to go thru ur blog and particularly to this story.

    After goin thru this whole story and the comments..i jus wanna ask a few questions (maybe u’ll feel them very silly..but it came in ma mind hence ‘am asking) that “is it possible for the women too to give Talaaq to her husband in Islam….since if a man can have this authority then the women too should have been bestowed with this authority by the almighty….

    one more question is that as per Halala nikaah stated by you….is it necessary that the next guy to whom the lady is going to be married should be from Islam only…. can’t that guy be from some other religion..

  12. Hello, Anonymous. I’m glad you liked the blog, thank you.

    Regarding your questions (they are not silly at all, and it’s nice to know that you wanted to learn about this aspect of Islam), yes, a Muslim woman has been given the right to leave a marriage that doesn’t provide her safety, love, respect, and the freedom to practice her Islamic beliefs. It’s called ‘khula’ – or the right to separate.

    Regarding your second question, halala is not allowed in Islam. But, if a Muslim woman wants to re-marry (with the intentions of remaining faithful), she is permitted to do so. The man should be a Muslim. It’s what Allah orders the believers:

    “Do not marry unbelieving women (idolaters), until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allures you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allures you.” Surah 2 Verse 221

  13. Hi Nadia..thanx for the reply..
    but the answers stated above has again raised a question in my mind that..
    “whether love and compassion is important in any relationship or between individuals or just practicing a certain way of life is imortant”

    again can u please elaborate some more on this term: “slave” and does Islam allows slavery ??

    1. I can not see how any marriage will work without love and compassion; that is definitely important. But I don’t understand what you meant by ‘a certain way of life’.

      You can read and post questions about slavery here.

      1. from “a certain way of life” i mean islamic way of life..
        i feel it is the love and compassion which is required between two individuals for Nikaah or Halala Nikaah hence even if one individual is having different faith (apart from Islam) they can get married….this is what i feel, hence i asked your views on them..

        (i believe nothing is perfect in this world accept the supreme being hence even his sayings which are reproduced by his messengers too are not the complete truth….)

        1. If we keep doing what ‘we’ feel is right then what is the point of even having faith in a religion? The order for Muslims to not marry an idolator is from the Qur’an – which is the words of Allah that we believers follow. We submit to Him and obey His rules.

  14. one more question ma’am:
    what is the meaning of this term “idolaters” in Islamic context ??
    if idolatary stands for worshipping the same almighty in a different form i.e. either in the form of a symbol or picture or idols or in a non-idol form then what is wrong in it ??
    and why is it that even the followers of islam keep the picture of “Kaaba” to show their allegiance to Allah….can’t it be termed as symbolic form of worshipping hence Idolatary ??

    why is it that when followers of Islam worship..(Namaaz) they always do so in such a position that they are facing towards Mecca….isn’t this a symbolic worshipping ??

    1. Idol-worship means submitting to something other than Almighty Allah, and seeking nearness to something other than Him, be it a rock, an idol or a saint, as a weak and humble slave filled with hope and fear.

      “Verily, I am Allah! None has the right to be worshiped but Me, so worship Me, and perform al-Salaah [prayer] for My Remembrance.” [Ta-Ha 20:14]

      Right to worship is fundamental to every human being, and anyone has the right to worship whoever he wills, and no one can curb that freedom from him or her. However, Islamic point of view is that – “A creation should not worshiped. Only the Creator should be worshiped.”

      Now you asked about us facing Makkah while praying. Well, we don’t just face Makkah; it’s actually the kaaba that we face, and that is the Qibla, i.e. the direction Muslims face during prayers. It is important to note that though Muslims face the kaaba, we do not worship it.

      You asked: “Why is it that even the followers of islam keep the picture of “Kaaba” to show their allegiance to Allah?” — Not every Muslim keeps a picture of the kaaba (I’m assuming you meant in their homes, shops, etc). And those who do, they do it for decoration purposes and NOT to show allegiance to Allah.

      Early on, Muslims used to face different directions while praying, but it didn’t feel right, hence the following verse was revealed:

      “We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens; now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then they face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: whereever ye are, turn your faces tot hat direction.” (2:144)

      So Muslims pray facing toward this single central point – as a direction – and worship Allah. Even when standing directly before Ka’bah in prayer, one is not to look at it but rather at the ground before him/her. The spiritual focus in on God alone and never upon any created object.

      1. hi ma’am..
        as u said:

        //”Early on, Muslims used to face different directions while praying, but it didn’t feel right, hence the following verse was revealed:

        “We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens; now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then they face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: whereever ye are, turn your faces tot hat direction.” (2:144)

        So Muslims pray facing toward this single central point – as a direction – and worship Allah. Even when standing directly before Ka’bah in prayer, one is not to look at it but rather at the ground before him/her. The spiritual focus in on God alone and never upon any created object”//

        i feel as Muslims pray facing a single central point having a spiritual focus on God alone….similarly all the other religions who are termed as Idolaters too are doing the same thing i.e. facing towards a point (and that point can be any symbol or creation) having a spiritual focus on the almighty God alone and nobody else..
        they are not submitting to that object or symbol as told & preached by some religious texts just to misguide about the “other” religions so that people should call them as Idolaters and all other names..

        hence this distinguishing is not correct in my opinion.

          1. Thanks Nadia for replying to my queries as well as providing the links….

            I’ll surely follow them to ask many questions….but i would like to thank you again for taking your time out for answering my queries……

            (May god create more people like you)

  15. I’d say, its good that you posted this incident here, and Insha-Allah people will get to know better how Allah has ordained onto us his laws. Jazakallah, May Allah reward you for this. Ameen

  16. dear sister

    I don’t want to do halala and someone told me you can feed 70 people instead is this true or what else can I do to get back with my 1st husband


    1. Dearest Sister,

      Thank you so much for writing, but I suggest for you to consult an Islamic scholar regarding your issue. Your case will be studied and you will be advised accordingly, inshaAllah.

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