BMMA Publications: No more “Talaq Talaq Talaq” – Muslim Women Call for a Ban on an UnIslamic Practice
BMMA latest publication is now available: an unprecedented report which carries case studies of 117 Muslim women who have been victims of “triple talaq”. The case studies were gathered from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal and Karnataka. The reports shows essentially that 92.1% Muslim women want this biased system of verbal triple talaq to stop.
BMMA ANNUAL REPORTS : 2007-2013
You will find here all the Annual Reports from BMMA starting from 2007, year of the Andolan’s launch.
Please click here for the BMMA Annual Report 2007
Please click here for the BMMA Annual Report 2008-2009
Please click here for the BMMA Annual Report 2010-2011
Please click here for the BMMA Annual Report 2012
Please click here for the BMMA Annual Report 2013
BMMA WOMEN’S SHARIAT ADALAT’S REPORT
You will find here the Report on Women’s Shariat Adalat launched by BMMA in July 2013. The report includes a summary of cases received by the adalats in the cities of Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Dindigul.
Please click here to see the 2013 Report on Women’s Shariat Adalat – Part I
Please click here to see the 2013 Report on Women’s Shariat Adalat – Part II
Please click here to see the 2013 Report on Women’s Shariat Adalat – Part III
Please click here to see the 2013 Report on Women’s Shariat Adalat – Part IV
BMMA Publication – ‘Seeking Justice Within Family – A National Study on Muslim Women’s Views on Reforms in Muslim Personal Law’
BMMA latest publication is now available: an important all-India survey revealing Muslim women’s views on reforms in Muslim Personal Law and more particularly on issues pertaining to family, divorce and polygamy.
Click here to access the full survey
BMMA Publications – ‘Locating Muslim Women in Indian Policy’
in People at the Margins: Whose Budgets? Whose Rights? – A publication supported by UN Women and the Ford Foundation
An assessment of programmes and schemes for the empowerment of religious minorities in the country reveals that Muslim women and girls remain largely invisible in the overall policy framework. This Briefing Paper draws from a study of the Prime Minister’s New 15 Points Programme in four states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Odisha, to identify key gaps in policy conceptualization and implementation. Testimonies gathered as part of the study further highlight the need for greater policy attention on Muslim women. Some of the key demands which emerged from the field include: separate schools for girls; priority for women headed households in all schemes, greater opportunities for employment and skill development and enhanced budgetary commitment for Muslim women and girls.
Click here to access the publication
BMMA Publication – ‘Stories of Triple Talaak and the Indian Muslim Women’
STORIES OF TRIPLE TALAAK AND THE INDIAN MUSLIM WOMEN
COLLECTION OF CASE STUDIES OF ORAL DIVORCE
MADHYA PRADESH STATE UNIT
Name- Sabiha Khan
Married at the age of 22 and mother of a two year old son, Sabiha was facing difficulties in her married life. Her husband would often beat her up, mistreat and abuse her referring to a low dowry brought by her. She was even thrown out of the house forcefully. She received a ‘Tehriri talaq’ from her husband in the form of a letter. Attached with it was a fatwa photocopy regarding the same. On being approached, the Darul Qaza confirmed the divorce without even speaking to the woman as to whether she had received her Meher or as to how she was going to bring up her child and relieved the husband of all his responsibilities. Sabiha is currently staying with her parents. She has neither received her Meher nor does she get any assistance at all for their son, from her husband.
Name- Majidi Begum
Majidi was married at the age of 29. Despite constant problems in her married life she wanted to stay with her husband and family. Surprisingly, one day, her husband informed her that he had divorced her. Startled by this sudden revelation she approached BMMA and when they demanded legal papers her husband produced a stamp paper with the signatures of two witnesses stating that he had divorced her. What was most surprising was that the stamp papers had a 2010 date on them whereas Majidi was informed of this only in 2012. On approaching Darul Qaza she was informed that nothing could be done as the Divorce was valid. The case is currently under the due process of law. She is currently staying with her mother and runs an anganwadi centre. She is still fighting for justice so that she may receive her Meher and maintenance which she is yet to receive despite being divorced arbitrarily. When asked about what change she expects in law she said that decisions like that in her case that are being taken by religious leaders need to stop and the law of the land must intervene as it is destroying the lives of so many women.
29 year old Farhana was married at the age of 21 and has an eight year old Son. Also a victim of unilateral divorce, Farhana’s husband relocated to Saudi Arabia four months after their marriage. After spending two years there, he returned and mortgaged all her jewellery to buy an ambassador. He left for SA again and never called her. She received a call from him one day when he told her his decision to divorce her. On not hearing from him for a long time after that, she went to consult the local qazi of the area. The qazi spoke to her husband and her husband asked the qazi to inform Farhana that he will give her Meher only if she agreed to leave their son with him. After this the Qazi gave her a paper which said that the divorce had taken place. She did not file a case as she is afraid that her doing so may provoke her husband and he may take their son away from her. She is yet to get back her jewellerey or receive her Meher. Her appeal to the government is to help stop the so called religious clergy from making one sided decisions. Why did the qazi, she asks, not tell Farhana’s husband that whether or not she decided to give him the child, he had to give her due- her Meher ?
30 year old Jannat is her husband’s second wife. She converted to Islam and married without knowing that her husband had a first wife and two kids. A little time into the marriage she found out about her husband’s first marriage and about his affairs with other women. After a son was born to her he left her. To get her marriage properly registered she approached Darul Qaza. She was then told that her marriage was not legal because her parents were non Muslims. After this BMMA asked the qazi who read their Nikah to give in writing that a Nikah was carried out by them with all legality. Jannat has filed a case in the court and her demand is that she should get her Meher and maintenance for her son and that the son should also have his right in the father’s property. As of today, Jannat is sustaining herself and her son by working in a small private company. She has reverted back to Hinduism and she blames her husband and Darul Qaza for the same. Her suggestion to improve the condition of Muslim women is that parentage of a different religion should not affect the legality of Nikah.
Name- Samreen Khan
Samreen an MBA, was married to an employee of a private company who had the same educational qualification. The dowry given at the time of marriage was Rs 3, 50,000. Sometime after the marriage she was pressurized for more money. Being her parents’ only child, her in-laws pressurized her to ask her father to sell off his plot and give the money to them. Her husband treated her with disrespect and would often physically abuse her. He took her to Mumbai with him, where he would lock her up before he left for work. He also took her mobile from her. Samreen got in touch with her parents with a lot of difficulty. It’s been five years since she was married and does not want to live with her husband anymore. He however, refuses to divorce her. When she approached Darul Qaza for help they said she was not eligible for‘Khula’ without her husband’s consent. She has filed a case for divorce in the court and is currently staying with her parents. She wants to be freed of the marital bond she has been suffering in for the past 5 years and hopes she can get all her due rights of Meher, the dowry her parents gave the groom and her jewellery back from them.
Name- Shabana Khatoon
Shabana was married at the age of 21 and it has been five years since she was married. A few days after her wedding, her in laws started beating her up over demand for dowry and her husband would not even give her basic spending money. She has filed for a divorce in the court.
Name- Rasheeda Khatoon
27 year old Rasheeda Khatoon was married to an MR when she was 22 and has a five year old son. She was physically abused by her husband and he often forced her to stay in her parents’ home. He once called some local people and gave her oral divorce by saying ‘Talak’ thrice in front of them. He even published the same in the newspapers there and has now married another woman. Rasheeda’s case is still in the court and she continues to fight for justice. She strongly believes that such a divorce should be nullified and she should get justice.
Name- Sabiya Parveen
Sabiya was married when she was 28. She filed a case against her husband who would physically abuse her and lock her up in the house. She is currently staying with her parents without any maintenance support and a divorce.
35 year old Reshma is a beedi maker and has a ten tear old daughter. She would often keep unwell and her husband, a labourer, would send her to her parents’ house in her illness. He would physically abuse her and mentally torture her. He divorced her by pronouncing ‘Talaaq’ thrice in front of four people. Reshma has filed a case in the court for maintenance of her ten year old daughter, under section 125.
Odhisa State Unit
BMMA, ODISHA’s ACTIVITIES ON LAW AND SECURITY:
The women of Odhisa lack the ability to attain justice through constitutional means as is available for all Indian citizens because of a complete lack of awareness amongst them regarding the procedures and government bodies that are in place to aid them in doing so. As a result, women are seen to be looking for justice in local heads like the Sarpanch, Basti Sardar, religious leaders or recently even the Darul-qazza by the Emarate Sharia.
Realizing the condition of Muslim women in the state, BMMA which works on law and security decided to take up their case through awareness programmes on MPL and Constitutional laws. It is through the efforts of the BMMA along with para legal volunteers trained by the government that free legal aid, mahila thanas and women cells were made available to the Muslim women of Odhisa. The result of this and other efforts in way of awareness and organizing public hearings has resulted in the change that all the stake holders have begun to take seriously these issues regarding justice for the Muslim women instead of disregarding them under the pretext of religious sanctions. Even the women seem to have found a voice of their own and are sometimes seen to question Fatwas. BMMA is also under the process of developing a model Nikahnamma for itself so that talks on the subject can be pursued further with the Qazis of the state.
Following is a list of the case studies that were taken up continuously in public hearings with the district legal aid authorities
Name- Farhat Siddiqui
Aged 35 and married at the age of 21, Farhat is a mother of a girl aged 10 years old. After her divorce, wanting the custody of her daughter she filed a case in the family court since her husband refused to allow her to keep their child. She could not get her daughter back as her witness changed sides and went against her. They gave a written statement that she did not want the child, but only the maintenance. Though she won the case initially the husband chose not to hand over the child to the mother and instead filed an appeal case, which he won. She has now applied in the High court for free legal aid service to allow her an advocate to further fight for the custody of her daughter. Cases like hers only show the need for the mother to have every right on her child and be given the first preference for custody.
Name- Rabeya Khatoon
Aged 34 Rabeya married at the age of 22 and today is the mother of a 10 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. She started facing problems when the husband brought another woman home and kept her there. She thus wanted a divorce. She moved to her father’s home and without any sort of maintenance from the husband she struggled to keep her children going to school and make ends meet. She filed a case of maintenance in the family court which then asked her husband to pay an amount for her maintenance. However this amount was not given to her regularly. She was also hesitant of divorce citing the future of the children. What she wanted was an apology from her husband, sending back of the woman who was in the house and that he should ask her to return home. After legal advice from the BMMA she filed a complaint in the Mahila Police Station and her case was taken up in a public hearing through the women cell in Cuttack. Her husband has now apologized and taken her home. Cases such as this show, that polygamy is a bane for women and should be banned.
Name- Rumana Parween
Rumana aged 40 and married at 22 was divorced by oral Talaq given out thrice which was later confirmed as valid by the Deoband and Emarate Sharia. Later when her husband wanted her back he began to emotionally blackmail her along with demanding a share from her property for his own maintenance. She is a mother of 2 boys aged 18 and 10 and is fighting her maintenance case in the family court in Cuttack with the help of BMMA and women cell counselors. Two hearings have already been held and her husband hasn’t turned up.
Name- Soni Bibi
Soni was married off when she was 15 years old only. She is now 21 years old with no source of income and has not received any maintenance from her husband till date after he divorced her through a verbal divorce. BMMA helped her with free legal aid when she came to them for help so that she could be provided with an advocate for filing a maintenance case in the family court. However she failed to get free legal aid. It is a pity that maintenance is still not fixed so that a woman does not have to run pillar to post for justice.
Name- Reshma Khatoon
Reshma, aged 20, faced extreme torture by her husband and in-laws for dowry before she was thrown out of the house after the pronunciation of the triple talaq. She was pregnant at the time and the husband refused to accept the child as his own. Not only was she not provided with maintenance from him but was also not returned her Mehr amount. When she approached the BMMA for help, BIRD helped her to file a complaint along with a case for maintenance with the State Mahila Commission. The boy apologized for his mistake. He then contacted the CBO who brought him to BIRD co-coordinator and requested them to withdraw the case, agreeing to take the girl back home. The CBO’s members organized a meeting in which they invited Reshma’s guardian, the boy, the village head and a few seniors. It was the decided that Reshma will be handed over to her husband but with a few conditions in the presence of the police. It was decided that the violation of the conditions by the boy or his family will be meted out with punishment to the defaulter.
Name- Salma Begum
Salma had married when she was only 21 years old. Today she is 26 and sought divorce legally from her alcoholic husband who tortured her severely for two months. She moved to her parents’ home and with the help of her family moved the district court for domestic violence, asking for divorce. The man refused to grant her the same. She then looked to the Emarate Sharif who according to Muslim personal law granted her divorce. Though the district court continued the case of domestic violence the girl and her family had to seek help from other arenas as the continuous hearings in the court which required them to travel on a regular basis from Cuttack to Khurda became a hassle. The case was not granted legal aid service because of the non submission of documents. Being illiterate they are facing a lot of problem to understand things related to their case.
Name- Anjuman Banu
Anjuman was married at the age of 21 in a village called Daulatpur, Salipur, Cuttack, to a man working in the Army. After 3years her husband took voluntary retirement due to serious illness and finally passed away in the year 2001. She along with her 1and a half year old daughter was then thrown out of the house by her in-laws. She returned to her father’s house and filed an FIR in the police station. With the support of the police she retrieved her dowry. However she decided to take legal action against the family of her husband for the property rights of her daughter who should have inherited her father’s share. Overlooking this, her father in law willed all the property in favour of his living son. She had filed a case in the civil court against her father- in –law but before the final division the case was stopped by order of the High court. She then approached the BMMA for legal advice and BMMA invited her in its public hearing called HAMARI ADALAT (A program on legal rights of women where Mr. Aurobindo Pattnaik (DIST, secretary of Legal Aid Service) advised her to reopen the case again and fight for her rights. Today at the age of 35 she is still fighting for justice.
Name- Meena Nisha
Meena aged 35 was being tortured by her brothers physically and mentally. They refused to grant her, her share of her property or even allow her to live peacefully in their house. Not only did they try to throw her out of the house but also hired people to threaten and harass her if she did not leave. When sheapproached the collector and Tahasil dar regarding re-habilitation and applied for the peon service in Tahasil office they refused to help her and threatened to put her behind bars if she constantly asked for help. In the end she decided to fight for justice on her own. She put forward an application for Free Legal aid service on 7th June 2010 in the High court and her case was allowed by the government. Since then her fight for justice has been on. Though she wants to further file a case for her share of the property she lacks the money needed to retrieve paper records and documents from the Tahsil office. Cases like this show that unmarried daughters should be allowed to live in their parental homes.
Name- Sanjida Bibi
Sanjida aged 45 and a mother of 2 boys is married to a violent man who abuses her physically refusing to let her earn her own though the only source of income for the family is her own income along with her son’s income which adds up to a mere INR 1000 in a month. Her husband who earns nothing has borrowed a sum of INR 40000 due to which lenders have now been harassing them. On approaching the BMMA to teach her husband a lesson, she was advised to go to the protection officer or apply for a protection order from the court.
Name- Sajrun Nisha
Sajrun aged 23 and a mother of a 3 year old girl was living with an abusive husband who did not work for a living and thus contributed nothing to the household. He also forced her to give up stitching, the only source of income for the family after he had stopped working. He stopped her from moving out of the house or even using a mobile phone. And finally one day when she could not cook food due the unavailability of all stored ration, he divorced her screaming ‘Talaaq’ thrice to her. She approached the BMMA for help who then send her to the Dist, legal aid service for legal counseling.
West Bengal State Unit
Name- Sabila Bibi
Sabila Bibi, thirty eight years old and a resident of South 24 Parganas married Sk Gani when she was 23 yearls old. In 2007 her husband gave her a verbal Talaaq after which they were separated. Sk Gani realized his mistake soon after and wanted to remarry her. Sabila married her ex husband again following Halala. To marry Sk Gani again, Sabila married Kalim Uddin, her distant grandfather.
Name- Marjina Bibi
Similar to Case Study 1 Marjina Bibi aged 32, living in South 24 Parganas had to go through the required process when she remarried Azhar her husband from whom she had received an oral divorce.
Name- Maksuda Bibi
Maksuda Bibi of south 24 Parganas in West Bengal was given a verbal Talaaq by her husband in 2009 and stays separated from him now, with her two children.
Name- Jayeda Bibi
Jayeda Bibi aged 42 and living in South 24 Parganas received verbal talaq from her husband Esbauddin who remarried her through the halala process.
Name- Heijun Bibi
Heijun Bibi aged 39 living in South 24 Parganas received verbal talaq from husband Sk. Azad who remarried her through the process of Halala 5 years later.
Name- Halima Bibi
Nineteen year old Halima bibi of Cooch Bihar district was married to Hafijul Islam in 2011 and was leading a happy life. This soon changed when her husband started to physically and mentally torture her. Not knowing what to do, she lodged a complaint with the ‘ Pramila Bahini’. Her Husband Hafijul divorced her on the 29th of September 2012 by means of Verbal Talaaq, after he got to know of the complaint and left for Delhi leaving her all by herself. She now stays with her parents and has lodged a case at Dinhata court against her husband for compensation.
Name- Mabia Bibi
Mabia Bibi aged 38, living in Mahestala municipality, South 24 Parganas, was divorced verbally by her husband Md. Rafik due to late preparation of tea. Mabia was pregnant at that time and since then has lived at her parental home. The case which she filed against her husband is still going on.
Name- Arjupan Khatun
Arjupan Khatun aged 45, living in the district of Howrah was divorced verbally by her husband when she gave birth to a girl child. She was only of 16 years of age then. She has now married her daughter off and is happy to live on her own.
Name- Jahanara Bibi
Jahanara Bibi from Howrah district was married at the age of 14. Every time she gave birth to a girl child she faced the wrath of her husband. After the third girl child her husband divorced her orally after which she moved to her parental home and underwent the legal process for an effective divorce. She is now married again and happily lives with her husband and children.
Meeting with Quazis for exploring the remedies to reduce the marital and other problems of Muslim women
Given the problems Muslim women are facing with regard to nikah, talaq and property laws, it is the need of the hour that the Muslim clergy take these issues seriously and have open discussions on them. With this aim in mind many senior individuals and clergy like Janab Amjad Ali Sahab (Mufti – Quazi), Janab Zuber Khan (Moulavi) and Janab Akhlaq- ur- Rehman (Mufti – Quazi) were requested to preside over a meeting to discuss the problems of Muslim women. As is the trend with the Muslim clergy to avoid such meetings and discussion on women’s issues most of them excused themselves from attending the meeting. The Muslim clergy is seen indifferent to the women’s issues within the community and have a very patriarchal influence. Though they propagate the Muslim laws as they are, they are hesitant to act on them when it comes to women.
However, it was Janab Alim Sahab, a very old man who listened to the problems of the muslim women and concluded that those were day to day problems that the women had to face. However not being part of any Quazi organization he was unable to take action. Following were the problems that were expressed in the meeting by the women.
- Hasty pronunciation of the triple Talaq by the husbands without observing the procedure laid down by The Prophet as well as renowned muslim alims.
- Validity of a hasty triple talaq was not accepted in many cases by the apex court of the land.
- No proper mechanism for assistance to Muslim women who are expelled from the house of husband and her parents are not in a position to keep them with care.
- Lack of availability or knowledge of the existence of Darul Quazas that is supposed to listen to the problems regarding marital problems is an issue for Muslims in many places.
- Proper payments (Mata-Un-Maroof) along with Mehr and Iddat must be paid to the women at time of divorce.
- There is a need of short stay homes to help victims of atrocities.
Rajasthan State Unit
Preliminary meeting for codification of Muslim Law on 13 Sept. 2012 at the office of NMWWS
In all previous meetings there was a common demand for the codification of Muslim law. This was a preliminary meeting in the same direction. It was observed that no senior religious leaders were readily taking on women’s difficulties and issues because of the lack of codified laws especially with regard to marital and property rights. The young women were loud and bold in their representation and this was much appreciated. However it was acknowledged that without the help of the religious leaders it would be difficult to move ahead in the right direction and thus their involvement was absolutely necessary. A request was made specially to those women whose relatives were Maulvis/Quazis or other significant leaders to talk to them and influence them regarding the matter.
Following are the cases from Rajasthan
Name- Anwar Jahan
Aged 43, Anwar Jahan was married off at the age of 11. Her husband not only did no work but also tortured her by beating her along with his family. She being dependant on the family had to bear all their atrocities on her. One fine day during one of his moods he pronounced the triple talaq in a rage after beating her up. She however refused to go away and wanted to stay in Pardah from her husband. It was when she was being forced to leave the house that she took the matter to the court. However with the intervention of elders from both sides of the family and with the confidence she got from the BMMA she was able to get what she demanded. She continued to live with him, without meher since she had a roof over her head. Her son would also have a claim on his father’s property once he turned 18 years of age. She is now an active member of the BMMA and after marrying her daughter off is now a grandmother.
Name- Rafat Jahan
Rafat Jahan was married at the age of 20 years. Her husband had married under family pressure while he was in love with another girl. This naturally created problems between the couple and Rafat was never allowed to be in peace. Rafat was forced to leave the house one day and go to her parental home after her husband beat her up severely. Going to her mother was the last option for her as her mother whose husband had died while Rafat was an infant only, had many duties of her own. Rafat then went and complained to the local police station and thereafter her husband was kept under judicial custody. The case continued for a period of 6 years. The husband refused to give divorce to Rafat as absolute power of Talaq under the popular interpretation Muslim law lay in his hands. However after the efforts of the court and a member of BMMA, Talaque was announced by the husband. She has since then been an active member of both the NMWW Society and BMMA. Rafat learnt to be self sufficient and bore all the expenses of her daughter. After a while she remarried a man who proposed to her and agreed to all the conditions put forward to him by the BMMA members. Today they are a happy family, where Rafat’s first daughter Alish is 13 years old and in the 7th standard. She also has a younger daughter aged 4 and both of them are being well taken care of by Shahzad, her 2nd husband. There should thus be certain laws that allow the divorce of women by them under such conditions as Rafat’s.
Aged 31, Jubeda faced a violent husband and in-laws. They demanded money continuously from her parental home which she brought in spite of poor economical condition of her parents. One fine day he beat her up badly and forced her out of the house. She then approached the BMMA with whose help she filed ancase of maintenance against him. The case is still pending in the court but by the time she managed to take a computer course that enabled her to be employed with a monthly income of INR 5000. She is thus able to support her children and also contribute financially to her own parents. Today she is an active member of BMMA. Under Muslim law that allows its women maintenance only till the iddat period needs to be amended and like all women they should be rightfully given proper maintenance. In Jubeda’s case sinceTalaq has not been given she is still fighting for obtaining maintenance under 125 Cr.PC.
Name- Jahan Ara Alias Shannomily
Aged 40 Jahan Ara was married to her first cousin. Her mother was her Father-in-law’s sister. She faced intense domestic violence from her husband and his family. Her own family never intervened because of the close relationship. Under severe difficulties and after bearing 4 children to her husband one fine day she was forced to move in with her mother and younger sister. She then approached the BMMA and is now skilled and employed as a computer operator. Though she is independent and happy living with her mother and sister, her mother never stops advising her to return to her husband’s home. This is the result of the close relationship of the families. For such cases it is a need that homes are set up where women like Jahan Ara can find respite in.
Shama was married when she was 13 years of age under the consent of both families. The husband was in love with another woman from the beginning and inflicted domestic violence on her demanding money every now and then from her parents. Under his demands her parents also placed a plot of land under her name which her husband forcefully wrote in his mother’s name forging her signature. When she opposed this she was beaten up badly and sent to her parental home. She later filed a case under sec 498Aand a case for forgery. Both the cases have been pending for the last two years. Her sons have been taken away by her husband and she continues to live at her parental home with her infant daughter. She has the confidence of the BMMA members who have asked her to continue her struggle for justice.
After four months of her marriage she was suddenly sent home on the pretext that she was not beautiful in the eyes of the husband and thus he did want her to live there. Faced also with domestic violence she filed sec 498 A against him and with the help of the BMMA and NWMMS was able to get a Talaq which her husband was refusing to grant her. She is now working as a teacher and is involved deeply in the educational upliftment of Muslims.
Afsana was married in 1992 when she was only 15 years old. The husband was sexually involved with other women and would constantly beat her up. He would not visit her for days at a stretch and one fine day sent her talaq by a registered letter. Afsana has so far proven to be one of the bravest women. Without even moving the court she refused to vacate the house even as the family reported against her to the police. With the aid of the BMMA she has found the strength to continue living there while she began to earn by tailoring and support all three of her children who are now studying.
54 year old Asma is a bold lady. Hers is a case of an-inter religious marriage where she came from a well known Hindu family and was the second wife to her husband who at the time of their wedding was a young father already. They thought they were deeply in love. Circumstances seemed to have changed after she gave birth to three children and realized that his attitude had changed towards her. He had begun drinking and would ill treat her. He began living with his first wife and his children from her. When the first wife passed away Asma invited him to live with all the children together in a house that she had brought. But the children of the first wife along with their father began to ill-treat her. She slowly realized that all if they began to think that the house belonged to their father , they could do anything they wanted. During this period of troubles that Asma faced the husband announced Talaq to her on many occasions and even though she accepted it he refused to move with his children to his village. He instead asked her to move out of the house claiming that he had brought it with his money. She then approached the police and the courts with the help of the BMMA. Today both the families continue to live in the same house. Though he continues to disturb her in every possible way along with the children from his first wife she has stood her ground and refused to give into his actions. She is earning well for herself and is able to take good care of her children. Codified Muslim law can be useful in cases like these.
18 year old Nazmeen was married to Imran in the month of Oct, 09. Not a single day has been happy for her since then as her husband began to show his colours from the first night of their marriage itself. The husband was greedy for money and continued to torture her for the same and was also in love with another woman. He along with his family would physically abuse her whenever they simply wished to. Once after she visited her parents as she was very ill she refused to go back ever to the life of torture that she thought she had left behind. She wanted a separation from him and approached the BMMA. Due to lack of knowledge of a Darul Quaza nearby she approached the local police station and filed a case under section 498A against them The case is still pending in the court.
22 year old Yasmeen, mother of a 3 year old girl had come to the BMMA office to seek help against mental and physical torture. Though her husband would not directly torture her , his family was inhumane to her. They also did not allow her to go to her maternal home in case of illness or if she wished to. She was also deprived of proper nutrition or medicines whenever she fell ill. When she approached the BMMA they asked her to first move to her parents’ home so that they could begin to take action by reporting the criminals. However she continues to live with her husband and cannot take a decision on her own. It is also not advisable that she stays in the same house and file reports since the atrocities against her would only increase. The Muslim law should be codified in such a way that it provides respite to victims like Yasmeen.
Tamil Nadu State Unit
Name- A. Sarammal
She was a victim of domestic violence and harassment for dowry. At an early age of 17 her parents married her off with a dowry amount of INR 10000. Though she continued work and gave birth to two children with financial help from her mother she was harassed by her husband for gold as dowry when the same was given to the husband of her younger sister. One fine day she was beaten mercilessly and her mother had to spend Rs 4000 to help her recover. In such a condition he did go to take her back home. She hoped that he would change but he was an alcoholic and had by then sold all her gold ornaments. He needed more money and continued to beat her. He kept threatening her of a second marriage if his demands were not met. He finally left home one day and sent her a written divorce 7 months later. He left no financial help for her and had taken all that she had. He then remarried while she had to recourse to work as a domestic help while her mother took the responsibility of raising her children. She now works with Manitham trust and has developed her knowledge and skills. She has been successful in educating her daughter as a B.Com graduate who is now a CA. She is also an active member of BMMA.
Name- Parakath Nishaw/o.Kamalutheen ( name changed on request)
She was duped by her husband to give a signature on what she thought was a paper to acquire loan from the bank. Only few months later did she come to know that she had signed on divorce papers. He married another woman and now continues to live with both though on legal papers it appears that she has been divorced by him with consent.
Name – Yasmeen
Yasmeen was a victim of domestic violence. Her husband was an alcoholic who pronounced the oral talaq one fine day and handed over INR 5000 as Meher. The talaq was accepted by the Jammat and she received no maintenance from him for her two children with whom she continues to live even today at her parental home.
Name- Jemmel Ammal
Her husband whom she married through an arranged marriage would often be violent with her for dowry. One fine day when she had gone to her parents place to ask for money to satisfy him, he sent a talaq notice at her place with a meher amount of Rs 100. Her relatives later managed to get out of him 15000 as compensation. However she has received no maintenance till date while he has remarried and lives with his new wife very close by to her.
Name- Rizwana Farween
Rizwana’s suspicious husband divorced her in front of her parents when she was just about to give birth to her first child. From then on for the last 13 years she has been living at her parents’ place. Her daughter who is being taken care of by her parents is now studying in the 8th standard. She is worried for her own fate as if anything were to happen to her parents she lives with, nobody from family would help her and neither would she have any source of income.
Name – Rabiya
6 months after her wedding her husband went abroad for work and came back once a year for two years. After the second year he did not return for five years but instead sent a written Talaq. Many efforts to find him failed until a social worker intervened and compensation was got from him. Her parents then married her to another man.
Name – Fatihma Zinna
Her parents had married her off with a dowry of 17 lbs gold and INR 30000. Though the Maher amount was fixed at Rs 5001, he never gave her the money. He was violent with her and began beating her up badly when she developed white patches all over her body after the birth of her child. He made her follow methods cruel for her body to rid herself of the patches. One day he separated from her and the child and went elsewhere on the pretext of work. He then gave her a talaq in front of the notary and but she was unable to get any sort of maintenance from him, she being illiterate and thus not being able to do so. It was only when he married again and had other children with white spots that she realized she had got those spots from him. She now lives with her parents and meets her end by making money out of tailoring.
Name – Rojakani
After being married for 5 years Rojakani was divorced by her alcoholic husband. She was unable to get any sort of maintenance for herself or her child. Today she earns Rs 30 a day by making agarbattis and lives with her child at her maternal home.
Name – Ayeesa
Ayessa’s husband was against her being a working woman and thus there were conflicts in the marriage. He finally went abroad and sent her a talaq notice. The jammat said they could not do anything about it. Today she lives at her parental home with her child and has not received any sort of maintenance from her husband who has remarried.
Name – Raviyathammal
Raviyathammal was married to her aunty’s son who ill treated her continuously. She was forced to return to her parents’ home when one fine day he came to take her back. She was elated and went along. Little did she know that he took her out only to make her sign on the divorce papers. He also threatened her that if she refused to do so or took the case to the jammat, he would live with her only until he threatened her to death. She returned home frightened and angry and has ever since been there without any maintenance what so ever.
In Dindigul most men marry for dowry in way of gold. Beevi john was married to a man with huge amount of gold and a sum of INR 1 lakh. Little did she know that he had a past that involved several marriages for gold and money. On one occasion when she returned home from her parental home four months after childbirth he sent her back and divorced her orally only because she did not get more gold from her home. He then married another woman for more gold. Today she is living with her child at her parents’ place and has received no maintenance from him.
Maharashtra State Unit
Name- Faimida Abdul Khan
Aged 25 and being married at the age of 24 she has been facing verbal and physical abuse by her husband. She said that her husband only used her to satisfy himself sexually and ill treated her otherwise. The reason stated by the man was that she wore spectacles, a fact she did not reveal before marriage. She was called names because of this and was finally given an oral divorce because of this itself. When both approached the Qazi they were granted a divorce since the boy detested the spectacles that the girl wore.
Name– Nazma Sheikh
Aged 38 years now, Nazma’s husband ran away with her when she was only 14 years of age. He did not marry her for two years and kept her in confinement and in bad health. He would beat her up and ill treat her. After her marriage to him he had affairs with other women and became extremely violent with her. He along with the other woman in his life would often beat her up together. He divorced her verbally by pronouncing ‘Talaq’ thrice to her.
Name- Saida Altaaf Sheikh
40 year old Saida got into arguments with her husband over his open affair with other women. Once she raised her voice against his wrong he began to torture her in different forms. He would not allow her to enter the kitchen and keep her without food for days at a stretch. Finally he threw her out of the house without any of her belongings except the clothes she was wearing. He had written the word ’talaq’ on a piece of paper which he threw at her face as she left. When approached and advised on his behavior he was adamant that he had divorced her and in no way would take her back home, today Saida along with her child continues to live at her parental home.
Name- Dr Yasmeen Anjum Mohammad
Dr Yasmine Anjum Shaikh an MBBS, married at the age of 24 was divorced by her husband via oral Talaaq , fourteen years after their marriage. Dr Yasmine who has her own humble clinic bore the expenditure of sending her husband abroad for work and managed all the household expenditures on her own with her husband not providing much for the same. She was mentally tortured by her in laws and husband who would force her to sell off her clinic and give them the money from the same. She is now living with her children, separate from her husband and in laws.
After BMMA’s intervention, Dr Yasmine’s husband argued that he had given Yasmine Verbal talaaq but she said she was not aware of him doing so. Yasmine has filed a case in the court demanding monthly maintenance from her husband for herself and her two children and now awaits Justice.
Name- Sheikh Kherunisha
35 year old Kherunisha was married at the age of 21. No sooner had she married that trouble began to show itself between the couple. All her gold jewellery was taken and kept with the mother-in- law and though later they moved to a different place, trouble between the couple did not stop. The man was an alcoholic and wasted all his money in gambling. Neither would he allow her to work which she did before nor would he give her any kind of monetary help for the house or for her 12 year old child. When the case was taken up and he had decided to give her a monthly allowance of Rs 5000 she refused saying that she needed around Rs 15000 and so she approached the law of the land on her own. Seeing this, the angry man pronounced a talaq and sent her a written divorce which was granted by the Quazi without listening to the girl’s side of the story.
Name- Saisna Abdul Kadir Sheikh
Saisna was mentally tortured by all the members of the boy’s family including the boy. One fine day when all of them got together and beat her up she went to the police to complain against them. On returning from the police station the husband pronounced an oral divorce saying he would not stand someone who had insulted her. She is now living at her mother’s place with her child. She is also too poor to fight a proper case under the court of law.
Karnataka State Unit
Name- Abida Begum
Abida faced a husband who would physically abuse her and mentally torture her. He had affairs and would ill treat her in all the possible ways. His verbal and physical abuses saw no end and finally she was forced to leave the house. She was living separate from him with her three children and has now approached the courts to validate the divorce that he had pronounced to her.
Bihar State Unit
Name – Rifat Bano
She was married off at the age of 16-17 and is now 40 years old. In three months of her marriage all her dreams around marriage were shattered as she was tortured by her husband and his family. In a few days time on the husband’s mother’s suggestion, her husband left her at her parental home. She waited all the while thinking that he would take her back one day. That day however never came. Instead without even divorcing her he married another woman. After all these incidents when Rifat went to her husband’s home to collect her dowry she was turned away and nothing was returned to her. Today Rifat being a part of BMMA says that it is important for all those hundreds of women suffering from such injustices to come out in the open and stand up for their rights.
Name- Mamo Khatoon
Mohammad Hasim and Mamo Khatoon lived in the same locality and married when both families agreed on it. They had a happy life until one day he fell in love with a non Muslim woman and wanted to marry her at any cost. Mamo was tortured during this period so that she gave consent to the marriage. However she was adamant and would not give in to his decision. In spite of her non consent her husband married the other woman under a Qazi whom he managed to bribe. He is now living with his second wife who has a boy from him. Mamo has ever since been living at her parental home with both her kids and has been looking after them too. She questions the religious leaders as to where in the Quran is this allowed that her husband marries another woman for no good justifiable reason and ignores all responsibilities of the children he has had from his first wife, leave alone the wife ?
Name- Shamsun Nisa
Shamsun nisa came from a very poor family and was married off at the age of 15 only. Immediately after her wedding when her husband and his family decided that they did not like her because she had light hair growth on her head, her days of sorrow at their place began. The husband and his family had already made up their mind about her but decided to keep her at home for sometime so that people would not talk about them. In return she was made to work like a maid and was tortured extensively. After three years he divorced her in wish of a beautiful wife and threw her out of the house. Since 18 years of age till now when she is 45 years old she has been living her life by spending time divided between her parental home, her siblings’ homes or other close and far relatives. She has nowhere to go and no person or institution be it religious organizations or government bodies have cared to look into her case and have left her at the mercy of God.
Name – Dolly
Dolly is from an extremely poor family and has four more sisters. She was married off at an early age and from the beginning itself was physically and mentally tortured by her husband. Her husband was good for nothing and expected her to provide for finances from her home. This pressure mounted to its highest point once she had two children and even their responsibilities fell on her parents. Ultimately her husband divorced her orally and sent her to her father’s place with her two daughters. She could only depend on them for some time and had to move out since they had their other children to look after. Initially she began to work as an ayah at people’s home but had to leave the profession when people started looking at her with an eye of taking advantage of a woman who had nowhere to go. She then decided to work as a sales girl. Earning however is very less and she has neither any BPL card nor a Ration card and neither any help from the government. It is questionable as to what kind of law allows a man to rid himself of all responsibilities of his wife and children at his whims and fancy.
Name- Jameela Khatoon
No sooner was she married than her husband’s promiscuous behavior was revealed. Whenever she would visit her parents he never asked her to return. The three children that she gave birth to found no way into their father’s hearts in a manner that he take responsibility for them and thus her family was left with their responsibility. She dragged on her life in this manner for more than 15 years before one fine day she returned to her parental home with her three children. To make a living she began to work as a maid at people’s homes where she sometimes received food and old clothes. This, along with the monthly payments from her labour helped her to somehow survive her days. Her parents helped her to marry off her daughter and at 60 she still lives at her parental home with her sons.
Gujarat State Unit
Name- Afsana Bano
Afsana Bano got married when she was 22 years old, with a huge dowry of one lakh rupees and a meher of merely Rs 25000. She was divorced by her Husband who arbitrarily divorced her by the triple Talaq Method. Her husband has been refusing to give any maintenance for their children and neither is he ready to give back all the dowry received during the wedding. She is fighting a case in the court and efforts to solve the issue even outside the court are on.
35 year old Sana was a bank employee, who married an auto rikhshaw driver five years ago and converted to Islam. Only after the marriage did she get to know that her husband was already married. When she confronted him, he presented fake papers of his divorce from his first wife. A few months after their marriage, he quietly mortgaged Sana’s flat for money and also managed to take out 5 lakh rupees from her bank in her name. He took all this money and fled to South Africa with his first wife. Shattered with this betrayal, Sana, who was pregnant when her husband fled, aborted her child not knowing what future she or her child would have. Sana asked Ms Jamila, the state convener of BMMA in Gujarat for help. After a lot of difficulties, they were able to trace Sana’s husband’s family in Gujarat. When they went to meet the family, the parents refused to recognize Sana and asked them to leave saying that they did not know of the whereabouts of their son, neither were they aware of his second marriage with her. When BMMA contacted Sana’s husband in South Africa, he said he had given Sana Verbal Talaaq in her absence and has no papers to prove the same.
Name- Rubeena Imtiyaz Khan Pathan
Rubeena Iimtiyaz Khan Pathan is a mother of a four year old girl and a victim of the tripple talaaq. Two years after her marriage, her in laws started to mistreat her , use abusive language and even physically abused her and demanded dowry. Initially her husband would treat her well, but under the influence of his parents he forced her out of his house five years ago. Her case has been filed in a family court. BMMA has also been trying to help her settle her case out of court and is taking assistance of some influential individuals to help her solve her problem.
Uttar Pradesh State Unit
25 year old Seema was married to Aslam in 2009 and was a mother of two children . Four years after the marriage Aslam’s work went down and he started blaming his daughter for brining in bad luck. He asked Seema to either throw their daughter somewhere or give her to someone else. Even after repeated attempts by Seema to explain to Aslam the futility of his superstition he did not understand and at the end divorced Seema.
Mehjabi was married in 2009. Her husband was very insecure about her looking beautiful and would often doubt her. He would even physically abuse her sometimes. Within the third month of their marriage he divorced her by the triple Talaaq Method.
24 year old Shahjahan was married in 2008. After a month of the marriage her inlaws started pressurizing her for dowry and would abuse her. Troubled by all this, Shahjahan left her husband’s house and went back to stay with her parents and filed a case against them. However, in the middle of the case, they settled their issues outside of the court and she went back to stay with her husband. Things did not change much after her return, infact she received a registry one day from her husband saying he had divorced her. There is no decision on her case till date.
Firdaus was married at the age of 20. She had to start bearing dowry related pressure right after her marriage and after six months of her marriage she was sent back by her in laws to stay at her parent’s home. Her husband visited her there one day and pronounced Talaq thrice and left. Since then she is staying with her parents earning a living by making bangles. She is not willing to file a case against her husband neither is she ready to get remarried.