via the AP
March 28, 2006
NEW DELHI --Village elders ordered a Muslim man in eastern India to leave his wife after he accidentally divorced her in his sleep, a news report said Tuesday.
Aftab Ansari uttered the Urdu word for divorce, "talaq," three times in his sleep, prompting his worried wife to discuss the matter with her friends, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
Under Islamic law, a husband need only say "I divorce you" three times to secure a permanent end to his marriage.
Muslim leaders in the couple's village in West Bengal state found out and decreed that Ansari's unconscious utterances constituted a divorce, PTI reported.
But 30-year-old Ansari said he had no intention of leaving his wife of 11 years.
"I have not given talaq. When I uttered talaq three times I had taken medicines to help me sleep," he was quoted as saying in the report.
The religious leaders said that before remarrying, the couple would have to be apart for at least 100 days and that the wife, Sohela, would also have to spend a night with another man and then be divorced by him.
PTI reported that the couple has been ostracized because of their refusal to abide by the decision of the village leaders.