Not long after it emerged that 92% of women in India wanted to see an end to the ‘triple talaq’ method of Muslim divorce, a Muslim man living in Dubai has raised some hackles. He divorced his wife via triple talaq a mere 30 days after their marriage…over WhatsApp.
The 27-year-old man left his wife in Kerala and fled to Dubai just ten days after the marriage; the controversial WhatsApp message came a few weeks later.
The erstwhile bride, a 21-year-old college student, was by all accounts upset. However, she was not going to put up with behaviour that she clearly deemed beyond the pale. She lodged a formal complaint with the Kerala Women’s Commission in Pala, Kottayam, questioning the validity of a divorce pronounced in this unorthodox manner.
The Women’s Commission has taken action accordingly: they’ve ordered the Non-Resident Keralites’ Affairs (NORKA) to track the man down while local police have been tasked with finding his parents.
The question of the WhatsApp talaq’s validity has reportedly divided Islamic scholars. A member of the Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulama has said that the divorce could be allowed after discussion with both the man and woman, who have not been named in media reports. However, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has contradicted this by clearly stating that ‘divorce through digital media’ is not enforceable in a court of law.
The incidence of divorce via social media has, unsurprisingly, increased with the digital age, adding fuel to the fire of the women who feel that it is unfair, placing them at an even greater disadvantage to their male counterparts.