C U Never: Divorce Via Text Message


Whether you need divorce advice in Pasadena could be solved in a simple text message. According to the Associated Press, in Tajikistan a marriage can be ended with a text message containing three simple words: "Taloq, taloq, taloq" or "divorce, divorce, divorce" has become the national way for Tajik men to tell their wives it's over.

Some marriages end with slamming doors or yelling matches, but 33-year-old Marina Dodobayeva's marriage ended with a text message. Dodobayevea found herself among the exploding number of Tajikistan women whose husbands have used cell phones to issue the "triple taloq." An Islamic ritual, the triple taloq is used by men to end a marriage by reciting the word three times.

Stunned Marina called her husband for an explanation.

"He told me not to call him anymore because now he has a new family," she said.

Divorce is looked down upon in Muslim cultures but it is allowed if the man announces the decision to his wife and a cleric approves the decision. Technology has changed the way Muslim divorces take place and clerics around the globe are struggling with the impact of cell phone culture on modern Muslims. Further complicating divorces is the fact that many Tajik marriages are undocumented, meaning that it is nearly impossible to tell how many marriages have been ended via text message. Many Tajik men, like Marina's husband, work overseas and many of them end their marriages with triple taloq text messages. She is currently living with her husband's family but she faces pressure to move out.

"Maybe they won't throw me out for the sake of their grandchildren," she said. "They are their family, after all."

Triple taloq via text divorces have been controversial in other parts of the world, too. Islamic authorities in Singapore ruled against divorce by text message in 2001 while in Malaysia the practice has been endorsed by Islamic courts.