For unhappy couples residing in the Central Asian nation of Tajikstan, getting divorced is about to get a whole lot harder.
This doesn't necessarily mean that divorce will now be difficult: it just means that, until now, it has been extraordinarily easy.
The Times reports that in Tajikstan, the practice of ending one's marriage via text message, using the "triple talaq" rule, is quite common.
"Talaq" is the Arabic term for divorce and, in the predominantly Muslim country, a jaded hubby simply has to say "I divorce you" to his wife three times, in whatever manner he chooses, and the marriage is dead and buried.
This unusual method has already been outlawed in Muslim-majority nations such as Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and in India, reciting the "triple talaq" needs to be accompanied by arbitration and reconciliation.
Now, Tajikstan's head of the state religious affairs committee, Abdurakhim Kholikov, has announced that sending text messages containing the triple talaq is a breach of Islamic law and is planning to outlaw it entirely.
Apparently, the ban is particularly aimed at the growing number of Tajik men who have moved to Russia in an attempt to find work and, obviously enjoying the local hospitality, end up sending those three little SMSs to their Tajik wives.