For quite some time there have been debates and heated discussions in electronic media on the practice of triple Talaq in Muslim Society. People from different sections of society have taken part in these debates and generally shown their concern for the plight of Muslim women suffering as a result of triple Talaq in one go i.e. instant Talaq (Divorce). An important electronic channel conducted a survey which disclosed that ninety two percent of Muslim women of India were against the practice of instant Talaq. Recently Supreme Court also denounced this practice and declared it unlawful.
Muslim women are generally worried over the fact the Talaq issue has been unnecessarily politicized. They feel hurt by the ferocious debates wherein Islam is projected in a highly negative manner and Muslim men projected as most cruel people when it comes to dealing with women
In view of the hype created by the media and in the light of Judgment of the Apex Court, Central Government introduced (December 18, 2017) a Muslim Women Protection of Marriage rights Bill 2017, generally reported as Triple Talaq Bill, in Lok Sabha and got it passed the same day. Some days later it was introduced in Rajya Sabha but could not be debated and, therefore, could not be passed. Government claimed that legislation would help in ensuring the larger Constitutional goals of gender justice and gender equality of married Muslim women and help subvert their fundamental rights of non-discrimination and empowerment.”
I wish to make it clear that Muslims in general are against the instant triple Talaq and not the triple (thrice) Talaq (divorce) in three sittings of suitable gaps. I, therefore, feel that the Bill and the Law should be known as 'Instant Triple Talaq' and not as 'Triple Talaq'.
I do not wish to comment on the merits or de-merits of the proposed Bill but I am, like many, against the instant Talaq by husband and do believe that large majority of educated women are against it. In my opinion, many young girls (brides) would say no to a Qazi or his representative (Vakil) who tells her at the time of Nikah (Marriage) that she is going to be married to a man (bridegroom) who has been given the right to divorce instantly by just saying Talaq thrice.
Now there are some pertinent questions which need to be answered. In Islamic Law the marriage is a contract between bride and bridegroom. The bride may agree for the right of all forms of divorce to bridegroom provided it is also given to her too. Such contract is lawful in Islam.
In another case, husband gives instant Talaq with full agreement of wife and this act is made available in the form of document duly signed by them and one witness each from either side. Why then the Instant Talaq should be wrong in the eyes of the Law? As a matter of fact, I would like to suggest that such right of divorce should be given to all Indians. Let it be Common Civil Code of Divorce.
Some Muslims rightly claim that instances of Instant Triple Talaq are not so rampant among the Muslim community as projected in debates and discussions. That does not mean that it is justified and should not be banned.
There are many instances where Muslim men desert their wives without divorcing them. Such cases, in my opinion. are far more common than instant divorces in Muslim community. This reprehensible act is not only against the spirit of Islam but a clear violation of the Marriage Contract (Nikah Nama) of any Sect Shariah. Desertion is much more painful act than the instant divorce for hapless women. I am not aware of any law in India for curbing this inhuman act of deserting a woman instantly or otherwise.
Let there be a Law, by the Government, called as The Muslim Women Protection of Right of Marriage in cases of Instant Divorce and Desertion.
To avoid Government interference, Muslim Law Makers (Clerics) can themselves make suitable Nikah Nama (Marriage Contract) with options from Shariah of different Sects of Islam. Some permissible options (contracts) may be as follows:
1. No right of Instant Talaq to either Bride or Bridegroom. 2. Right of Instant Talaq with the consent of both bride and bridegroom. 3. Similar Rights of Talaq to both bride and bridegroom. 4. Talaq only through the the Qazi of the area.
In the end I reproduce a copy of the Nikah solemnized in 1936 for a couple of well known Muslim Family of Allahabad, signed by famous Jurists and highly respected Muslims of India during that period. If such a Nikah Nama was acceptable about a hundred years back, why the present-day Muslims can’t draft a suitable Nikah Namah, satisfying the will and demand of the present day educated men and women. Don’t they feel that Ijtihad (re-interpretations of rules) is the need of the hour?
This is the authentic Shariah Nikah which is required by everyone and which comprises all aspects of Shariah.
I----------------------, son of ………………….solemnly declare that I am major with all the normal physical and mental faculties intact and I am marrying (Nikah) -------------------, daughter of----------, with my own will and pleasure and without any pressure or influence for a Mehr of ………..(half of which is……..), with ----------------as and ----------------and -----------as witnesses. I have accepted the Nikah after the due acceptance by my wife. I promise for nice behaviour and good maintenance with all the affection and love for her. I also give (delegate) her the right to divorce as it is with me. This is according to Shariah.
I pray to Allah for Guidance. (Names and amounts deleted)
Sd; Justice Sir Iqbal Ahmad (Chief Justice Allahabad High Court, 1941-46), Abdul Majeed Khwaja Bar-at-Law, Justice Dr. Mahmood, Amir Hasan Khan, Kaleem Jafari, Mohd. Khalilullah, Mohd. Maqsoodullah, Mohd. Muqeemullah, Mohd. Haleemullah
Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi, Deputy Director (Retd.), National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, Member, U.P. State Biodiversity Board, Secretary Urdu Scientific Society.