After the Supreme Court referred the hearing on various petitions on the Constitutional legitimacy of ‘Triple Talaq’ and polygamy in the Muslim community to a five-judge constitution bench, many Muslims raised their concern over the issue. The Muslim bodies have claimed that, any order against ‘Triple Talaq’ would be an infringement on their right to follow their or any religion. However, several women have filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking the quashing of the ‘Triple Talaq’ practice.
The Supreme Court had made it clear that it is not debating the important issue of Uniform Civil Code (UCC). However, the petitioners had told the apex court that the matter is a serious and sensitive issue and the court should hear it.
After apex court referred it and next hearing will come up on May 11, we asked Muslim bodies, victims and learned person about the issue and their concerned over it.
Recently, a woman from Uttar Pradesh Shagufta Shah sent a letter to the PM Narendra Modi with a copy to state Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other authorities, pleading for help and abolition of such anti-women Islamic traditions.
When AV contacted her over the phone, she said “I am thankful to media for helping me. I hope my dilemma will now reach the Prime Minister and also to the Chief Minister and they will help us (Muslim women) on this (Triple Talaq) evil.”
She further said, “I was left to die on road, to end ‘Triple Talaq’, I voted for BJP.”
When AV asked Zoya Bano Shaikh, a political science student about her concerned over it, she said, “These problems would have been solved in 1985, after the Supreme Court of India pronounced its judgement in the Shah Bano case; though it had to do with alimony/maintenance of the divorced wife, this judgement would have set the trend towards upliftment of the suppressed Muslim women.”
In 1986, the Parliament of India, passed an act titled The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, that nullified the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Shah Bano judgement. “It gave a fillip to the fanatical Maulvis, and we can see the aftermath, now,” she added.
Imtiyaz Sayyed, whose sister went through the same agony, is in favour of abolishing the cruel Rules which have no mention in Quran and Holy Prophet’s hadiths. Sayyed, a founder and Chief Photographer of Shutter Juice Photography said, “Divorcing wife shouldn’t be as easy as cutting a cake. If ‘Triple Talaq’ is abolished then divorcing her for Muslim man will not be easy. So, they will be forced to be in the marriage with her and go for settlement.”
“If you are interested in writing on the misuse of such privileges then you will get a story from my family itself. My elder sister has gone through this pain,” plead Imtiyaz.
“This is mean level of propaganda by the so-called victim. When you have legal remedy then why you need to approach CM or PM? If you are assaulted then go to police station and complain against the husband and in-laws. If you are deserted then file case under Domestic Violence Act. There are other remedies too like Section 498A of IPC and Dowry Act etc,” said Javed Biswas, an executive at the construction firm.
Shamina Shaikh a student said, “There is no provision to nullify the utterance of talaq and `further no provision to hold the talaq as null and void. Muslim woman hardly go to court over such issues because religious custodians play vital role in such matters. Muslim community is more of male dominating, and here women hardly have any say or right to protect her stand.”
“Islam has given the right to men for triple talaq but insisted to avoid until the last resort and if understanding (in anyway) between husband and wife is not established then men use this right. It is not man-made decision and it is according to the Islamic law,” she added.
While common people were have their own opinion, senior lawyer Bilal Nazki refuses to comment on the issue because the case is sub-judice. He said, “Sorry, I don’t want to comment on merits of a matter as the petition is pending before the Honourable Supreme Court.”
“Yes, I heard about the Shagufta Shah and feel sorry as a Muslim man that she went through such trauma. However, I feel that she could have approached her family members and seeks help of Islamic scholars first. If they had refused to help her then she should fight for her rights legally. No matter she approached through letters to the people heading the state and country but she should have avoided to become a political tool in some politicians’ hand,” said Mohammad Lal.
“There is nothing like triple talaq in Islam. If anyone says ‘talaq, talaq, talaq’ and he thinks, he divorced his wife. This is completely wrong. When there is an issue between a wife and husband, then according to Islamic law, they should visit an Islamic scholar and explain him the whole issue. The scholar will give them 6 months’ time to mutually solve their issue, if that fails, then they can divorce each other,” said Ali Zaidi.
However, some who have knowledge of Islamic Shariah Laws explains it comfortably and terming ‘Triple Talaq’ as financial corruption by the men. “In Islam marriage is contract with several term and conditions, which has to be obeyed and fulfilled by both husband and wife. Due to some circumstances if anyone is not willing to carry their marital relationship, Islamic Sharia Law have given both of them the right to call ‘off’ this contract. Without any Sharia reason, Talaq is not allowed in Islam,” explains Naiyar Imam Siddiqui, Lecturer at National Institute of Technology.
“Islam has given equal right to both men and women. Talaq is for men and Khula is for women. Talaq is not as bad as provoked in today’s media. Triple talaq in one sitting is prohibited and haraam in Islam. Talaq is considered bad, when men neglect the financial aid to women. Once a man gave talaq to his woman, their kids are the responsibility of the male member and they have right on his property. However, woman is free to marry again,” exaggerated Siddiqui.
“Here, man gave talaq and abandoned his wife and kids and she has to take care of her children with him without maintenance is the financial corruption done by man, which is bad. Islam gives ‘talaq’ as an option to call off marriage as per Sharia but didn’t allow triple talaq in one sitting. I repeat, didn’t allow triple talaq in one sitting,” said the lecturer.
However, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has defended the practice, saying ‘it is better to divorce a woman than kill her. The rights bestowed by religion can’t be questioned in a court of law’, it said.