Nikah halala

Nikah halala (Urdu: نکاح حلالہ‎ (also known as tahleel marriage)[1] is a practice in which a woman, after being divorced by triple talaq, marries another man, consummates the marriage, and gets divorced again in order to be able to remarry her former husband.[2] Nikah means marriage and halala means to make something halal, or permissible.[3] This form of marriage is haram (forbidden) according to the hadith of Islamic prophet Muhammad.[4] Nikah halala is practiced by a small minority of Muslims, mainly in countries that recognise the triple talaq.[5][6]

Islamic lawEdit

In classical Islamic law, a husband may divorce by simply announcing to his wife that he repudiates her (talaq).[7] The initial declaration of talaq is a revocable repudiation (ṭalāq rajʿah) which does not terminate the marriage. The husband can revoke the divorce at any time during the waiting period (iddah) which lasts three full menstrual cycles. Resumption of sexual relations automatically retracts the repudiation. The divorce becomes final when the waiting period expires. This is called a "minor" divorce (al-baynuna al-sughra) and the couple can remarry. If the husband repudiates his wife for the third time, it triggers a "major" divorce (al-baynuna al-kubra), after which the couple cannot remarry without an intervening consummated marriage by the wife to another man.[8][9] This is known as tahlil or nikah halala. Making the third pronouncement irrevocable acts as a deterrent to rash repudiations.[10]

It is not permissible to marry a woman if one's objective is to make her permissible for her first husband.[11] There are hadith from that confirm that entering a tahleel marriage with the intention of divorcing so that the original spouses can be remarry is forbidden (haraam). Abu Dawood and Ibn Majah reported that both the first husband (muhallil) and the temporary husband (muhallil lahu) were cursed by God, and Ibn Majah calls the temporary husband "a borrowed billy-goat". Al-Hakim Nishapuri adds that marriage should be based on genuine intentions, and that in the time of Muhammad, tahleel spouses would have been consideded adulterers. [12]


A BBC report found that halala is practised in certain Pakistani Muslim communities in the UK. The report uncovered many instances where women were socially and sexually exploited by local religious figures.[5]


Petitions have been filed by many Muslim women in the Supreme Court of India against nikah halala. Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan [BMMA] is one such petitioner. BMMA is a national movement of Muslim women in India. In March 2018, the Supreme Court issued notice to the Indian government on the issue of nikah halala and polygamy. The BJP-ruled government is in favor of criminalizing nikah halala as the government believes that the practice is against the principles of gender justice, and made its stand clear in the apex court on the issue. Muslim women's rights organizations have welcomed the attitude of the Government and stated that these initiatives should have been taken much earlier.[13]

The Supreme Court of India will hear the petition against nikah halala and polygamy in Muslim communities from July 20, 2018. On Sept 13, 2018, a Muslim woman named Shabnam Rani was attacked with acid. She was one of the petitioners against the practice of nikah halala. Islamic radicals are the main suspects. On Sept 18, 2018 the Supreme Court asked the government to provide adequate security to the lady.[14][15]

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board is against the outlawing of Nikah Halala, though it feels that its use should be discouraged and restricted to the "rarest of rare situations".[16][17]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ali, Shaheen Sardar; Griffiths, Anne (2016-04-15). From Transnational Relations to Transnational Laws: Northern European Laws at the Crossroads. Routledge. ISBN 9781317131588.
  2. ^ Singh, Vatsala. "What Does Quran Say About Nikah Halala? Will Banning it Help?". The Quint. Bloomberg LP. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Halala in Muslims".
  4. ^ Ahmad, Yusuf Al-Hajj. The Book Of Nikkah: Encyclopaedia of Islamic Law. Darussalam Publishers.
  5. ^ a b Ahmad, Athar (2017-04-05). "The women who sleep with a stranger to save their marriage". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  6. ^ "Nikah Halala: A Law That Demands A Woman To Sleep With Stranger To Remarry Her Divorced Husband". Outlook India. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  7. ^ Abed Awad and Hany Mawla (2013). "Divorce. Legal Foundations". The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2017-02-04. Retrieved 2017-02-03.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  8. ^ "So if a husband divorces his wife ˹three times˺, then it is not lawful for him to remarry her until after she has married another man and then is divorced. Then it is permissible for them to reunite, as long as they feel they are able to maintain the limits of Allah. These are the limits set by Allah, which He makes clear for people of knowledge."[Quran 2:230 (Mustafa Khattab)]
  9. ^ Maaike Voorhoeve (2013). "Divorce. Modern Practice". The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2017-02-04. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  10. ^ Wael B. Hallaq (2009). Sharī'a: Theory, Practice, Transformations. Cambridge University Press (Kindle edition). p. Loc. 7921–7950.
  11. ^ al-Munajjih, Muhammad Saalih. "Tahleel marriage is haraam and invalid". Islam Question & Answer. Islam Q&A. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  12. ^ Ali, Shaheen Sardar; Griffiths, Anne (April 15, 2016). From Transnational Relations to Transnational Laws: Northern European Laws at the Crossroads. Routledege. p. 130. ISBN 9781315583587. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  13. ^ "Centre to oppose nikah halala in Supreme Court - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  14. ^ "Supreme Court To Begin Nikah Halala and Polygamy Hearing From July 20".
  15. ^ "Before SC hearing, Modi govt builds case against Nikah Halala, polygamy".
  16. ^ "AIMPLB against outlawing of 'nikah halala', but wants it to be discouraged".
  17. ^