In response to a query from a religious leader in England, Islamic seminary Dargah-e-Ala Hazrat of Bareilly has ruled that a Muslim woman can divorce her husband, and utter "talaq talaq talaq," The Telegraph reported today.
"The woman can give talaq to her husband if he is a drunkard or is immoral, unwell or unable to lead a normal married life. For convenience, the woman should secure this right at the time of nikah," says the fatwa issued by Mufti Salim Noori, a senior leader of the dargah linked to the Barelvi sect, which has millions of Sunni Muslim followers in South Asia.
The fatwa says that men and women are equal in Islam.
Noori's ruling is based on a provision called talaq-e-tafweez, a clause which the fatwa suggests should be inserted into the marriage contract, but this agreement can also be reached after marriage. The tafweez clause allows a woman to divorce her husband under certain conditions, like him taking a second wife, The Telegraph reported.
"The woman can tell her husband any time in her life that she wants to divorce him for certain reasons. The husband is bound to agree if she wants separation. But the elders of both families are expected to see whether she is of a balanced mind and is not misusing her rights," the fatwa said.
Noori responded to the query from England, two years after it was sent to the Islamic seminary in Bareilly, and following the same question from a resident in Kanpur.
"We decided to respond to this question because an intense debate is going on whether women should enjoy equal rights as men in Islam. Talaq is not a one-way right. Even women can exercise this and utter the triple talaq," he toldThe Telegraph.
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