Claiming the triple talaq issue has the potential to escalate and cause eventual de- recognition of Muslim Personal Law and imposition of uniform civil code, the Chairman of State Minorities Commission that serves Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has urged the AIMPLB to change its stance on it.
The Muslim community on Sunday has a huge social problem where literally lakhs of women all over the country are suffering because their men divorced them by pronouncing talaq thrice, Abid Rasool Khan said.
Khan told reporters that he has written letters to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Jamiat-Ulema-I- Hind expressing his views, noting that during his tenure in the last more than three years, he has come across many cases of Muslim women approaching the Commission seeking justice in matters of harassment, desertion, physical abuse, non-payment of maintenance and not granting talaq or Qula, among others.
“I would like to alert you that if you (AIMPLB) insist on the triple talaq, you will be committing injustice to literally lakhs of our sisters and opening the doors for the Supreme Court to strike down this law as it is seen as being in violation of human rights,” he said.
“… This (triple talaq) has become an issue which has the potential to escalate and cause the eventual derecognition of our personal law and the imposition of a uniform civil code,” he said.
Noting that India is a secular country, Khan said though religious laws are recognised, where they were found to be in violation of human rights, they were struck down by courts.
“A case in point is the ‘Sati’ (Prevention Act, 1987) and the latest Bombay High Court judgement in the Haji Ali Dargah case,” Khan said.
“It is possible that a similar action may be taken in the case of triple divorce. If that happens, then the AIMPLB would have been instrumental in opening the door for the eventual imposition of the uniform civil code,” he said.
Triple talaq has resulted in a large number of Muslim women being abandoned by their husbands who divorced them in a fit of anger or because of their ignorance about the way to divorce a woman, Khan said.
“Added to this is the taboo of marrying a divorced woman. That is again un-Islamic, which results in young girls being condemned to live their lives as widows unable to get married again,” he said.
Khan said in the letters that Islam intends to make marriage easy and divorce difficult so that there may be time for reconciliation and the marriage may be saved.
“Unfortunately, in this country, the Muslims have turned their own law upside down and have made marriage extremely difficult and expensive and loaded all the expenses on the bride and her family which is not the way of Islam at all,” he said.
“And Muslim men are misusing the talaq and instead of following ‘Sunnah’, are following a ‘Bida’ and committing a sin and divorcing their wives without giving themselves a chance at reconciliation which Islam intends,” Khan said.
The Centre indicated last week that it is likely to take a tough stance against triple talaq in the Supreme Court on the plea that according sanctity to it under Sharia is “completely misplaced” and it is “unfair, unreasonable and discriminatory” as many Islamic countries have regulated matrimonial laws.
The Centre is also of the view that the issue is not to be seen from the point of view of uniform civil code, but be treated substantively as an issue of gender justice and that of fundamental rights of women.
These views are likely to be articulated by the Centre before the Supreme Court in the triple talaq case that will come up before it sometime this week.