More and more Muslim women are opting for khhula, their right to “instant divorce”

Data from the Darul Qazas shows that most divorce cases are filed using the khhula method

Data from the Darul Qazas show that most divorce cases are filed through the khula method

More Muslim marriages end with khulathe woman’s inalienable right to instant divorce, and not as widely perceived by the triple instant talakwhich was overturned by a Supreme Court verdict in 2017, or by talaq-e-hassan, divorce at the initiative of the man. Data available at Darul Qaza of Imarat-e-Shariah or Islamic Arbitration Centers show that most divorce cases are filed through the khula method, and a growing number of women are choosing to end their marriage by khula.

Contrary to talakwhich is uttered by the man, in the case of khulait is the woman who initiates the divorce, and delivers her more (patrimony transferred or promised to the woman during the marriage) during such a divorce. Khhula can be done orally or through a document called “Khhulnama”. It has the effect of an instant divorce. If the more had not been given to the woman at the time she opted for khulashe cannot demand more because the marriage is annulled at his request.

While the cases of talaq-e-biddat are automatically discarded due to the very nature of the act, there are few cases that come to Islamic Women’s Arbitration Centers complaining of cases of talaq-e-hassanthe pronouncement of three divorces separated by at least one month between each pronouncement, or even Mubaratwhich is the mutual divorce granted to a Muslim couple by Sharia.

“During the last Islamic year corresponding to 2021-22, we had 572 cases in Imarat Shariah Markaz. Almost all cases were khula with only a handful of Mubarat case and none of triple talaq», Anzar Alam Qasmi, the chief quazi responsible for deciding matters of marriage and divorce at the famous Imarat-e-Shariah in Patna, said The Hindu.

Mr. Qasmi speaks only of the headquarters of Imarat Shariah. Data from all of these centers in Bihar-Jharkhand show a broader picture. In 2020-21, roughly corresponding to the 1443 Islamic calendar, there were nearly 5,000 cases of khula to all Darul Qazas. Data shows a similar upward trend in Delhi and Mumbai.

“From 2019 to 2021, there were 300 cases of khula at Darul Qaza on Mira Road. In the city of Mumbai, there have been 900 cases in recent years. There are five Darul Qazas in Mumbai. Every year, 300 cases of khula are resolved in these centers. The maximum cases, around 100, are from downtown Mumbai,” said Azimuddin Sayed, chairman of the Darul Qaza committee.

Madrasa Islamia Arabia of Muzaffarnagar district, which had never received a case of khula until 2017, now receives three to four cases per month. Similar figures were reported recently at Riyazul Uloom. Cases are referred to Deoband for further adjudication.

“Most of the cases arise in cases of online contact marriages. More khula cases are reported during the first two years of marriage. We rarely have cases of khula after five years of marriage,” Mr. Azimuddin said.

“More than half of the cases end amicably, the parties opting for reconciliation rather than divorce. When a woman deposits for the first time khula, we recommend it as a first step. If she is still firm on the decision, we talk to her husband. Finally, instead of khula, the woman must give something to the man. We call it khhula badle maalsaid Mr. Qasmi.

“The Kerala High Court has granted Muslim women the right to annul marriage under khula through extrajudicial means in 2021 and the Darul Qazas have grown in prominence ever since,” he added.

Across the country, Darul Qazas offers timely and cost-effective ways to end unhappy marriages. “Many cases of khula are resolved within an hour or two. Up to 70% of cases are resolved within two months. Only a handful take six months or more, when the man does not respond to notices sent to him,” Mr Qasmi said.

However, some quaziI insist that khula can only be obtained with the consent of the husband. They consider that the husband is not obliged to accept the divorce proposed by his wife. “They insist on the human right even in case of khula. According to them, khula cannot be completed if the man does not agree. This defeats the purpose of khula if a woman does not find a way out of an abusive marriage. There are hadiths (scriptures) giving a woman a clear right to end an unhappy marriage,” said Uzma Nahid, a former member of the All India Muslim Personal Board, who separated from the body over the rights issue. women in the case of nikahnama and divorce.

About the author