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Couple wed on Skype, arrested for illicit relation
ANSA - English Media Service
January 08, 2013


Love in the time of internet in conflict with law, traditions

Dubai, January 8 - He is a 39-year-old Pakistani cleric and she is a 19-year-old student who lives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They got regularly married on Skype under Islamic law with a person who performed the wedding and two witnesses. Three months later they consummated the marriage but the father of the bride has reported the man to Emirates authorities claiming he raped his daughter.

This peculiar love tale in the time of internet had a not so unexpected ending. The rape charges against the imam were dropped but the two lovers were jailed for having consensual extra-marital sex, which is a crime in the UAE. Though the wedding has become legal in Pakistan it is not considered valid by judges in the Emirates. The court charged with the case, however, has not issued a verdict yet.

The case has a precedent, though in a different country. In 2007 the influential conservative theological school of Darul Ulum DeoBand in India issued a fatwa (edict) recognizing web-cam marriages as legal provided the ceremony is performed in front of witnesses as provided by Islamic law.

The story shows how Islamic society - which is strongly embedded in the region`s traditions - is going through a technological evolution which cannot be stopped, as proven by the Arab influence seen on global platforms like Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter.

Last November police in Dubai had cracked down on online weddings, revealing how frequently young people used the internet to meet each other in spite of the traditional use of match makers for this purpose.

Though 74% of UAE citizens use the internet, Umm Seud, a third-generation match maker does not feel threatened by the competition. `Internet has no credibility`, she said. `It makes lies easier and it is too cold`, she noted, proud of her 70 clients a week, 50 of whom will on average get married thanks to her, she claimed.

Relations are however moving outside traditions towards the broader, freer confines of the internet in spite of resistance from local societies. This is also visible with the growing number of online sexual crimes according to police data.


Internet is major sin and love outside marriage is adultery: Egypt preacher
Al Arabiya
November 14, 2012


The internet and love outside marriage are both major sins and are equal to adultery, a prominent Egyptian Muslim preacher has said in a recent fatwa, or religious edict.

Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Yaqob described love outside marriage as “adultery of the heart.”

“In Islam, marriage is the only lawful man-woman relationship,” he said, adding that a man`s love to a woman other than his wife is haram and equal to zina in Islam, said the Salafi Islamic scholar.

Yaqob was talking to Salafi students of Minia University, the Egyptian al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported, urging them to fill their hearts with the love of God only.

“What distinguishes the Islamic Aqeedah (theology) from other theologies is that we talk to God and He hears us and we hear Him when reading from the holy Quran”, Yaqop told the male and female students. Gravest of major sins

For the Islamic Mufti, the Internet is the gravest of major sins and is the biggest challenge facing the Muslim World.

He also said the Internet, pornographic movies and pornography are merely evil inventions the West exported to the Islamic and Arab worlds with the aim of distorting their identities.

“We are professional when it comes to wasting time...the Internet is the real haram that poses serious threat to our societies, “ Yaqob said, calling on the Muslim youths to stop their “blind imitation of the West and stand firm against the Western cultural invasion that aims at changing the identity of the Ummah (nation).”

Statistics have revealed that Porn sites have appeared in Islamic countries` most-visited online rankings, which prompted several Arab states, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to begin enforcing a ban on online porn sites.

For the Islamic Mufti, the Internet is the gravest of major sins and is the biggest challenge facing the Muslim World.

He also said the Internet, pornographic movies and pornography are merely evil inventions the West exported to the Islamic and Arab worlds with the aim of distorting their identities.

“We are professional when it comes to wasting time...the Internet is the real haram that poses serious threat to our societies, “ Yaqob said, calling on the Muslim youths to stop their “blind imitation of the West and stand firm against the Western cultural invasion that aims at changing the identity of the Ummah (nation).”

Statistics have revealed that Porn sites have appeared in Islamic countries` most-visited online rankings, which prompted several Arab states, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to begin enforcing a ban on online porn sites.

© 2012

Muslim man told his divorce joke on Skype stands
Meri News
October 30, 2010


India, Oct. 30 -- A MUSLIM man, who jokingly told his wife “talak, talak, talak” (I divorce thee, I divorce thee, I divorce thee) in an online Skype messenger conversation, has been told the separation stands. The ruling was made in an online fatwa by the Darul Uloom Deobandi seminary in northern India, which is regarded as one of Islam`s leading authorities on religious law, after the man, from Qatar sought clarification. “Jokingly typed `talak, talak, talak` (I divorce thee, I divorce thee, I divorce thee) to my wife on Skype chat. I don`t understand Islam very much and did not know about how talaq works,” the Telegraph quoted him as having written. “We love each other very much and want to be together but right now we are caught in this thing. Want to know a way out,” he wrote.

But his hopes of a way out were dashed when the seminary issued a fatwa confirming his wife must first remarry another man, consummate the marriage, and then divorce him before she could be allowed to remarry her first husband. “When you gave three talaqs, your wife became `haram` (forbidden) for you. Neither you have the right to take her back nor solemnise a new `nikah` (marriage) without a valid `halalah` (second marriage),” the fatwa stated. “After the completion of `iddah` (a three month waiting period following a divorce), the woman can marry whomever she wishes except you,” the ruling concluded. The ruling means the couple will have to wait at least six months to remarry and bear the strain of the wife remarrying, having physical relationship with another man, and divorcing again. “Allah and his Prophet have said the worst thing a couple does is to seek divorce. This is a hated act but the provision for Talaq in Islam is for unavoidable circumstances not for teasing or jokes,” Maulana Arshid Madani, President of Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind, one of the largest Muslim organisations in India, said. Source:

© Copyright 2010. Meri News.

Fatwa` cancelling `nikah` after joke on Skype sparks debate
The Hindu
October 29, 2010

LUCKNOW: The recent instance of a young Qatari Muslim having to face the prospect of his marriage being terminated for (jokingly) typing the word “talaq” thrice while chatting on Skype with his wife has generated varied opinions. The “nikah” was annulled following a “fatwa” issued by the leading Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

The fatwa was in response to a written request (No. 26,075) from the young man, whose identity is unknown. He wanted to know whether his nikah was valid as he had typed talaq three times while chatting with his wife. The Darul Uloom in its fatwa maintained that “when the talaq is pronounced three times, it means the talaq has taken place. It does not matter whether it is reciprocated by the wife or not. The wife has become `haraam` [illegal].”

The fatwa stated that the husband had neither the right to take her back nor solemnise a new marriage without “halaalah”, which meant that his wife after the mandatory “iddat” period of four months and ten days would have to marry another man, seek divorce from this second husband, and again undergo the “iddat” period before remarrying her first husband.

Reacting to the fatwa, the Naib Imam of Lucknow`s Aishbagh Idgah and executive member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, said on Thursday: “The important point here is that the husband had admitted that he typed talaq thrice and whether he did not mean to divorce his wife, or had jokingly referred to the dreaded word, does not hold ground in this case.”

The Maulana, however, added that the authenticity of the e-mail and whether it was sent by the man must be proved as there was also a possibility of the e-mail being hacked.

According to Naish Hasan, founder-member and general secretary of Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, the man should not have approached Darul Uloom as it was an issue between a husband and his wife, what if talaq was typed or written three times, or ten times. “The fatwa should be rejected,” Ms. Hasan said.

She said triple talaq was a “pre-Islamic” concept and the Holy Koran was silent on it. She was of the opinion that the marriage could not be annulled under these circumstances.

AIMPLB member Kamal Farooqui said `nikah` is a contract, a serious issue, and talaq could not be pronounced thrice even in a lighter vein.

“Chatting in which the young man reportedly typed talaq thrice is evidence enough,” Mr. Farooqui told The Hindu from Delhi. He said in Islam marriage is a “pious union.”

© 2010 Kasturi & Sons Ltd

Nikah online? Acceptable, says Darul Uloom
Manjari Mishra
The Times of India
July 11, 2007

LUCKNOW: Internet nikahs, few and far between in Uttar Pradesh, have now received a stamp of approval from the Darul Uloom, Deoband.

Last week, Darul-ifta, the fatwa department of the famous Islamic seminary, pronounced that “a marriage solemnised in the bodily absence of a party with the help of the Internet, is acceptable if the proceedings take place in presence of two witnesses”.

But, surprisingly, having failed to impress representatives of All-India Women Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the move has led to a curious male-female divide.

AIMWPLB sees “more grey areas” in the controversial ruling, according to president of the board, Shaista Amber.

Darul Uloom is generally known for ultra conservative views on gender issues. In August 2005, it had forbidden women from contesting panchayat polls.

“Going by strings of fatwa pertaining to marital discord, it is easy to detect a pronounced male bias,” said a prominent woman activist who has championed the cause of many such victims in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Saharanpur.

It will be difficult, therefore, to accept the recent fatwa as a woman-friendly gesture, she said.

Though the details of the party, which sought a fatwa over the veracity of Internet nikah, have not been made public by the academy, senior Deobandi ulema and chairman of Islamic Council of India, Maulana Khalid Safiullah Rehmani, explained the operative parts of Internet Nikah to TOI.

Talking on phone, the Maulana said,”In such a marriage, Internet is assigned the role of a vakil who is authorised to formally receive Ijaab aur Qubool (offer and acceptance) made by both parties.”

The concept, he said, was widely discussed and received formal sanction in 2005 at a seminar organised by the academy. In Lucknow, there have been two such cases in the last one year, disclosed Maulana Naimurrahman, general secretary Ulma council. One such marriage, he said, was solemnised within the precincts of the council.

Even as clerics justify the arrangement as “a necessity”, and recommend it to parties based abroad “to save money and bother”, president AIWPLB Amber said the normal nikah was any day preferable.

© 2007 The Times of India Group

Muslim matrimonial websites--halal or haram? (Mosaic: INTERNET DATING)
Susan de Muth
The Middle East
January 01, 2011


Muslim matrimonial websites are big business. With year on-year growth at an impressive 81%, (according to Google), they are the fastest-growing niche market within an online dating sector estimated to be worth $4 billion a year.

There is only one problem--scholars are unable to agree on just how `Islamic` they are.

Sheikh Abdul Azeez ar-Raajihee, a Saudi cleric, vociferously opposes `marriage over the Internet` and many critics agree that since the sites are a form of mingling between the sexes, they are haram, or forbidden.

Another Saudi Islamic scholar, Sheikh Munajjid, has issued a fatwa on the matter: “If matrimonial sites ... are controlled by Islamic guidelines, then there is nothing wrong...”, he ruled.

Sheikh Munajjid`s specifications for what makes a site `Islamic`, however, are strict: photographs are out of the question “because looking at a woman ... is only allowed once the suitor has resolved to marry her”; a detailed description is equally unacceptable--because “it is as if one can see her”--as is any direct “conversation” between the sexes. “The administrators of the site should first check on the identity of the suitor and then put him in touch with the wali [guardian] of the woman,” the Sheikh advises. is one of the oldest and most successful matchmaking sites with 600,000 registered members. It was established 10 years ago by 30-year-old British Asian Adeem Younis, then an undergraduate at Leeds University. Younis had taken great care to design the site according to Islamic principles but became anxious when he heard a visiting scholar asking who was behind as he handed out flyers at his local mosque. “I was really worried that I was going to be told off,” Younis recalls. “But it turned out that he had met his wife on the website and wanted to thank me personally!”

The theological controversy remains unresolved, but with thousands of young, single Muslims signing up every day in the hope of finding a life partner online, there is little chance of putting this particular genie back in the bottle.

Every month sees at least two new Muslim matrimonial websites joining the marketplace. The sites are particularly popular with Muslims living in the West, where more traditional methods of betrothal are harder to practise. “Because `dating` is not allowed in Islam, the Internet is an ideal vehicle for a discreet first step in finding a marriage partner,” says Younis.

More than 300 million Muslims live in non-Muslim countries; of these, an estimated zoo million are under 35. Marriageable and Internet savvy, this group are likely to ensure the continued expansion of the Muslim matrimonial sector.

The potential rewards are enormous. Market leader has over two million members and whilst the “basic” membership is free, the site boasts that 85% of successful matches are between “paid” members at a fee of $65 a year.

A simple Google search reveals a head-spinning number of sites purporting to offer “Muslim” matchmaking services, but with no filtering system and huge profits to be made, the market is open to unscrupulous exploitation.

Careful scrutiny of innocuous-sounding sites such as (with 384,000 members paying “from $24.99 per month”) and (121,000OO members) reveals that they are run by one of several massive umbrella dating corporations, in this case Their “Muslim” sites are stablemates with, and other `adult` sites, all of which are just a click away at the bottom of the home page.

“Very few of these sites understand the requirements of the Muslim community,” says Younis. “Despite a recent poll which found that `religiousness` was the number-one criterion in finding a marriage partner on the Internet, you can count on one hand the sites that strive, as we do, to be halal [lawful].”

Younis recommends the involvement of parents from the outset, both to avoid the pitfalls of unsuitable sites and to ensure compatibility. Halal sites like, include the facility for parents to register an account on behalf of their children.

“Once a suitable match has been found, we recommend that Muslims proceed as they would normally when looking for a marriage partner. Including your marham or wali in this process is essential,” he says.

Halal sites ask detailed questions about the parties` religiosity, including prayer habits, fasting and whether or not they have made the hajj pilgrimage. Some Muslims prefer not to post photographs on the public part of a website; a private gallery facility overcomes this problem by offering a space where images are only displayed to someone who seems compatible.

Online options

“We are also happy to carry photographs of female clients wearing a niqab and understand that some may wish to have no photograph at all,” Younis adds. Inner beauty is, of course, the greatest asset a partner can possess.

One advantage of searching for a mate online is that it allows for very specific requirements. I spoke to Nadira Ali, a pretty and vivacious 20-year-old London-based student: “I am looking for a devout Muslim, professional, under 30 and who has never been married,” she told me. “There`s no point wasting anybody`s time,” she added with a shy giggle. We would also prefer a homeowner from a Pakistani background.” Nadira registered with two sites and gave her father`s email as the point of contact--”to be safe”. Within 24 hours, she received apparently sincere responses from five young men, two of whom seemed to fit the bill. hears of four new marriages every day but despite this success, Younis says there is a way to go before online matchmaking is widely accepted: “There is still a deep-seated mistrust of the Internet within the Muslim community,” he says.

Resolutely upbeat, Younis tells me about the many babies born to couples who met online: “It`s amazing to think that so many people have married and are now bringing new lives into the world as a direct result of an idea I had ten years ago,” he smiles. `”Alhamdulillah!”

© Copyright 2011 Gale Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Egyptian cleric issues fatwa against the use of social networking sites
Distributed by
February 08, 2010

Sheikh Abdel Hamid al-Atras, a top Egyptian cleric and former head of the fatwa commission at Al-Azhar University, has issued a fatwa against the use of social networking sites, such as Facebook, saying such sites have resulted in the rise of marital infidelity. According to the Sharia scholar, Muslims using social networking sites must be considered “sinners”.

“It`s an instrument that destroys the family because it encourages spouses to have relations with other people which break Islamic Sharia law,” al-Atrash has said in the fatwa. “While one or other of the spouses is at work, the other is chatting online with someone else, wasting their time and flouting the Sharia. This endangers the Muslim family.” [Source: Economic Times.

The fatwa came after a UK-based law firm Divorce-Online which specialises in divorce, claimed that almost one in every five cases of divorces they processed had been caused after one of the partners started using social networking sites such as Facebook.

Mark Keenan, managing director,, said “I had heard from my staff that there were a lot of people saying they had found out things about their partners on Facebook and I decided to see how prevalent it was I was really surprised to see 20 per cent of all the petitions containing references to Facebook.”

© Copyright 2010 AlooTechie


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