Opposing the rigid approach of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) to Islamic marriage laws, the All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) has suggested the adoption of a “modern nikahnama”, seeking changes in the terms and conditions of marriage under Islamic law.
AISPLB spokesperson Maulana Yasoob Abbas, who submitted a draft of the nikahnama (pre-nuptial agreement) to eminent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, vice-president of AIMPLB, said he has suggested invalidating the instantaneous triple talaq, and provide women with the right to divorce.
He said he had also written to AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani a few days back, suggesting the changes. Abbas said the stand taken by the AIMPLB in the Supreme Court has “defamed the religion of Islam”.
On September 2, the AIMPLB had told the Supreme Court, which is hearing a PIL by a Muslim woman against the practice of triple talaq, that the scrapping of instantaneous talaq will increase the possibility of husbands killing their estranged wives. It also defended the practice of polygamy.
Abbas said the AISPLB will also put their views before the SC in the coming days. He said they have tried to address the issues related to dowry and inadequate mehr given to brides at the time of marriage.
He said the triple talaq is not valid, and the divorce must take place in front of witnesses. In his draft nikahnama, he has also made a provision for providing maintenance to a divorced wife if she has no other means to sustain herself.
It also says that a woman will be able to divorce her husband if he disappears for two years and does not provide her with essentials. As per its draft, the woman will also have the power to divorce her husband if he physically assaults her, causing danger to her life or limbs.
The draft also says that the concerned parties can go to court the arbitration under Islamic law fails in cases of divorce. Abbas said Maulana Sadiq discussed the changes in nikahnama with him for about an hour and assured that he will put it for discussion before the executive of AIMPLB in its next meeting.