Triple talaq issue shows Indian Muslims don't need bodies like AIMPLB
AIMPLB feels it is its right to dictate terms on issues that extend from the public domain of Muslims to the privacy of their bedroom.
Espousing the cause of the triple talaq in its two-day Lucknow meet recently, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) president Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadvi threatened the state not to interfere. Simultaneously, at the BJP national executive meeting in Bhubaneswar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated, “When we speak of social justice, our Muslim sisters too should get justice. We do not want to challenge the Islamic law but we are dead against the exploitation of our Muslim sisters.”
Modi has rightly spoken about doing away the suppression of Muslim women via triple talaq in one sitting. This is in keeping with his agenda of equality and equanimity as per his slogan of “development for all”. After all, most Muslims agree that they do not require such bodies as AIMPLB but would gladly accept the ones that address and find solutions to their educational, economic and social backwardness.
Muslim men were punished for divorcing women by Hazrat Umar, Hazrat Ibn-e-Tymia and the Sahabas (followers of Prophet Muhammad). Modi is just in favour of strengthening the right spirit of Islam through the law of the land without interfering into the shari’ah law.
Though considered sinful, the triple divorce is unfortunately legally enforceable in the Sunni Hanafi law. Since vast majority of Muslims in India follow the Sunni Hanafi law, many Muslim women become victim of this innovated form of divorce and hence they are now taking the help of the apex court.
Though considered sinful, the triple divorce is unfortunately legally enforceable in the Sunni Hanafi law
It is not mentioned in the holy Quran and is blasphemous. To Prophet Muhammad, divorce was the most repugnant. Travesty with the clerics is that they crumple the broad principles of Islam into myopic ones to make way for their political ends. They are responsible for bringing Islam into the ambit of mockery by the media and others. It is high time they follow Islam in its true spirit.
The AIMPLB feels it is its right to dictate terms and espouse views on issues that extend from the public domain of Indian Muslims to the privacy of their bedroom. Stoke a controversy involving the community and the usual suspects start emerging from the murky and infested woodwork of the AIMPLB.
So the wise men constituting the board have once again jumped to the conclusion that the government is out to steal Muslims of their personal shari’ah rights as enshrined in the Constitution. In doing so, they have closed their eyes to the fact that 92.2 per cent Muslim women are against the dreaded and un-Islamic triple talaq in one sitting.
It must be pointed out here that the Law Commission is working in the right direction. The UCC (Uniform Civil Code) has nothing against Islam or shari’ah, rather its very first point coincides with what the Quran states — that both men and women be given equal rights. It’s only the injustice to Muslim women meted out by their men that will be corrected by the UCC and that too in the spirit envisaged by Islam.
Indeed, the UCC, as per the Islamic order, will strengthen the right procedure of triple talaq from talaq-e-bidat (triple talaq in one sitting) to talaq-e-husna (talaq in three months allowing a possibility of patch up).
It is sad that the so-called Muslim leaders and clerics are creating a humbug over a non-issue. The AIMPLB is at the vanguard of the battle to ensure that women of the community continue to suffer bias. These self-appointed custodians of Muslims, who just wait for an opportunity to lock horns with the government and cry hoarse, have been blessed by the present triple talaq controversy to make their otherwise diminished presence felt.
Triple talaq and UCC are two separate issues. Personal laws cannot claim supremacy over the rights granted to individuals by the Constitution. All that AIMPLB has managed is tarnish the image of Indian Muslims. Most negative statements of the board the media quotes are taken as reflecting the views of the community.
The truth is that an average Muslim is not governed by what the board says. The reality is that Muslims need no personal law boards. They would rather prefer issues like education, unemployment, economic and social backwardness to be addressed.
Most Hindus make up their mind about Muslims on the basis of the faces from the community they see on TV and the voices they hear in the media. The people covered by the media are invariably 80-plus men insisting on the status quo on the triple talaq and other issues. These men seem to come from antediluvian times. They are a set of disgruntled, disorganised and divided individuals. Their convulsions over issues like triple talaq, family planning, nikahnama, polygamy, Babri Masjid, etc, are cases in point.
If the board members are told of the reforms in the talaq, polygamy or family planning in 22 countries like Pakistan, Iran or Indonesia, they dismiss them saying they don’t follow examples set by these countries. Religious but moderate people in the community believe that the community has to address issues like birth control in its own interest.
Muslims face multiple problems, possibly more than any other prominent religious group in our secular sovereign republic. Some of the baggage they carry is owing to the way in which the majority community views them. In fact, many of the notions are negative, inaccurate, retrogressive, outright lies and sometime trumped up. The other baggage is a result of their own inaction and the lip-service they have paid to opportunistic interlocutors and so-called leaders.
Without closely studying the UCC, no serious effort will be possible to begin an ambitious national project of reconstruction of religious thought in Islam by Indian Muslims. Perhaps this can be done by dedicating ourselves with greater vigour to realising Iqbal’s dream of a renaissance in Islamic culture.
And the first step must be taken by Indian Muslims themselves sans any personal law boards.
(Courtesy of Mail Today.)