The Indian muslim women have knocked the doors of the Supreme court of India for help and relief from gender discrimination in the form of instant triple-talaq (Talaq-i-Bid’ah) and polygamy without their consent. The demands by Indian muslim women to be protected from instant triple-talaq are valid and consistent with the religious morals stipulated by Islam.
According to the Qur’an, divorce is not an arbitrary and whimsical thing. The method prescribed by the Qur’an (Surat al-Baqarah ayats 227 to 230) for divorce is that one can pronounce divorce twice only, i.e., on two different occasions (Al-talaqu marratan) and thereafter either he has to keep the woman with kindness or leave her with benevolence. There should be a large enough time-gap between the two pronouncements of divorce, and he must explore reconciliation or arbitration to save the marriage in the meantime. It is not permitted for a man seeking divorce suddenly to unfairly cast his wife aside and the Medinan sura Surat al-Baqarah, one of the first chapters revealed after the Hijra from Mecca to Medina is clear on the issue. Yet, Indian muslim women are being divorced by instant triple-talaq by E-mail, Whatsapp, phone calls and letters !!!.
These women simply want the muslim personal law as practiced now in India to be re-visited and re-codified so that their rights promised as per the teachings of Prophet Muhammad is not violated by ordinary mysogynistic men in the Ulema. Studies by NGOs reveal that 92% of muslim women in India want oral triple-talaq to go. The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937 condones several practices that is both unislamic and incorrect and needs serious reformation. The Jamaat-e-Ulema-Hind and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) needs to go and read their Qur’an again before they fight against these women and spew moral pronouncements on the rights of the Indian judiciary. Given that a large section of Muslim women have been demanding an end to triple talaq, the AIMPLB’s refusal to reform the Muslim Personal Law on triple-talaq is rather ostrich-like. It should instead study the reforms several Muslim countries themselves have adopted in order to abolish the triple-talaq.
The so called moderate Muslim men in India did speak out against triple-talaq on June 8 – a statement issued to the press with 227 signatories from all over India (and a few based outside the country) !!. In a country with 14.2% of the population (roughly 172 million) being muslim, that does not seem very much.Where are the rest of the moderate educated muslim men´s voices in support of these ordinary muslim women ?. It is, I must confess, disheartening to see the thousands of so-called moderate muslim male writers, professors, scholars, doctors, engineers, lawyers, judges, teachers, activists, artists, politicians, bureaucrats-technocrats and businessmen in India maintaining a deafening silence over this issue. If they do not support their women now in a just cause, don’t blame the world when it says radicals have hijacked the religion.