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article imageMan uses WhatsApp to divorce wife after 10 days

By Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi     Oct 12, 2015 in Technology
Kerala - A 21-year-old woman was divorced by her husband after 10 days of marriage. She was informed of his decision via WhatsApp, a mobile messaging app. The message was a triple talaq, a Muslim ritual, translated as "I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you."
WhatsApp, along with other social media, Skype and emails are being used to deliver oral talaq. Muslim men are allowed to divorce their wives per the religion's talaq provision. According to interpretation, there might be three separate utterances, with a waiting period between each one, which would allow the couple time to reconcile, or all three talaqs can be stated in one breath.
The Kerala college student who received a talaq from her husband filed a formal complaint at the Kerala Women's Commission. She said her husband had traveled from Kerala to Dubai a few weeks after the wedding ceremony. The Commission questions whether a WhatsApp talaq is valid and has ordered that the woman's husband be located, then present himself, along with his parents, at a hearing.
In the complaint, the woman said her husband had not made contact when he reached Dubai, and out of concern, she contacted him repeatedly. Women's Commission member J. Prameela Devi said the husband's response caused the woman to take action:
Why are you calling me? I do not like you. Do not wait for me. If we like apple, will we keep eating it every day? We will like to eat other fruits also. Talaq Talaq Talaq.
A recent study by Bharatiya Muslim Mahlia Andolan, a non-government organization, shows that 92.1 percent of Muslim women view the triple talaq as discriminatory and want it banned.
WhatsApp is similar to text messaging and allows users to connect via cell phone. It's cheaper, because the messages are sent over mobile broadband. This makes it popular for communicating overseas. In 2014, the app was company was bought out by Facebook for $19 billion. Facebook is now the most popular social network in India and WhatsApp is the number one instant messaging app.
Islamic scholars are divided on talaq via WhatsApp. Sayyed Attakoya Thangal, the district president of the Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulama, said the talaq is valid, but added, "The divorce however will be granted only after holding discussion with both the man and wife and their family members. If the husband sticks to his stand, divorce will be sanctioned."
T. P. Abdulla Koya Madani, the state president of Kerala Nadvathul Mujaideen, offered a counter view, dismissing divorce by instant message. He said the mandatory steps can't be followed in WhatsApp.
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