Romance is hard in the digital age and getting dumped via text message is especially harsh. But a 27-year-old Indian Muslim man took it a step further when he attempted to divorce his wife over WhatsApp, an instant-messaging platform.
The unidentified man left his wife of 10 days in India to work in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, but after he ignored her messages for a few weeks, he divorced her by messaging her the word "talaq" three times, according to the woman's complaint. The phrase translates to “I divorce you,” and in Islam it can theoretically end a marriage when it’s repeated three times.
“Why are you calling me?” the man wrote, according to The Indian Express. "I do not like you. Do not wait for me. If we like apple, will we keep eating it every day?. We will like to eat other fruits also. Talak Talak Talak."
The 21-year-old bride went to the Kerala Women’s Commission for help and filed a complaint on Oct. 5. She is hoping that her 27-year-old husband can be tracked down.
Muslim scholars are divided as to whether or not the divorce is binding.
"The divorce ... will be granted only after holding discussions with both the man and wife and their family members," Sayyed Attakoya Thangal, the district president of the Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulama, told the Times of India on Oct. 6. "If the husband sticks to his stand, divorce will be sanctioned."
Dr. Noorjehan Safia Niaz, co-founder of the Bharatiya Muslim Women’s Association, argued that the practice puts women at a disadvantage.
“Whenever the husband and wife are getting a divorce, there is arbitration between two parties, the wife’s financial rights are spoken about and discussed — that is a just way of ending a marriage and that is how it has been described in the Sharia law,” she told The Quint.
“But the [Muslim scholars] and the all-orthodox All India Muslim Law Board have made a joke of talaq, and all are giving air to this absurdity," she added. "In my opinion, this practice should be declared illegal.”
Although some countries have banned the triple talaq, in India, laws based on the Quran cover marriage and divorce for Muslim couples.