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Keshav Khanna

IWB Blogger

Haven’t Made An Opinion About Triple Talaq? Here’s Everything You Need To Know Before You Do

  • IWB Post
  •  May 18, 2017

 

“The practices which are under challenge, namely, triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy are practices which impact the social status and dignity of Muslim women and render them unequal and vulnerable qua men belonging to their own community, women belonging to other communities and also Muslim women outside India,” the Centre argues. Versus

“Triple Talaq is there since 637. Who are we to say that this is un-Islamic? Muslims are practicing it for last 1,400 years. It is a matter of faith. Hence, there was no question of constitutional morality and equity,” The All Indian Muslim Personal Board (AIMPLB) counters.

The debate of Triple Talaq has become a bit of a hot-button issue in India. The latest update from the Supreme Court is that the bench that is deciding this case is reserving its judgment, instead, asking the state to put a law in place to deal with this issue.

The Honorable Supreme Court of India

The Honorable Supreme Court of India

The issue of Triple Talaq is far more complex than what you read in catchy headlines. There is a vast difference of opinions within the Muslim community itself. While some believe Triple Talaq has no basis in the Quran; others believe Triple Talaq is a part of Islam due to years of practice.

And then there are regular people who each hold their own beliefs and ideas about the issue. Who are least concerned with the political bickering we see on television. You know, regular folks like you and I.

For the sake of rationality, we have dug out different opinions of the vast Indian strata. Every question in this article is answered by a supporter of Triple Talaq, a regular Muslim woman based in Bangalore and someone opposing the practice. So mute the television debates, and tune out the noise. 

Should we allow Law to regulate religion in a country where the constitution guarantees Religious Freedom?

AIMPLB: Pleas challenging the practices of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims are not maintainable as the issues fell outside the realm of judiciary. The validity of Mohammedan Law, founded essentially on the Holy Quran and sources based on it, cannot be tested on the particular provisions of the Constitution.

Regular Woman: It’s a very complicated question as it relates to religion and therefore it’s not easy to completely ban it, but few modifications are necessary which would not create mayhem.

Nadeem Qureshi, Muslim Family Law lawyer: We live in a country where the constitution gives us the right to practice our religion. Since that is the case, the constitution gets to regulate it. If there is some social problem in any religion, then it should be treated by the law.

Do you agree with the center government’s notion that every single Muslim woman is “extremely vulnerable” due to fear of instant divorce?

AIMPLB: It is a gross injustice to women to ban the Talaq system as Women hold an honorable position in Islam and they cannot be forced to go back to the same husband who divorced her and wants separation. Muslim Personal Law is well balanced just for both men & women, and it regards human values.

Regular Woman: Now that’s a very vital question and I believe the government should do everything which they can for the welfare of the women who have been affected by this, and this, needs to happen soon as many women are already suffering. But at the same time, I haven’t heard or seen any misuse even if there is, it’s in the rural areas and not really seen in towns and cities. I believe any person who is educated enough wouldn’t misuse anything which is this serious.

Nadeem Qureshi: I don’t think this is simply political talk because it certainly is true to a certain extent. I wouldn’t want any person to go through this. If a man in anger says Talaq thrice, then the divorce is granted. There is little the woman can do after that.

Does Triple Talaq have any basis in the Quran?

AIMPLB: The instruction in Holy Quran is “Do Justice, and that is near to Righteousness.” Since the Quran was revealed on Prophet Mohammad, the Muslims are following the Sharia as per Quran, Prophet’s life and its interpretation by the Prophet’s companions who were the most trustworthy persons after. It is the firm opinion of the board that Sharia Laws are divine Laws and cannot be modified, changed or altered by any person or authority

Regular Woman:  It certainly has some basis in Quran and what we need to understand is the triple talaq doesn’t mean saying or messaging ‘talaq’ three times and ending marriage rather it means that person has to wait for three months. Within the stipulated time if there is a change in the mind or the concerned problem is resolved mutually, they sure can continue the marriage, so it’s not as bad as it seems it is but as I said few modifications would be good enough.

Nadeem: No! It certainly doesn’t. In fact, the Quran calls Triple Talaq the least acceptable way to divorce. Prophet Muhammed said, “You are playing with the word of God.” The process of divorce according to the Quran should be as follows; first, there should be attempts for reconciliation. If that doesn’t work, there need to be attempts at a mutual divorce. If that doesn’t work, Talaq is said once, then the couple waits for the duration of the wife’s menstrual cycle and then the divorce is granted.”

Will there be a backlash from the society if the court outlaws this practice? Will people continue to practice Triple Talaq even if the court disavows it?

AIMPLB: The Board fully respects the constitutional institutions of the country. But on the other hand, crores of responses for the protection of Sharia Law and having total faith in the leadership of the AIMPLB have been encouraging. We are hopeful that good sense will prevail in the government and they’ll withdraw the affidavit from the Honorable Supreme Court.

(Editor’s Note: The Muslim Women Wing of the AIMPLB also shares this sentiment of its parent organization.)

Regular Woman: Considering I haven’t seen many incidents where Triple Talaq was misused, I am doubtful about the backlash it might cause. And you can be certain that I won’t be marching on the streets if they ban the practice.

Nadeem: I feel that 90% of the Indian Muslim population wants this practice gone, but there are certain so-called, “Harbingers of Religion” who are opposed to it. I strongly believe the people will support an absolute ban on the practice.

 

Perhaps reading the arguments above might have swayed your opinion a little bit. Any topic that involves the words “Religion” can quickly dismantle into shouting matches. But this is no ordinary case. This is a constitutional crisis.

Article 25 of our constitution guarantees us Freedom of Religion, “Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion.

But at the same time, Article 21 also guarantees us the Right to Life and Liberty, “Protection of life and personal liberty”

Now what the Supreme Court, along with the rest of the country, is debating is, actually, which right is more important than the other? Is the right to maintain your religious customs more vital or the right of the Muslim Women who faced Triple Talaq?

Whatever the decision of the Honorable Supreme Court, this judgment has the ability to completely transform the relationship between Religion and the State.

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