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Why Evil Practice like Triple Talaq (Muslim Divorce) needs to be abolished soon!

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A Muslim Woman with her child (representational Image), VOA

April 23, 2017: 

‘Triple Talaq’ is an Islamic practice where a man can divorce his wife by saying “talaq,” the Arabic word for divorce, three times. This controversial practice is enough to explain how much the oppression of women in prevalent in the religion; not to mention Polygamy which exists within the religion till today. Rules of Islamic divorce such as ‘Triple talaq’ comes under Sharia Law but the question is- Is it in sync with the Islamic Law?

There is a huge debate about the validity or existence of the practice under Islamic Law. This oral, out-of-court divorce is not only a matter of injustice and unfair treatment towards women but also flags gender inequality.

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Islamic Holy text Quran says, after declaring talaq (divorce), a man must consider his decision for a period of three months. It is only after uttering or stating three talaqs, a divorce is granted.
This is followed by a 3-month period where there is a scope for reconciliation between the couple and their families but the truth is that a woman can be thrown out of her house with a little notice, which can be surprisingly delivered by email, phone or text.

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In the recent years, ‘Triple Talaq’ has been confronted with many legal challenges. When the government wishes to replace it with a new uniform civil code which would be applicable to every religion, Muslim groups have stiffly opposed it arguing that new uniform civil code is discrimination against them.

Even though India is known to be a home to one of the largest Muslim populations across the globe, but unlike most Muslim-majority countries, it has not banned the practice of triple talaq. It should be noted that major Islamic countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh have already banned the practice for years.

Mohsin Raza is the only Muslim face in the Yogi Adityanath-led UP government has gone so far as even taking on the validity of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). He has wondered as to why an NGO like this spread mistrust and confusions in Muslim community while proper constitutional mechanisms exist in India.

According to a survey conducted by ‘Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Aandolan’ (BMMA), 78% of Muslim women are unilaterally divorced and 63.9% marriages were reported to be orally and arbitrarily dissolved through social networks or letters.

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In 95% of the divorce cases, wives are left without any financial backup or no proper ‘Mehr’ (alimony) amount.  Moreover, due to illiteracy and low educational qualifications, divorced women find it difficult to manage kids and earn a square meal for themselves.

Marrying at the early age reduces the chances of acquiring education and becoming economically sound. BMMA reported that over 39.8% of Muslim women are married before attaining the age of 15.

Getting married early augments the submissiveness of women to the monopoly of patriarchal elements that pose as ‘religious leaders’. They portray rampant interpretations of the holy Quran and mislead the masses. But, Quranic principles and tenets of justice and fairness are misunderstood. The ground reality of a Muslim woman is dreadful and grim despite the holy teachings and rules.

It was also surveyed if Muslim women wanted to put an end to the practice of polygamy, Triple talaq, custody of kids and unilateral divorces. More than 90% of them voted to put a ban on all the unethical and unjust practices that are being conducted under the name of religion.

by Himanshi Goyal of NewsGram

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Ban ‘Triple Talaq’: India Criminalizes Centuries-Old Practice of Sudden Divorce Among Muslims

The bill sets a fine and a jail sentence of up to three years for men convicted of using the practice

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triple talaq
FILE - Indian Muslims protest against the government approving an ordinance to implement a top court ruling striking down a Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce in Mumbai, India, Sept. 19, 2018. VOA

India’s parliament has passed a measure to criminalize the centuries-old practice of instant divorce among Muslims and punish men with jail terms if they defy a ban on what is known as “triple talaq.”

The government said a law was necessary because there have been instances of Muslim men continuing to terminate marriages by repeating the Arabic word “talaq” three times, although the practice was outlawed by India’s Supreme Court in 2017.

The bill sets a fine and a jail sentence of up to three years for men convicted of using the practice. It will become law as soon as the president signs it. In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “an archaic and medieval practice has finally been confined to the dustbins of history,” and it “corrects a historical wrong done to Muslim women.”

The measure, called the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, was passed in the upper house of parliament amid protests from the main opposition Congress party,  which opposed setting a prison term for offenders and wanted further scrutiny of the bill.

triple talaq
Indian Muslims stand outside Parliament House in New Delhi, India, Friday, July 26, 2019. VOA

Critics of the law say it is a harsh measure that’s open to misuse and is being used by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to target Muslims. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad defended the bill, saying it was necessary to protect the dignity and honor of Muslim women and ensure gender justice.

The bill’s passage is seen as a major victory for Modi’s government, which failed to pass it during Modi’s first term in office. The bill had been passed by the lower house last week, but all eyes were on Tuesday’s vote because the government does not have a majority in the Upper House. It passed 99 to 84.

The practice of “triple talaq” has long been banned in several Muslim countries like Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan but continued in India.

Zakia Soman, a cofounder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) organization, which was at the forefront of the legal battle to scrap “triple talaq,” welcomed passage of the bill. “It will not change our lives overnight, but it would give strength to the movement for justice for Muslim women,” according to Soman. She said “it was a moment to rejoice.”

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If we don’t cry now, Triple Talaq, and such other vices, might go digital, and burn millions of households. VOA

Women rights activists had cited many cases where men had divorced women via letter, telephone and, increasingly, by text message, WhatsApp and Skype by uttering or writing the three words. They said what was practiced in India was a misinterpretation of Islamic law.

Conservative Muslim clerics, however, had staunchly opposed efforts to scrap “triple talaq,” calling it a religious issue that should not be interfered with. Although India’s constitution guarantees equality, it allows matters such as marriage, divorce and alimony to be governed by religious laws.

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Tahir Mahmood, an expert on Islamic law, said he hoped the law would act as a deterrent on Muslim men divorcing wives in an arbitrary manner. He said the practice should not have been made a criminal offense, but he pointed out that religious leaders of the community had failed to do anything to curb the practice.

Some scholars of Sharia law call “triple talaq” a travesty of divorce as envisaged in the Quran. They say the word has to be pronounced over three months and accompanied by efforts at reconciliation. (VOA)