The women who sleep with a stranger to save their marriage
A number of online services are charging “divorced” Muslim women thousands of pounds to take part in “halala” Islamic marriages, a BBC investigation has found. Women pay to marry, have sex with and then divorce a stranger, so they can get back with their first husbands.
Farah – not her real name – met her husband after being introduced to him by a family friend when she was in her 20s. They had children together soon afterwards but then, Farah says, the abuse began.
“He dragged me by my hair through two rooms and tried to throw me out of the house. There would be times where he would just go crazy.”
Despite the abuse, Farah hoped things would change. Her husband’s behaviour though became increasingly erratic – leading to him “divorcing” her via text message.
“I was at home with the children and he was at work. During a heated discussion he sent me a text saying, ‘talaq, talaq, talaq’.”
“Triple talaq” – where a man says “talaq”, or divorce, to his wife three times in a row – is a practice which some Muslims believe ends an Islamic marriage instantly.
It is banned in most Muslim countries but still happens, though it is impossible to know exactly how many women are “divorced” like this in the UK.
“I had my phone on me,” Farah explains, “and I just passed it over to my dad. He was like, ‘Your marriage is over, you can’t go back to him.'”
Suggested Reading to tackle the abhor-able practice of ‘halala,’ described above