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Now, a movie based on ‘Halala’ angers clerics

Hindustan Times, Lucknow/Meerut | ByManish Chandra Pandey and S Raju, Lucknow/meerut
Jan 24, 2018 05:08 PM IST

An award winning short film highlighting the controversial ‘nikah halala’ practised by Muslims and released on YouTube a few days back has angered the clerics of the prominent Islamic seminary Deoband.

An award winning short film highlighting the controversial ‘nikah halala’ practised by Muslims and released on YouTube a few days back has angered the clerics of the prominent Islamic seminary Deoband.

The film ‘Miyan Kal Aana’, produced by actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and directed by his brother Nawabuddin, has won critical acclaim in international film festivals where it has been screened so far. It was released on YouTube on January 18.

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Maulana Arshad Farooqui, chairman of Fatwa Online of Deoband, slammed Nawazuddin saying he didn’t know Shariyat. “If halala is illegitimate then as a Muslim Nawazuddin should know that making and watching movies, too, don’t have Islamic approval and hence illegitimate too,” he said.

But Nawazuddin’s manager said the movie was made to make people aware of how women suffer.

“The movie was first screened at the Cannes Film Festival and has won acclaim in so many festivals, which is a proof of the film succeeding in its mission to raise awareness on the issue,” said Nawazuddin’s manager Anoop Shashikant Pandey.

The movie shows a Muslim man wanting to have his wife back after divorcing her in a fit of rage. He is then reminded of the Islamic practice of ‘nikah halala’ that states that he cannot remarry her till she has remarried and divorced by her second husband. The man then turns to a local mullah who charges an exorbitant sum to marry and consummate the relationship with his divorced wife. The problem starts when the mullah goes back on his promise of divorcing his wife.

A few months back, a sting by a prominent news channel too had shown how clerics, especially in rural parts of the country, exploit the community by charging money to consummate the relationship with a divorcee so that she could go back to her husband.

‘Miyan Kal Aana’, however, has failed to impress clerics like Qazi Rohan of Madarsa Abibul Uloom. He also slammed Nawauddin and his brother for questioning an Islamic practice despite being a Muslim.

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But the movie that has won 10 awards so far has found some takers too within the community – especially women.

“If the government supports me, I would like to screen this movie in villages where the community’s women are exploited through misuse of such laws. In fact, the exploitation is nothing short of rape,” said Shaista Amber, the head of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB).

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