The basic principle of every law is to safeguard and protect the interest of the people at large. Almost every religion has its own laws, which govern and stipulate the relationship of every individual with the society. Some of these laws are so sacred that they are not to be subjected to any amendments like the ones stated in the Holy Quran and our authentic hadiths. Personal laws, which govern the relationship of one individual with another, revolve within these ambits and thus cannot be amended or changed to suit one’s needs.
These days, there is a huge hue and cry in the national media over the Triple Talaq controversy. Numerous petitions have been filled in the Supreme Court as well as in High courts to declare the law on Triple Talaq as unconstitutional. Political parties, in-order to appease their vote banks have taken up this matter of which they possess no knowledge. They are labelling it as a barbaric law which deprives a woman of her rights. However, the formula of Triple Talaq is not meant to deprive a woman of her liberties. It is meant to secure the martial bond by giving both parties enough time to resolve their differences amicably within a specific period of time known as the iddat period. The aim of Triple Talaq is to encourage the bride and the groom to cope with neutral arbitrators and to negotiate before the divorce becomes final. Once the divorce becomes final, the parties are set free from their duties and obligations depending upon the circumstances and situations if any. This right is bestowed on both genders.
Islam gives a woman as much right to divorce her husband (Known as Khulla) as the husband. A women can also impose specific condition as matter of a right, at the time of solemnization of the marriage which will give her a right to dissolve the marriage unilaterally. Even her husband can delegate his power of divorce to the wife. This is known as talaq tawfeez.
Regarding the decrees over Talaq, there are different schools of thought. One among these is the Hanafis school of thought which recognizes Talaq -ul-Sunnat and Talaq-ul-Biddat. Talaq-ul-Sunnat is further divided into Ahsan and Hasan, based on the principles of Sunnat procured directly from our beloved Prophet and from his disciples. It is indeed regarded as the most orthodox but also the most approved form of divorce. In this form of Talaq, the husband pronounces divorce in a single sentence but a wife needs to be in a state of tuhr (purity), which means free from her menses. Thereafter the talaq becomes final. In Talaq-ul-Bidat, Talaq becomes final immediately when it is pronounced three times irrespective of tuhr.
Several attempts have been made to malign our Islamic principles so as to bring a wider scope for uniform civil code. History bears testimony to the fact that anti-Muslim lobbies have waged a war several times on Muslim laws in order to belittle Islam. The famous Shah Banu case of 1986 which granted maintenance till last breath to a divorced Muslim woman was infringing on the Muslim laws as Islam entitles maintenance of a divorced woman only up to her iddat period. Due to public pressure, the government of India was forced to formulate a new law known as Muslim divorced Women Act 1986, to allegedly protect the rights of Muslim women who have been divorced by, or have obtained divorce from, their husbands.
The issue of Talaq is once again being used by those who seek to belittle Islam by projecting themselves as fighters of women empowerment. These people fail to understand that women, in Islam, already enjoy a higher status compared to the men. Islam not only vests social but political rights of the women by ranking them equal in the society. Islam uplifts the status and dignity of women. It protects and entitles divorced women to procure and acquire proprietary rights from their divorced husbands which none of the other religions grant. Islam is also abreast with feminist jurisprudence as it has drawn its limits and contours.
The anti-Muslim lobbies have brought much outrage in the society. Such people are inimical to Islam as they are well aware that Islam is a complete code of religion as it fosters men and women their rights and duties in their own way and stands fully consistent with Article 14. It doesn’t take away any fundamental right enshrined and guaranteed under the constitution of India or constitution of J&K.