Man Accidentally Divorces Wife While Asleep

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Divorces are much cleaner and easier under Islamic law than in the West.  If you are a man, of course.  Under Islamic law, a man only has to say the phrase "I divorce you" three times (within a relatively short period of time, I guess) and he is automatically divorced.  Even this is construed pretty generously (in favor of men, that is) — a couple of years ago there was a story about a man in Dubai who had successfully divorced his wife by text message (or three text messages, anyway).

A group of village elders in India, though, are probably taking this a bit too far.  They have ordered a man to leave his wife, even though neither one of them wants to be divorced, on the grounds that he said "talaq," the Urdu word for "divorce," three times in his sleep.

His wife, worried about the effect of this under the law, made the always-wise decision to talk about the secret with her friends.  The elders found out and declared that, unconscious or not, the words meant divorce.  The couple insists they want to stay together.  "I have not given talaq," the husband said.  "When I uttered talaq three times [stop admitting it!] I had taken medicines to help me sleep."  But the elders not only would not budge on the divorce, they also ruled that the couple could not get "remarried" unless they lived apart for at least 100 days and the wife married another man, spent the night with him and then was divorced by that man.  (The second divorce, at least, should not be a big deal.)

Newspapers reported that the couple has been ostracized because they refuse to abide by the elders’ decision.

Link: Associated Press