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Triple talaq illegal: The divorce letter that changed fate of millions

Shayara Bano's harrowing experience forced her to the courts, where she became an agent of change

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Shayara Bano
Shayara Bano, one of the main petitioners in the triple talaq case. Photo: Twitter (@ANI)

The by a majority verdict on Tuesday ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is "void", "illegal" and "unconstitutional".

By a 3:2 verdict, the apex court held that triple talaq is against the basic tenets of Quran. 

After her husband divorced her through the concerned practice, had challenged the constitutionality of the practices of polygamy, triple talaq ('talaq-e-bidat'), and 'nikah halala' in the

In her petition before the court, Bano related her own harrowing experience and said that she was subjected to cruelty, and dowry demands, from her husband and his family. 

In her plea, Bano said: "Muslim women have their hands tied while the guillotine of divorce dangles, perpetually ready to drop at the whims of their husbands who enjoy undisputed power. Such discrimination and inequality hoarsely expressed in the form of unilateral triple-talaq is abominable when seen in light of the progressive times of the 21st century."

Here is the full text of the divorce letter: 

“Deed of Divorce Dated 10.10.2015 Madam, Shayra Bano D/o Iqbal Ahmad. 

Be it clear that I Rizwan Ahmed married with you without any dowry to spend a peaceful and happy marital life. After marriage you came in my marital tie. From the relation between you and me two issues namely Irfan Ahmad aged about 13 years and Kumari Humaira Naz @ Muskan aged about 11 years were born who are receiving education living under my guardianship. With a great sorrow it is being written that you, just after 6 months of marriage, with your unreasonable and against Sharia acts started to pressurize me to live separately from my parents. I, in order to keep you happy and as per your wish started to live at a rented house at Mohalla Ghausnagar and while working as a clerk under a builder tried my level best to spend peaceful marital life with you and children. 

However, you, in an unreasonable manner and against Shriah continued to create problem and quarrel in house on regular basis. When you were asked the reason in a very affectionate manner about two years ago, you had put a condition that now when your other relatives are not with you in such situation come with me to my parents’ house and live further life there. I being a person from a self-respecting family refused to live as ‘son in law living at in-laws house’. Then you, under the influence of your parents, continued to fake various mental and physical pains and continued to behave life a mental patient. When tried to know the reason then you after much difficulty told that you had med with a serious accident before marriage. I for the sake of my children and you tolerated that. I became despondent from your persistent demand of living at your parental house and your being of stubborn nature, your giving threat of implicating in false case and threat of inflicting injury to yourself and of consuming poison and implicating me in false case on that count given on daily basis and complained about the same to your paternal uncle but your father replied that whenever you do such acts sleeping pills be given to you. I found this very baffling, upon asking your father told that since the time before your marriage you had been under treatment for mental ailment. I ignored such a big incident and the information received about you. Resultantly you became audacious in your behavior. When reported all these things to your father, your father told me that this is the time of children’s 8 holidays you be sent to your parents’ house with children. You take them back after the atmosphere is changed and summer vacations are over. Acting on the words of your father I left you at your parents’ place along with children and while going, you took away gold jewelry given by me including a gold neck set of two Tolas, gold bangles of one and a half Tola, two gold rings of half Tola and cash Rs.15,000/-. I continued to visit you enquiring your wellbeing and giving you expenses from time to time. That in the month of May and June when I tried to bring you then you gave excuses and pleas. 

I continued to make repeated attempts between May to July to bring you back but ultimately on 03.07.2015 you clearly refused to return and on 07.07.2015 you father brought both the children at Allahabad Railway Station and left them there informing me and gave threat on phone that either you will come here and live or shall perform the role of father and mother of both the children. In this regard when I enquired from you then you also refused to return in clear words and said to the extent that you raise the children and forget me or separate from me to bring another mother for the children. On this also I could not satisfy myself, whereupon I filed a suit for bringing you back. After receiving notice, out of the blues you threatened me on phone that I will soon file a case and will tell you how a son in law is kept at the inlaws house. Being fed up with your unreasonable conduct and against Sharaih acts I found it better to separate from you, therefore, I on 8.10.2015 applied for dismissal of the suit for bringing you back and now I, in my full senses and in the presence of marginal witnesses, release you from my marriage in the light of Shariah through tripel talaq by uttering ‘I give talaq’, ‘I give talaq’, ‘I give talaq’. 

From today the relation of husband and wife forever ends between you and me. After today you are unlawful for me and I have become unlawful for you. You are free to spend your life the way you want. Note: So far is the question of your dower (Mehr) and expenses of waiting period (iddat) that I am paying through demand draft no.096976 dated 06.10.2015 drawn at Allahabad Bank, Karaili, Allahabad Branch, which comprises a sum of Rs.10,151 towards payment of dower and Rs.5,500/- towards the expenses of waiting period which I am sending along with this written deed of divorce, you kindly take paid to accept the same. 

Dated 10.10.2015 Witnesses:- 1. Mohd. Yaseen, s/o Abdul Majid, R/o J.K. Colony, Ghaus Nagar, Karaili, Allahabad; 2. Ayaz Ahmed S/o Imtiyaz Hussain R/o G.T.B. Nagar, Karaili Scheme, Allahabad Only Sd/ Hindi Rizwan Ahmed (Rizwan Ahmed) S/o Iqbal Ahmed Ghaus Nagar, Karaili, Allahabad”

First Published: Tue, August 22 2017. 13:31 IST
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