Talak! Talak! Talak! Talak is a simple word that can strike fear in the hearts of Muslim women. “Talak” is an Arabic word that initiates a separation between a husband and his wife. An Islamic divorce does not require a witness. Not even the agreement of the wife. The third time the husband utters the word “talak,” the divorce is considered acceptable and complete before God.
Even Joking about “Talak” Can Mean Divorce
In October 2010 a news story broke and quickly spread around the world of a Qatarian man who accidentally divorced his wife. The man jokingly said the word ‘Talak’ to his wife three times during a skype chat. The man later said that he had only been joking with his wife.
Nevertheless, the Darul Uloom Deoband School rejected the husband’s defense. The Indian school is an Islamic authority on religious law. “When you say 'talak' three times, it means talak has taken place. It does not matter whether the woman had agreed or not,” the school said. They went on to say that before she could re-marry her first husband she would have to do these things: She could not attend any celebrations or have social interaction for 90 days. After that, marry another man. Then divorce the man. And then have another 90 day period of abstinence.
What Does Marriage Mean In Islam
What is the true meaning of marriage according Islam? What does it mean when a man can so easily divorce his wife by saying “Talak” three times? Clearly, it’s evident that a woman does not have the same rights as a man. Every wife is forced to accept that at any moment, her husband may choose to divorce her.
There are only a few verses in the Quran that defend the rights of women. But there are many verses that support a husband’s ability to divorce his wife. What’s more, a husband may take another woman as a second, third, or fourth wife!
The New Testament’s Great Respect for Marriage
The New Testament highly respects marriage. Someone that follows Jesus is only permitted to marry one woman. Divorce is restricted to cases of adultery or physical harm. The New Testament sees marriage as each partner giving themselves fully to each other. So much that they are spiritually considered as “one flesh.” This teaching of Jesus can be found in Matthew 19:5-6.
The goal of marriage for the follower of Jesus is not merely to meet human needs. The New Testament states that a woman is to submit to her husband just as her husband submits to God. A husband must also cherish and treat his wife exactly like he would treat himself.
The New Testament insists that a husband treat his wife in the same way that Jesus treats his people. Just as Jesus gave himself up for us (not even sparing death), a husband is meant to give himself up for his wife also sparing nothing. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless" (Ephesians 5:25-27).
The above reference from the New Testament emphasizes that Jesus gives himself for those who give themselves fully to him. Jesus gives us a model for marriage. In order to have a happy and successful home, we need to receive the security and love that Jesus offers each of us.
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