The Unique Understanding of ‘Khula’: Sania Mirza’s Decision to Seek It from Shoaib Malik and How It Differs from ‘Talaq’



Sania Mirza’s father revealed on Saturday that his daughter chose to accept a “khula” from Shoaib Malik.

The news of Shoaib Malik’s second marriage stunned the sports world of Pakistan and India on Saturday. Malik used social media to post photos of himself and his new bride, Sana Javed. The declaration validated speculations about a possible rift between Shoaib and Indian tennis player Sania Mirza.

Although there were persistent rumors for several months that the couple was getting a divorce, they both kept quiet about it. Nonetheless, Sania’s father revealed on Saturday that his daughter chose to accept a “khula” from the cricket player.

“It was a ‘khula’. I do not wish to comment beyond this,” said Sania’s father Imran Mirza about the matter. But, what is a Khula and how is it different from a Talaq?

Khula is the term used to describe a Muslim woman’s unilateral right to divorce her spouse. Islam gives women the freedom to file for divorce, which ends their marriage. It should be mentioned that the spouse is now accountable for the children’s upbringing and financial support following the divorce. Until they turn into “Hizanat,” the children usually live with their mother. It lasts seven years for boys and until puberty for girls.

The Arabic word for divorce in Islamic law is talaaq, which is sometimes written as talaq or talaqah. A Muslim man can unilaterally dissolve his marriage by saying the word “talaq” three times; this is both a legal and religious procedure. We call this the triple talaq.

According to Islamic law, the husband must follow specific guidelines and wait periods and must vocally declare “talaq” three times to start the divorce process. This can be done in one sitting or over a longer period of time. There is a required waiting period known as ‘iddah following the pronouncement of each talaq, during which the wife is not permitted to get married again. To find out if the wife is pregnant and to give time for reconciliation, the purpose of ‘iddah is performed.

The procedure and circumstances surrounding talaq are open to interpretation and differ amongst Islamic jurisprudential schools, even though they are valid in Islam. To promote justice and safeguard women’s rights, there are also continuous debates and changes being made to the laws governing talaq in several Muslim-majority nations. These changes focus mainly on the consequences of triple talaq.

Having previously resided in Dubai, Shoaib and Sania were wed in Hyderabad in April 2010. Social media posts by Sania revealed a lot about her mental state even though she never addressed the subject directly.

Approximately seven days prior, she posted a picture of herself in front of a mirror with closed eyes along with the words, “When something disturbs the peace of your heart, let it go,” on Instagram.