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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 various ahadith from the prophet of Islam.[4] Nikah Halala is practiced by some Sunni Muslims, mainly in countries that recognise the triple talaq.[5][6]

Islamic law

The Quran states:

And if he divorces her, she will not be lawful for him until she marries a husband other than him, and if he divorces her, there is no sin upon them to remarry if they think that they can maintain Allah’s bounds. These are Allah’s bounds, which He clarifies for a people who have knowledge. (Al-Quran 2:230)[7]

According to well known commentary bu Ibn Kathir

Hence, the husband who divorces his wife can take her back, providing she is still in her `Iddah (time spent before a divorced woman or a widow can remarry) and that his aim, by taking her back, is righteous and for the purpose of bringing things back to normal. However, this ruling applies where the husband is eligible to take his divorced wife back.

Allah made the divorce thrice, where the husband is allowed to take back his wife after the first and the second divorce (as long as she is still in her `Iddah). The divorce becomes irrevocable after the third divorce,..,after that, either you retain her on reasonable terms or release her with kindness.) meaning, `If you divorce her once or twice, you have the choice to take her back, as long as she is still in her `Iddah, intending to be kind to her and to mend differences. Otherwise, await the end of her term of `Iddah, when the divorce becomes final, and let her go her own way in peace, without committing any harm or injustice against her.'

This Ayah indicates that if the man divorces his wife for the third time after he divorced her twice, then she will no longer be allowed for marriage to him. Allah said"Taking the Wife back after the third (Divorce) is an abrogated practice," that Ibn `Abbas commented on the Ayah:if she marries another husband and then the other husband divorces her ,it is no sin on both of them that they reunite) meaning, the wife and her first husband, (provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah.) meaning, they live together honorably. Mujahid said, "If they are convinced that the aim behind their marriage is honorable

Ali bin Abu Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This Ayah was revealed about the man who divorces his wife once or twice and her `Iddah finishes. He later thinks about taking her back in marriage and the woman also wishes that, yet, her family prevents her from remarrying him. Hence, Allah prohibited her family from preventing her. Masruq, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Az-Zuhri and Ad-Dahhak stated that this is the reason behind revealing the Ayah (2:232). These statements clearly conform to the apparent meaning of the AyahThis (instruction) is an admonition for him among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day.) meaning, prohibiting you from preventing the women from marrying their ex-husbands, if they both agree to it.


There are saheeh ahaadeeth from the Prophet Muhammad which show that tahleel marriage is haraam.

Abu Dawood (2076) narrated that Muhammad said: “Allah has cursed the muhallil and the muhallal lahu.” This was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Sunan Abi Dawood. A muhallil is one who marries a woman and divorces her so that she can go back to her first husband, and the muhallal lahu is the first husband.

Ibn Majaah (1936) narrated from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir that Muhammad said: “Shall I not tell you of a borrowed billy-goat.” They said, Yes, O Messenger of Allah. He said, “He is al-muhallil. May Allah curse al-muhallil and al-muhallal lahu.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah.

‘Abd al-Razzaaq (6/2650) narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said whilst addressing the people: “By Allah, no muhallil or muhallal lahu will be brought to me but I will stone them.”

This applies whether he states his intention clearly when doing the marriage contract and they stipulate that when he has made her permissible for her first husband he will divorce her, or they do not stipulate that and he intends it to himself only.

Al-Haakim narrated from Naafi’ that a man said to Ibn ‘Umar: I married a woman and made her permissible for her first husband, and he did not tell me to do that and he did not know. He said: No, marriage should be based on genuine intentions; if you like her then keep her, and if you do not like her then leave her. He said: At the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) we would regard that as zina. And he said: They will still be adulterers, even if they remain for twenty years.

Imam Ahmad was asked about a man who married a woman intending thereby in his heart to make her permissible for her first husband, but the woman did not know about that. He said: He is a muhallil, and if he intends thereby to make her permissible for her first husband, then he is cursed.

It is not permissible to marry a woman if one's objective is to make her permissible for her first husband per classical Islamic law.[9]


A BBC report found that Halala is common 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 Indian Supreme Court against Nikah Halala. 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. The Muslim women rights organizations welcomed the attitude of the Government and stated these initiatives should have been taken much earlier.[10]

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 has asked the government to provide adequate security to the lady.[11][12][13]

See also


  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. ^ "al-Baqarah 2:230". Islam Awakened. Islam Awakened. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  8. ^ tafsir ibn Kathir
  9. ^ []
  10. ^ "Centre to oppose nikah halala in Supreme Court - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  11. ^ "Supreme Court To Begin Nikah Halala and Polygamy Hearing From July 20".
  12. ^ "Before SC hearing, Modi govt builds case against Nikah Halala, polygamy".
  13. ^ "AIMPLB against outlawing of 'nikah halala', but wants it to be discouraged".

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