Opposed to its penal correction and preferred societal correction
By Pervez Bari
Hyderabad: The 26th general session of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, (AIMPLB), concluded here at Salar-e-Millat Auditorium, Owaisi Hospital and Research Centre, Kanchanbagh, in Hyderabad on Sunday, February 11, reiterating its firm stand on Babri Masjid issue of no outside court settlement but judiciary pronouncement in the case.
Addressing a joint press conference after the conclusion of the AIMPLB general session the office-bearers and members of the board said that they will leave no stone unturned to prevent the Muslim Women (Protection on Marriage) Bill, which envisages to criminalise instant Talaq-e-Biddat (instant Triple Talaq), from being passed in the Rajya Sabha to become an Act. The board members said during the general session that they had resolved to carry out more such campaigns and also gather all parties opposed to government’s Bill, which they termed unconstitutional.
Members of AIMPLB also said they had conveyed their reservations about the bill to the government. They also said they would approach the courts if the bill is passed.
The AIMPLB, while terming the practice of Triple Talaq unacceptable, said it was opposed to its penal correction and preferred societal correction.
Explaining reservation about the Bill, Dr. Asma Zehra, Convenor of Women’s Wing of AIMPLB, said, “The Bill is defective. We have received representations from several women organisations who want us to point out the problems. The AIMPLB has organised awareness programmes to educate men and women about Islamic provisions on marriage and divorce.”
The board members also said efforts are under way to push a model Nikahnama in the States, which carry a clause signed by the groom. The clause makes it binding on the groom to refrain from issuing Triple Talaq.
Advocating societal pressure, members argued that the proposed law would harm women’s interests, as a husband may neither agree to divorce nor fulfill his responsibilities towards his wife if he were booked.
The board also informed that efforts to put together a financial assistance fund for women affected by Triple Talaq are under way.
Later in the evening, members addressed a massive public gathering at the headquarters of AIMIM, where they urged men to refrain from issuing triple talaq and recognise rights of women. The board maintained that it is open to social reform in tune with changing times.
Meanwhile, president of AIMPLB, Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadvi, presided over the three-day general session which was attended by around 400 members/special invitees from different spheres of life which included Ulemas, intellectuals, social and political personalities.
The general session during the three days had discussed and decided to protect the Islamic Shariah. Here are the following resolutions:
(1.) “Babri Masjid is an essential part of faith in Islam and Muslims can never abdicate the Masjid nor could they exchange land for Masjid or gift the Masjid land. Babri Masjid is a Masjid and it shall remain a Masjid till eternity. By demolishing Babri Masjid, it never loses its identity as a Masjid. And according to Shariah, it always remains a Masjid. Without any doubt, we make it clear that the struggle for the reconstruction of Babri Masjid continues and the appeal in Supreme Court is being fought rigorously with all the resources available at the disposal of the Board. The AIMPLB fully supports and endorses the reform movement launched by the Board and it is also decided that state-wide committees and district-level committees will be formed. These will be under the aegis of the central body.
(2.) The Muslim Women (Protection on Marriage) Bill, moved by the Central government is anti-women. It will create more difficulties for women. It is against Shariah and it is against the Constitution. The efforts made by the Board will continue to stop this Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The Board will start a country-wide awareness campaign against this Bill and will also coordinate with the opposition parties which are opposing the Bill. Country-wide, women’s empowerment meetings will be continuously held.
(3.) The plenary, various committee reports were discussed and the members present expressed their satisfaction on their working of the Board.
(4.) On this occasion, the President of the Board, in his presidential address, said that the Islamic laws are based on the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). The Muslims will not accept any amendments or any proposals for amendments in the Shariah. India is a secular, democratic country which allows the Muslims and other communities to practise their religion according to their religious laws and customs. In the present circumstances, the Board will focus its energies on Islah-e-Mashaira (Social Reform movement), for empowerment and implementation of the rights of Muslim women, to ensure that every reconciliatory step is taken to protect the sanctity of marriage, to ensure that all steps are taken so that the rights of the Muslim women divorcees are taken care by their families.
(5.) The Board will take up campaigns to create awareness among the masses and, in particular, among the Muslims, as how the present government, under the garb of Instant Talaq Bill (Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 wants to put restrictions on the Muslims.
(6.) On Babri Masjid case, the Board is taking every legal step for the reconstruction of the Masjid.
(7.) To create awareness and understanding of the Shariah, the Board will start a country-wide campaign for this purpose, so that the Muslims are made to understand about Nikah, Talaq, Inheritance and how everything should be done according to the Shariah laws.
Lastly, the General Secretary of the Board, Maulana Wali Rahmani, presented the general secretary’s report and gave a message that the real strength of the community lies in its unity. We have to save ourselves from disunity so that we remain as an honourable community of the country.
The present environment in the country reminds us that at all costs, we must remain united, ignore our minor differences and adopt the path of moderation and through our writings, words and deeds; we must create unity and peace in the country.
Meanwhile, a “Hyderabad Declaration” was also released at the end of the 26th general session of the AIMPLB.
[Pervez Bari is a Senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He regularly contributes to IndianMuslimObserver.com – India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper. He can be contacted at email@example.com]