NEW DELHI: Marriage in the Muslim community is a contract and it is open for women to insist on specific clauses in the nikahnama to protect their interests and dignity, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday, TOI reported on Wednesday.
Arguing through Ejaz Maqbool, the board submitted before a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar that a woman had four options before entering into a marital relationship, including insisting on registering the marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
“The woman can also negotiate in the nikahnama and include provisions therein consistent with Islamic law to contractually stipulate that her husband does not resort to triple talaq, she has right to pronounce triple talaq in all forms, and ask for very high ‘mehr’ amount in case of talaq and impose such other conditions as are available to her in order to protect her dignity,” the Muslim law board said.
Interestingly, last September, AIMPLB had filed an affidavit in SC in response to petitions by Shayara Bano and others challenging triple talaq and said, “Sharia grants right to divorce to husbands because men have greater power of decision-making.”
“A Muslim man can delegate his power of pronouncing talaq to his wife or to any other person . However, such delegation does not deprive the husband of his own right to pronounce talaq.” Arguing against the court putting triple talaq to a constitutional test , advocate Kapil Sibal cited Article 371A to argue that even the Constitution intended to protect matters of practice and customs of communities.
On polygamy, the board had said in September last year, “Quran, Hadith and the consensus view allow Muslim men to have up to four wives.”
It had said Islam permitted polygamy but did not encourage it. “However, polygamy meets social and moral needs and the provision for it stems from concern and sympathy for women,” it had said.
“Since polygamy is endorsed by primary Islamic sources, it cannot be dubbed as something prohibited,” it said. “…polygamy is not for gratifying men’s lust, it is a social need.
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