Everyone in the building knows their story. It started out a little over three years ago when the residents welcomed a newly married couple, enthralled to begin their new lives together. The couple was originally from Egypt, had both been working in the Gulf for quite sometime, met each other through mutual friends, fell in love, and got married. He was tall and handsome, and she looked like a precious porcelain doll.
And just like any other married couple, they disagreed. And argued. And fought. Until one fine day, they mutually decided that they had irreconcilable differences. And divorced. But they remained in the same building, albeit different apartments.
Not long after, however, it dawned on him that he can’t live without her. That her absence left a void in his heart. That life had lost its meaning. So he met her one day, in public, and confessed his love. Then he proposed. Again. And with tears in her eyes, she gladly accepted. Again.
Except that there’s a problem. Based on Islamic laws, they can not – after getting legally divorced – just go ahead and get married again. Allah abhors divorce, so much so that strict rules and guidelines have been laid out so that couples – specially men – think a thousand times before divorcing their wives.
Then someone suggested halala or tahleel (or temporary) marriage to them. This ignorant person made it sound so simple, as if going out for a stroll in the park. “Find someone who could marry her,” he advised, “then after consummating that marriage, he would simply divorce her, and you two could re-marry!” Desperate to get re-united, they agreed that this was the best idea, turning a blind eye to the fact this is type of marriage is condemned in Islam.
So they set about looking for that man who could marry her temporarily. And it was very important to find someone who would stick to his words and indeed divorce her the next day. It wasn’t an easy task, and it took sometime before they finally found the perfect man for their plan: their building’s watchman.