Avoid approaching the police or a court against your husband, try and settle marital disputes within the family under Sharia law, know your rights under Sharia law — this is the advice the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is planning to give Muslim women through a series of workshops across the state.
The move comes after the central government passed an ordinance criminalising instant triple talaq. After holding workshops in the state, the AIMPLB plans to do the same across the country.
Speaking to The Indian Express from Hyderabad, Asma Zehra, AIMPLB executive member and head of the women’s wing, said workshops — in Bengali and Urdu — and awareness camps will be initiated in a few months at the district level.
“We feel there is a need for social reform and not (reform of) law… We will make them (women) understand that instead of rushing to court or police at the drop of a hat, one should settle marital disputes within the family in the presence of elders. We will also make women aware of the rights they enjoy under Sharia law, like the right to property, right to return to her father’s home if she is unhappy with her husband, right against violence,” said Zehra.
Criticising the ordinance, she said it would create more confusion instead of providing solutions.
“It has been aimed at empowering only the wife. What about the mother-in-law? She is a woman too. This empowerment of the wife will have a lot of repercussions for all ladies of the family. Do I want my son or brother to be jailed? If my son is in jail, I am also suffering. It will cause irreparable damage to a husband-wife relationship,” she said.
She said women should be made aware of better solutions under Islamic law. “We are all in favour of sitting down, counselling, finishing it off rather than going for legal complications,” said Zehra.
AIMPLB convenor Uzma Alam said districts are being shortlisted, with Ranigunj in Asansol among the first.
She said camps are likely to be conducted in winter because it is easier to travel during that season.
Referring to the case of Ishrat Jahan, one of the first petitioners against triple talaq, Alam said she had been misled by a certain group. “If she comes, we will surely help her. Our doors are always open for her. We will support her.”