All are equal in the eyes of the law but many Muslim women feel that they don’t enjoy the same rights as men. And when it comes to matters of marriage and divorce, ‘Triple Talaq’ is the most contentious issue.
The Supreme Court has once again taken cognisance of the issue, but some community leaders are opposing the move saying that the Muslim personal law is beyond judicial review. While it is being stated that a uniform civil code will enable integration, it still needs wider consultation as it is a sensitive issue.
With the Apex Court now intervening, it stands to question if the centre will now make its stand clear. The debate continues seven decades after independence as Muslim women condemn the practice of ‘Triple Talaq’ but Muslim clerics defend it. A BMMA survey found that 92% of Muslim women demand a ban on ‘Triple Talaq’ and oppose a second marriage of their husbands.
Shahi Imam, a Muslim cleric, when speaking on the matter, said that if Muslim personal law is to go against the religious text, it would not mean anything in itself and that Muslim personal law is to be reflection of Muslim attitudes.
The moderate school of Islam says that there is a comprehensive process if a man who wants to divorce his wife. It starts with consultation, then a period of abstinence, followed again by a dialogue between the couple. At the fourth stage, the matter must be placed before two arbitrators before the first ‘Talaq’ can be pronounced, which is why women wonder how ‘Triple Talaq’ pronounced in one go can stand judicial scrutiny.
(Also Read: Nation At 9: ‘Ban triple Talaq’)
“The question of personal law vis-à-vis the constitution is something that is evolving in judicial discourse in India,” says CPI(M) leader Fahad Halim. “And one needs to appreciate that a great amount of clarity still needs to be established on this question,” he said.
The matter of ‘Triple Talaq’ was brought before the Supreme Court last year in October. It was observed that under this system, there are no safeguards against arbitrary divorce for Muslim women. The practice of polygamy has also been aggravating the problem further. And now, the issue being brought in front of the Apex Court has reignited the debate regarding the trials and tribulations faced by Muslim women.