You are on page 1of 2

How Islamic Is Instant Triple Talaq?

The Honble Supreme Court has done well to delink the issue of instant divorce among Muslims from
the larger question of a common civil code. This brings the focus back to the vexed issue and stops the
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) from obfuscating it to garner Muslim support.

Many ordinary Muslims, including women, are unaware of Islamic jurisprudence, so think that this is a
universally accepted religious dogma which they must support. This misunderstanding emanates from
the unity displayed by Indian Ulema of all sects on their male chauvinist rights to treat their wives as

India's central government has argued that triple talaq is 'misplaced' in a

secular country
While ulema keep fighting among themselves on minor theological differences, there is perfect unity
on this issue. Even ulema whose school of thought does not allow this evil practice support AIMPLBs
un-Islamic position. Ahl-e-Hadithis, for instance, follow Hanbali Law and, like Saudis, do not accept
triple talaq in one sitting as valid. But the general secretary of the Ahl-e-Hadith, Maulana Asghar Ali
Imam Mehdi is adamant that the Centre and the courts should not interfere in personal matters of
religion. Same is the case of Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, renowned Shia Muslim cleric and vice-president of
the (AIMPLB). The Jafri school of thought that Shias follow invalidates the practice of instant triple

Shias themselves do not practice it. Maulana Sadiq advises Sunnis to rethink the issue, but remains with
AIMPLB that endorsed Triple Talaq in its counter affidavit to the Supreme Court.
Other prominent Muslim clergymen in India also take this self-contradictory position. Maulana Abdul
Hameed Nomani, of Jamiat-ul-Ulema, for instance, admitted in a TV discussion: Imam Abu Hanifa has
gone to the extent of saying that Jis Ne Ye Kaam Kiya Wo Haram Fail Ka Murtakib
Hua, meaning whoever does this has committed a haram (forbidden) act.
Imam Abu Hanifa is the founder of the Hanafi school of thought that most Muslims of the Indian sub-
continent follow. He considers triple talaq a haram act. No wonder, immediately after its creation
Pakistan took steps to abolish the practice, along with other un-Islamic practices in the Anglo-
Mohammedan Law that still goes by the name of Muslim Personal Law in India.

AIMPLBs own position is no less self-contradictory, and is indeed quite bizarre. While endorsing it, it
also calls instant triple talaq an abhorrent and prohibited practice. Its law book Majmooa-e-Qawaneen
Islami, says in Article (267):

Talaq-e-bidat (the hateful, un-Quranic way of giving talaq i.e. triple talaq in one sitting) is prohibited
[mamnoo]; however, if one does give such a talaq-e-bidat, the talaq will be valid, and the talaq-giver
will be sinful.

Article 269 of the Qawaneen, however, takes the cake. As an average Muslim understands, in Islam
intention is all-important. So much so, that when a Muslim stands up for prayer, its not considered
enough that he is doing everything that is done in prayer. He has to specifically state that he intends to
pray. Now read what AIMPLBs law book says in the matter of triple talaq:

Talaq-e-Sareeh i.e. Talaq by using clear and plain words effect divorce whether one intends
divorce by them or not.
It must have been based on this that the Deobandi fatwa told a young Muslim husband that even if you
wrote the word talaq thrice in jest while chatting playfully with your newly wedded wife online, your
divorce is final and you cannot remarry her unless your wife performs halala, that is, marries someone
else, consummates her marriage, sleeps with the new spurious husband for a few nights, and gets a
divorce from him later.

Halala is the most obscene social practice among Indian Muslims which has the blessings of all sections
of Ulema. This practice will be automatically eliminated if triple talaq is abolished or three talaqs
uttered in one session are considered as one Quranic talaq, as is done in 22 Muslim countries including
Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Sudan, Morocco, Kuwait, Yemen,
Afghanistan, Libya, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.

Even Sri Lanka with less than 10 per cent of Muslims in its population, has managed to reform Muslim
Personal law and make it more gender just. India alone has been unable to move forward. If the
government keeps waiting for approval of Ulema, it is never going to happen. Ulema are not going to
accept Quran as their guide anytime soon. For them Sharia with 90 percent of its rules based on Arab
tribal customs is the source of legislation. They call Sharia divine, even though it was first codified 120
years after the demise of the Prophet (pbuh) and has been changing since from time to time and place
to place. All hope now lies with the Supreme Court.