She Overcame Everything That Destroyed Her

A few months ago, when Muskaan (name changed) came to the SLACC along with her mother for the first time, she seemed worried and scared, as if she had a lot to say but couldn’t. When she became somewhat comfortable with talking to us, she shared her ordeal.

She said that I cannot have children, because of which my husband is marrying another woman. As per Muslim marriage customs, a man is permitted to marry 4 times without divorcing other wives. While he said that he would also take care of her, she didn’t agree with this permission for men to remarry while staying married to another woman. “If my husband was unable to bear children, would Islam permit me to marry another man? Even in that situation, I would be blamed. I refuse to accept this custom that would ruin my life”. She came to the centre hoping for a solution to this. Her natal family too wanted her to agree to her husband’s wishes, but she was certain about what she wanted. At the centre we advised her to initiate dialogue about her decision within the family and see what happens. With this she left to make things better for herself.

The next day when Muskaan came to the centre, she seemed different. There was a twinkle in her eyes and conviction on her face, with a drive that seemed inexplicable. She told us, “Till today nobody has ever listened to what I’ve wanted. My needs and wants have always been second to others. But today I refuse to be second. I will not abide by the whims of my husband. I don’t want to live with that man! Woh kya mujhe chodega, main hi usko chod dungi (before he leaves me, I will leave him)”.

Her parents were shocked at her decision. She told them that if I go back, I will be a living corpse. She said that she would earn and make a living, giving assurance to her parents that she will not be a burden for them but a pillar of strength. She decided to live as a woman who refused to be treated like a second class citizen.

Today, Muskaan’s case has been registered in the family court.