Nikah Halala

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Halala (Urdu: حلالہ) is an Islamic marriage practiced primarily by certain sects of Sunni Muslims, which involves a female divorcee marrying someone else, consummating the marriage and then getting a divorce in order to make it allowable to remarry her previous husband.[1]


According to the Qur'an (2:229, 2:230):

"Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment. And it is not lawful for you to take anything of what you have given them unless both fear that they will not be able to keep [within] the limits of Allah , but if you fear that they will not keep [within] the limits of Allah , then there is no blame upon either of them concerning that by which she ransoms herself. These are the limits of Allah , so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah - it is those who are the wrongdoers."[2]

"And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. And if the latter husband divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon the woman and her former husband for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allah , these are the limits of Allah , which He makes clear to a people who know."[3]

The above is often interpreted as following: if a husband divorces his wife by pronouncing talaq, he can revoke the divorce within the iddah, that is, the period of separation that precedes divorce. If the divorce is completed, the couple can remarry,[4] the couple may divorce and remarry twice. However, if they divorce a third time, they can neither unite within the iddah period nor marry again until the ex-wife marries another man, to ensure that the divorce is taken seriously.[5][unreliable source?][better source needed]

Consequently, the above interpretation is used as a strategy to remarry, or Halala, and often justified by some as true belief.[6][7]

This belief has been the basis of financial and sexual exploitation of Muslim women, and has received much critical news coverage [8][9]


According to the Indian All India Muslim Personal Law Board, a man cannot remarry a woman after triple talaq unless she has already consummated her marriage with another man[10][11] and then that new husband dies or divorces her.[12] In this case the marriage (Nikah) of the woman with her new husband is called Nikah halala.[13][14] Per a new set of code of conduct issued regarding divorce by the organisation in April 2017, a man can rejoin with his wife in three months after single talaq and can remarry after three months without the woman having to go through nikah halala.[15]

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India barred Instant Triple Talaq on 22 August 2017 and asked the Parliament to make a law on the matter.[16]


A BBC report found that Halala is common in certain south-Asian Muslim communities in the UK,[1] the report uncovered many instances where women were socially and sexually exploited by local religious figures.

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