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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
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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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Triple Talaq Now Banned In India

While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched.

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Indian Muslim women talk while walking through a market in Ahmadabad, India. VOA

India’s government on Wednesday approved an ordinance to implement a top court ruling striking down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce.

The government decision came after it failed to get approval of Parliament a year after the court ruled that the practice of triple “talaq” violated the constitutional rights of Muslim women.

Most of the 170 million Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by the Muslim Personal Law for family matters and disputes. The laws include allowing men to divorce by simply uttering the Arabic word “talaq,” or divorce, three times — and not necessarily consecutively, but at any time, and by any medium, including telephone, text message or social media post.

Muslim
Triple Talaq continues to plague lives of  women, VOA News

The government will have another six months to get Parliament’s approval for the ordinance to become law. But in the meantime, suspects can be prosecuted using the ordinance.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that nearly 22 countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the practice and appealed to the opposition to approve the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill.

India’s Muslim Law Board had told the court that while they considered the practice wrong, they opposed any court intervention and asked that the matter be left to the community. But several progressive Muslim activists decried the law board’s position.

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Muslim women hold placards during a protest against a bill passed by India’s lower house of Parliament last week that aims at prosecuting Muslim men who divorce their wives through the “triple talaq,” or instant divorce. VOA

After the Supreme Court verdict, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government introduced a bill criminalizing the practice and it was approved in December by the lower house of Parliament, where his party commands a majority. But it couldn’t get the approval of the upper house, where the opposition controls the majority of seats.

The main opposition Congress party is opposing a three-year prison sentence for the offenders and wants a parliamentary committee to discuss the issue to reach a consensus. It favors a lesser sentence.

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In India, triple talaq has continued with the protection of laws that allow Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities to follow religious laws in matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption. While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched. (VOA)