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Home / Contributor / Abdul Hafiz Lakhani / Muslims demand fatwa, ban on instant triple talaq

Muslims demand fatwa, ban on instant triple talaq

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

Ahmedabad: Close on the heels of AIMPLB’s affidavit in Supreme Court about triple talaq, Vadodara-based octogenarian human rights activist Dr. J.S. Bandukwala clearly showed anxiety over this controversy. In a long conversation with this Correspondent he spoke at length citing Holy Quran on this burning, yet controversial, issue.

Dr. Bandukwala told that the AIMPLB affidavit was filed in the Supreme Court by two prominent lawyers, Yusuf Muchala and Mr. Ahmedi. Both are oddly liberal lawyers. Ever since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, there is an increasing demand from Hindutva forces that Uniform Civil Code be implemented without further delay. This has generated a lot of concern among Muslims, who are worried about what shape such a Uniform Civil Code would take.

Simultaneously there is a trend among educated Muslim women to demand that triple talaq be removed. Noorjehan Niazi of Mumbai and Zakia Soman of Ahmedabad are leading this group. They point out the insecurity among Muslim wives, worried about when the husband would utter the dreadful three words in one sitting. The Quran refers to talaq in two Surahs, Baqarah (2) and Talaq (65). Among the conditions laid down by Almighty Allah were:

1) When you put away women for their legal period (mensuration)….keep your duty to Allah. Expel them not from their houses, unless they commit open immorality.
2) When their period is reached take them back in kindness or part with them in kindness.
3) For such of your women who despair of menstruation, the waiting period will be three months, along with those who have it not.
4) Let him who has abundance, spend of that which Allah has given him.

It should be noted that three talaqs cannot be uttered together. The process must be spread to about three months. In that sense the demand of the women rights group is in agreement with the Quranic Ayats. The second and the fourth point should also be taken note of where Allah calls on the husband to be kind while divorcing and to spend from what Allah has given him, for his divorcing wife.

Dr. Bandukwala lamented that sadly our commnuity abandoned the rigid rules given to us by Allah. In His divine wisdom He wanted men to avoid an impulsive use of three talaqs. But by removing the three month gap, we made it possible for men to divorce their wives, on often flimsy grounds. Many sociologists consider this instant triple talaq as the root cause of the backwardness of our women, which in turn affects the entire community.

talaq-among-muslims5He emphasized that today many of our women have become doctors, engineers and scientists.They will not accept the manner of talaq, which is in violation of the Quran. Our ulema must take the lead on this very important issue. I would prefer instant talaq be banned by our own ulema, instead of by the Supreme Court. We are proud inheritors of Allah’s decree that came down as the Quran, through our Noble Prophet. But by misusing these clauses for centuries, we have hurt of own women. This in turn has harmed our children greatly. Most important, we have incurred the anger of Allah as can be seen by the tragic conditions of Muslims almost everywhere.

Referring to triple talaq issue, Mufti Rizwan Tarapuri, President of All India Milli Council, Gujarat Chapter confirmed there was no division of opinion amongst Muslim Ulema of all leading sects. He said that triple talaq, although being the worst sin in the eyes of Allah, was a valid talaq and Muslims must practice this with extreme restraint.

“There is a need for the Muslim society to create awareness to avoid pronouncing triple “Talaq” at one stage. It should be noted that this issue is not under the purview of the law of the land but it is a religious matter. All those who have no knowledge about Islamic Sharia should refrain from issuing statements on such a sensitive issue,” added Mufti Tarapuri.

He further said that it is a conspiracy to interfere in the Sharia. He further told that it has been mentioned in the Quran that if a person pronounces “Talaq” three times at one stretch, it is treated as three divorces which is final.

Abdul Hafiz Lakhani, Editor of Gujarat Siyasat, a leading Muslim newspaper from Ahmedabad, in an interview with a local TV channel told that issues like Talaq and polygamy had to be understood with sharper objectivity and reason. He emphasized that these issues, if taken up by the people with a prejudiced mind, could not be understood in their true spirit. He warned Muslims not to get carried away by the so-called liberalism and equality while dealing with these issues, rather a higher degree of objectivity and research was essential to understand the relevance of matters like Talaq, Khula, inheritance and polygamy.

Mufti Farid Kaviwala, senior teacher in a Darul Uloom based at Jambusar in Bharuch District argued that the Shariah permits triple talaq in the interest of both the man and woman as a means to keep their dignity and privacy intact. The intention is to save the family from delayed justice in conventional courts and to avoid mud-slinging in public. The Shariah intends triple talaq to help the estranged couple to “move on” with their lives and get over the bitterness and hatred they had felt for each other.

“To presume that each triple talaq is arbitrary and unreasonable is a fallacy of reason…it is a misconception that triple talaq is always a result of haste and is a power which is freely misused by a Muslim male,” Mufti Kaviwala added. In fact, over the years, triple talaq is resorted to only if intervention by families to reconcile the couple has failed and the couple wants “instant dissolution”. There are innumerable instances where a Muslim wife seeks dissolution of marriage and approaches her husband for immediate dissolution by triple talaq.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He regularly contributes to India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper “IndianMuslimObserver.com”. He is Publisher and Editor of “Gujarat Siyasat” fortnightly newspaper. He can be reached at abdulhafizlakhani@gmail.com or on his cell 09228746770]

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One comment

  1. Syed Masood Hassan

    Any Talaaq issue reaches Supreme Court or High Court, there is a big hue and cry as if India is boiling. At least in Islam, traumatized women could get rid of her troublesome husband though Talaaq but this remedy is not available for other community ladies. That’s the reason women are set on fire, surprisingly in kitchen fire only daughter-in-law dies but mother-in-law is safe always. It’s also a matter of fact that even though Talaaq is easier but still its application is very rare comparatively with other religions.

    Also Talaaq is not the only law which is being misused. Its human tendency, they bend each and every single rule to suit their personal choice. Does it mean we should scrap all laws? Of course misuse of Talaaq can’t be ruled out. To profess, practice, propagate my religion, establish and run religious institutions etc are part of the fundamental rights under Art 25 & 26. Violation of any law by few individuals can’t justify abrogation of the fundamental rights of law abiding citizens who form very big chunk of the community.

    Our enemies instantly re-emphasize their demand for implementation of Uniform Civil Code (UCC). I don’t know whether they demand knowingly or without insightful thought. Muslim community is opposing UCC tooth and nail in the interest of national unity and integrity.

    Just let me give an example as to why UCC is not practically feasible. In Islam a person should give Mahr if he should marry. In Hindus they will not pay Mahr but they will get Dowry. If UCC is enacted what should be the rule? Will the Govt. scap Mahr or will it impose Mahr on Hindus? This is just one tangle. There are many such twists which are totally conflicting. That’s the reason, in every democratic country, people are allowed to practice their personal laws of their religion, which are limited within that particular community alone. India is not the only country in the world to allow personal laws.

    As far as Muslims are concerned, Qur’aanic Law is more important for them than their own life. No Muslim would ever agree with any UCC unless he is an ignorant Muslim who does know Islamic Law.

    Those who violate laws should be drastically punished. Law commission should suggest such measures without interfering into Qur’aanic Law. AIMPLB opposes judicial interference into sharaiah on the ground that our honorable Judges, even though highly qualified legally but many judges neither believe in Qur’aanic injunctions nor do they possess any religious qualification to interpret Qur’aanic jurisprudence.

    Instant Triple Talaaq is not found in Holy Qur’aan. Hence, Single Talaaq at a time with three months waiting period for which enough evidence is available in the Holy Qur’aan could be legalized. At community level we need to take certain actions. Whichever group is against Triple Talaaq should form a committee with following agenda:-

    1) Qualified young ulemas who are smart should be formed in a group of 30.
    2) They should be given special training about all teachings of the Holy Qur’aan about Happy Married tips and the procedure of implementation of Talaaq.
    3) This group should hold weekly/monthly program locally on the topic “Happy married Life and Talaaq Procedure”.
    4) Speakers from this group should attend all Nikkah functions and deliver 10 minutes speech about Happy Married Life, Rights and Duties of Husband and Wife.
    5) This committee should also collect the data base of broken marriage and soared marriages.
    6) We have to prevent soared marriages from breaking and we have to try to patch up broken marriages.
    7) When a court interprets Shariah or Holy Qur’aan, we get angry. What we fail to realize is, if we render justice to affected women locally, I don’t think any Women would approach law courts.

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