A Muslim mother of eleven children has created a furor within the community by eloping with her twenty-year-old lover and later marrying him.
Muslim clerics now say that 50-year-old Tarabun Begum has the right to remarry only if she is a divorcee.
A resident of the Bansi hamlet in Uttar Pradesh's Siddarthpur District, Tarabun Begum eloped with 20-year-old Akthar Ali, moved to Mumbai and tied the nuptial knot with him there.
Tarabun's family and the entire village is shocked by the incident.
Akthar Ali claims that Tarabun's first husband, Ruab Ali, used to send her to Akthar's house of his own free will. When a relationship developed between the two, Ruab Ali began abusing Tarabun both mentally and physically, and attempted to prevent her from visiting Akhtar's home. This led the two to elope.
"For two to three months he sent his wife to my house. Then when he started abusing her for coming to my house, she asked me to take her elsewhere. I have to love her," said Akthar Ali.
Corroborating this, Tarabun said that her husband abused her and beat her often. So, she decided to take the bold step of living with the man she loved.
Muslim clerics in the village say that what Tarabun has done is wrong under the Sharia.
"Islam has no bar for ages. A young boy can marry a woman older to him. But then he can marry her only if she is a divorcee. Otherwise, it is deemed illegal," said Mohammed Ahmed, a Muslim cleric.
The villagers have now told Tarabun to divorce Ruab Ali and then marry Akhtar Ali in their presence.