This is not just one case of such egregious practice that muslim men employ to divorce their wives and leave them destitute with no help for the children either from husband or from any of the existing religious bodies that they approached.According to a national study,out of 4,710 women 525 have been divorced. Out of these, 346 women was divorced orally,40 women were sent letter and 18 a mere message.
The cruel practice came into limelight when a poor muslim women named Shayara Bano filed a public interest petition in 2016 in an Indian court challenging the constitutional validity of triple Talaq. She has been subjected to physical violence for a period of 15 years and then got a letter of Talaq.
This practice of divorce is from the times British ruled over India and enacted a law named Shariat Application Act,1937 which does not allow the state(which follows secularism) to interfere in religious laws made on the teaching of Quran and Hadith but AlMPL (All India Muslim Personal law) follows a custom of triple Talaq also known as Talaq al bidah which gives muslim men permission to end a marriage by simply uttering the word ‘talaq’ three time in series.The women has no right to claim for alimony even.It reflects a pre-islamic tradition that has been abolished long ago but sadly is yet practiced in India.
The actual practice of divorce based on the teachings of Quran and Hadith, known as talaq e sunnah, implies that the word is spoken once per month and in the presence of one person from both the families.This kind of procedure gives enough time to reconcile the decision and even the woman gets alimony for her survival.A survey conducted by Bharatiya muslim mahila andolan, nearly 92% of muslim women want a total ban on oral unilateral divorce.
Many muslim majority country has banned this cruel practice long ago and adopted a fair method for the same.
- Pakistan,has passed ‘The Muslim Family law ordinance’ that gives a fair chance to both and the talaq proceeds in the presence of a chairman of union and a representative of each spouse.
- In Morocco too ‘Morrocoan Family code’ was passed in 2004 that prohibits men from pronouncing divorce unilaterally.
- Similar legislations have been passed in Algeria,Indonesia and Iran and had granted fundamental rights to the women.
Triple Talaq happens not because of religion but because of patriarchy and powerplay masquerading as religions. It is important that muslim men and women are educated about the Quranic principles governing divorce and only then can the bluff of the so called personal law boards be called wrong.
Shayara Bano case is most likely to be the catalyst to reform the muslim personal law in India.It would be blow for gender equality and justice and a victory over the patriarchal orthodoxy of muslim clerics.
The government too has filed an affidavit in the supreme court officially opposing Triple Talaq.The right to religious freedom applies equally to men and women and it nowhere gives male citizen the permission to oppress female citizen.
The custom has never affected us so most of us are ignorant about the ill practice and even we don’t stand against it.Can we not forget our old thinking and as citizens to India stand up for the upliftment of muslim women in our country? Why don’t we ever talk about it on any platform and condemn this awful act?
Let’s rise above caste,religion and support the muslim women in abolishing this Orthodox practice.