By L.S. Herdenia
BHOPAL: All India Muslim Personal Board after its two-day meet here seems to have chosen the policy of no-confrontation with the government or judiciary on the issue of triple talaq. Reiterating its well-known stand of no interference in matters of Shariah, the Board gave a call for reform to end the practice of instant triple talaq.
The Board adopted a novel method to refute the Supreme Court’s claim that the majority of Muslim women are against triple talaq. It organised an exclusive meet of Muslim women in an open maiden where several women speakers and also some members of the Board stated: “Triple talaq is bad but effective under certain circumstances, dilution in Sharia will lead to abandonment of women after divorce”.
AIMPLB women wing president Dr Asma Zehra said, “The Muslim Personal Law remains intact after the Supreme Court decision over triple talaq as the decision has banned instant triple talaq.”
Dr. Zehra further said that though the board respects the apex court verdict, it is compelled to say that it is not as per the board because it violates the basic rights provided by the Constitution of India to all faiths and religions to live life as per their religious beliefs.
She said that as the issue is related with women, countrywide conventions would be organized by men and women well-versed with Shariah to educate the community. In every convention a resolution would be passed stating that Muslim men and women believe in Islamic Shariah and talaq is part of Islamic Shariah.
“The ban on talaq is depriving us of our fundamental right; hence the freedom provided to us by the Constitution to practice Shariah should be continued. This resolution signed by the attendants of the conventions would be sent to President of India, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, Women Commission and Law Commission”, she added.
Dr. Zehra, along with AIMPLB president Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadvi, Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadvi, Maulana Sajjad Nomani, Bhopal Shahar Qazi Syed Mushtaq Ali Nadwi and others, then read the resolution before the gathering and asked the crowd whether they believed in Shariah and in response hundreds of women present on the occasion raised their hands to express their consent and uttered Allah ho Akbar.
AIMPLB’s first executive committee meeting after the Supreme Court verdict over triple talaq was held here on Sunday. The meeting decided that a committee will be formed to study the verdict in detail and find a solution to the conflict between the judgment and Shariah. Besides, the board made it clear that it would not tolerate any interference in Muslim Personal Law and gave a call for social boycott of those who practice instant triple talaq.
The meeting was perhaps the largest gathering of Muslim women ever held in Bhopal. An estimated 10,000 women attended the event, which continued for three hours.
The gathering was first addressed by women representatives of AIMPLB – Mamduha Majid, Sabiha Sahiba and Dr Asma Zohra. In a repeat of the process adopted by AIMPLB prior to the SC verdict, a signature campaign was launched in Bhopal. Muslim women signed on a document saying that they welcome the Supreme Court verdict, and that “Talaq is a part of Shariah and any ban of the practice would adversely impact women’s rights. Therefore, any changes in personal law should not take place”.
Mamduha Majid said, “Not just women, men need to be educated, too. Simply wearing a topi (skull cap) and having a beard does not make a person an expert in Islamic law. There are a lot of misconceptions that have impacted women’s rights. All this needs to be addressed and the AIMPLB is working towards it.”
At the board’s executive meet on Sunday, the consensus was for reforms in the community to discourage instant triple talaq. The board decided to constitute a committee to advice on the process and the method for undertaking reforms. It will encourage religious leaders to spread the word against instant triple talaq.
Special arrangements were made for the women’s meeting. Male members of the Board were seated in a specially erected shamiana, which was covered from all the four sides so that women remained invisible to male members. Male members addressed the women’s gathering from the covered Shamiana. In fact, male members observed “parda” during the meeting.
Zafaryab Jilani, a member of AIMPLB and counsel for the board, while addressing media persons said that the committee to deliberate on the issue will have lawyers and religious scholars, who will scrutinize the verdict from the legal as well as Islamic perspective. The committee will submit its detailed report to the board in ten days’ time based on which the board will take the future course of action.
AIMPLB refuted the observation made by the Supreme Court that since triple talaq is sinful, it can’t be lawful. The personal law board further claimed that they will continue to practise Shariah, which provided for instant triple talaq.
“Nullification of triple talaq is a very small part of the verdict. We follow Shariat and Shariat provides for instant triple talaq. We believe in triple talaq and it must and will go on. The fact remains that whoever still practices triple talaq will still continue to sever ties with his wife and it will not change. How to implement it is a headache of the court and government,” said Rahmani.
AIMPLB member Khalid Rashid Firangi Maili said, “We are now jotting down the various interpretations of the constitutional articles involved in the verdict. We have also decided that the struggle we have been waging since the last several decades to discourage the practice of instant talaq will continue.
Syed Jalaluddin Umri, secretary of the AIMPLB, said: “In a democracy, we cannot oppose the verdict of the court, but we cannot welcome it. We have to safeguard our personal laws. The court thinks by this verdict they will save women. I am yet to understand how it will happen.” (IPA Service)