The practice of triple talaq among Muslims has been under the scanner for a while now. Women from the community like Shayara Bano and Afreen Rahman, among others have come forward to question this aspect of the Sharia law (Islamic law) that allows a man to divorce his wife by uttering the word talaq three times. While this practice has already been banned in 22 Islamic countries, the Allahabad High Court has now said, “No personal law board is above the Constitution.” TBI speaks to a few Muslim men to get their opinion on triple talaq.
1. M Reyaz: 30-year-old, Columnist & Assistant professor of Journalism at Aliah University, Kolkata
The Quran clearly mentions the detailed procedure for divorce and instant talaq is not mentioned anywhere. However, most Sunni schools’ jurisprudence, except Salafi fiqh, agrees that instant taalq is a biddath (innovation) but considers it a necessary evil.
I agree that Muslim Personal Law in India as it is practiced need reforms and the inspiration for which can be other Muslim neighbouring countries with similar cultural backgrounds.
However, we must not forget that any reform, if it has to happen will happen from within the community. Unless, we try to take on board the clerics and come to a consensus, no real reform can take place because when it comes to religion, clerics enjoy lot more influence than any self-proclaimed liberals can ever imagine.
What we need is engagement with clerics and hence the need of the hour is to have liberal scholars of Islam who are in sync with changing times. The good thing is that there is some work being done in this direction abroad, but in India there is still a large vacuum.
If we try to impose a ban from above, this may have negative reflex reaction and clerics will feel threatened and further withdraw themselves and it may end in another monumental mismanagement like demonetisation.
2. Sohaib Ahmad Khan: 42-year-old, Merchandising Manager based in Delhi
I am not a master of this field, but as a Muslim if I have been asked to share my views, I will say that this matter has been confused deliberately. Triple talaq is not as it has been projected. Islam does not approve of any such act of insanity.
Triple talaq in Islam does not advocate it to be practiced for leisure and lust. Talaq in Islam is made halal (permitted) but there are conditions attached. When conditions turn extremely bad for the couple to continue living together and there is no possible way left, then they are allowed to opt for talaq. This must be dealt with responsibility and caution in a manner that none of the concerned parties are denied their rights as been defined by the Sharia law.
If the first declaration of talaq is exercised then a man has to wait for a legitimate time to reconsider his decision before going ahead and exercising it for the second time. And if decided to go with his original decision then he must wait for 40 days before taking up the last and final call of talaq. The Indian Courts must study these conditions in detail before passing their judgment.
3. Samad Desai: 84-year-old, retired Assistant Chief – Fire Officer at the State Bank Of India, Mumbai
I do not wish for ‘triple talaq’ to happen to any women folk of my family or any other woman. It is arbitrary and anti-human.
4. Sami Ahmad Khan: 31-year-old, Assistant Professor of English at OP Jindal Global University, Sonepat
A balance has to be maintained between Sharia, law of the land, and the 21st Century humanistic progressive values.
5. Abid Hussain: 38-year-old, Bengaluru-based Media professional
Islam is a belief; way of life. One cannot keep old customs that didn’t have any rationale.
We humans are evolving and the beliefs needs to keep up with this. I hope the Allahabad Court’s observation helps Muslim women raise their confidence and fight back with the so-called religious leaders (who apparently know it all).