Quite familiar to this ‘heard’ statement, people usually find a bizarre yet an amusing element about how easy it is to be divorced in the Islamic religion. However, it won’t be funny for a woman practicing Islam as her husband warns her from uttering the first ‘talaq’. Often, what the holy Quran says is misinterpreted, causing severity to the lives of many. The female counterpart is often deprived of her own rights and the demands for financial support from her husband after the divorce procedure is completed. In practice, she is also denied to live alone but only with her family. On the contrary to which , one of the Aayats , of the Quran , has specified the legitimate right of every Muslim women , which is called ‘khula’ to seek divorce or separation from her husband . In addition, if her husband refuses her decision, she has the right to petition aqadi, to grant her divorce. Also, according to Quran’s Sura 2 (Al –baqara ) Aayat 235, implicates the responsibilities on divorcee and divorcer on behalf of their children, prohibits interventions from previous husband in the divorced woman’s life.
To no surprise such rules are non-existent in reality, as the suppressed counterpart is oftenly, deprived of her rights and subjected to cruelty, ill-treatment and lack of financial support from their shohars.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE TRIPLE TALAQ
In the ṭalaq divorce, the husband pronounces the phrase “I divorce you” (talaq) to his wife. A man may divorce his wife three times, taking her back after the first two. After the third talaq they can’t get back together until she marries someone else. Some do a “triple ṭalaq”, in which the man says in one sitting “I divorce you” three times (or “I divorce you, three times”, “you’re triple divorced”). But , Many Islamic scholars believe there is a waiting period involved between the three talaqs. Surprisingly, the practice of “triple ṭalaq” at one sitting has been legally recognized historically and has been particularly practiced in Saudi Arabia.
Ethically, the talaq procedure involves three ‘easy’ steps:
- Initiation: This is the first step to bring in a ruckus to the married life. As per the scholars following two different schools of thoughts i.e. SHIA and SUNNI, preach the rule that the husband has to say talaq once to the present wife or make a public announcement to initiate the divorce process.
- Reconciliation: Before the end of the countdown, there is a need for both the partners to readdress the matter during their waiting period. As prescribed the waiting period is of thee menstrual periods for women or three month (idhah), when the couple is suppose to try to reconcile with the help of mediators from each family, until the third and final.
- Completion: As the waiting period is over, the final utterance of talaq is made which completes the divorce procedure. The wife becomes non-marham (he cannot remarry her) for her ex-husband by following hijab And that’s how my Basheer, I would never meet your mother again, says the off-burdened Shohar.
In a country like India, which is a home of diverse religions and their practices, it is not easy to violate the rules which are established by one religion, as it seeks to disregard the constititutional rights of respecting each religion and its sentiments.
“INSTANT” TALAQ PROCEDURE WAS MEANT FOR WOMEN
Yes, you read it right. During the reign of the second Caliph Omar, it is accepted that he had sanctioned the rule of uttering triple talaq. But these ‘so called’ spiritual leader s who claim to be the messenger of Allah, have purely adopted the letter of law , and junks its bottom line. Caliph Omar had pronounced the triple talaq as final in a few cases where women wanted to walk out of their failed marriages desperately and their husbands were delaying the divorce by misusing the long-drawn procedure prescribed in the law. So it was for the sake of women that Caliph Omar gave legal sanctity to instant talaq in the 7th century.
But obviously, the heralds of ‘fake God’ have ‘modified’ the rule as a to twist to suit their own anti-women and patriarchal ends.
MUSLIM BOARD VS SAIRA BANO
Bai Tahira, Fuzlunbi, Zohra Khatoon, Shah Bano, Shamim Ara, Iqbal Bano, Khatoon Nisa, Shabana Bano, Shamima Farooqui are some of the names,that had came into the limelight,when these handful of courageous women decided to let their pleads for justice fall into the ears of the court of law,which had turned a blind eye to the rising injustice towards Muslim women in the name of ‘religious practices’. The latest of all is the case of Saira Bano, a name to represent countless Muslim wives who fall prey to the cruelty of their husbands and are suffering from the pang of “talaq, talaq, talaq”, originally meant for the help them and not the other way round. Instead of traditionally invoking judicial mercy of ordering the divorcing husband to pay her maintenance, Saira has boldly challenged the constitutional validity of her husband’s action of kicking her out by using the so-called triple divorce formula “as reported in a national daily.
Saira Bano’s story is gut-wrenching; it highlights the brute maltreatment she had been through at the hands of her own spouse. In her mid-30s, a sociology postgraduate and mother of two, she suffered through the pains of a bad marriage, an abusive husband, forced abortions and physical and mental agony for over a decade. Following to which, last year, her husband had sent a letter to her parents’ home where she was staying. Inscribed on that piece of paper were three words: “Talaq, Talaq, Talaq“, as she had narrated her misery to a media source. Rather than succumbing to the injuries, Saira has bluntly challenged the reckless act of her husband of whimsically throwing her out of the home, using the unofficial supremacy of exercising the triple talaq ritual.
Sadly, born in a country full of hypocrite advocators of old school where the verdict is on the basis of prescribed protocols by knowledgeable prophets and the God, himself, the justice seems to just fly out of the window.
The All India Muslim Personal Board, known for its insistence on clinging on to some of the most outdated and medieval customs, has acted predictably, by urging the central government not to share its opinion, as requested by the Supreme Court.
Not agreeing to which, the government has sensed the need to consider the situation and take the vital steps for such old-line misinterpreted practice.
PETITION FOR JUSTICE
Such falsified practices and rituals of Triple Talaq, followed by the solution of “HALALA” ( wherein , the divorced women is asked to sleep with someone else , before returning to her old partner) , also the controversial and unjust Rape Law ( where the women , victim has to make the accuse , the person who had raped her , to be present before the court , and if failed it will considered as adultery , on her part) must come to an end as they only create a society breeding misogynist and ruthless crimes.
To let the world be awake and a take a step towards change, several Muslim women from 13 different states had took a step forward to sign the petition to the head of honor and expect a nonpartisan solution. Last year, 70,000 Muslim women signed a petition addressing to the PM, Narendra Modi. They have urged urgent reforms and the criminalization of Polygamy and Triple Talaq. They also seek succession of property to women in pursuance of a ‘life of dignity’.
A repercussion of which was, All India Muslim Personal Law Board , who had not adhered to the guidelines of the supreme court to mend it’s thought process , had fielded the women who had signed the petition . Unreluctantly, they had accused Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan activists leading the campaign against the law as RSS agents!
Just like a censor board for films , ignoring the pertaining situation and rather blaming the rights of their own people by selling them off to political pressure , their own righteous belief and hypocrisy , the All India Muslim board has even enraged the men of the country. In a report to Times of India, Farhan Rahman, a research scholar had told “We need to come out and support it because if we don’t do it then the false practices will get the support and lead misrepresentation of our religion”
Phew! At least there still some mindful intellectuals left in the country to raise the voice against such rubber stamped acts.
There is dire need to speak against this ‘un-Quran’ practice which is loosely based on patriarchal rules of the society.
Provoking intolerance among Muslim men as well, it is clear that such unfair practices deserve no space in a sovereign country like India. Thus, Saira Bano’s case is a great opportunity to usher in a much-needed reform. The government and the Supreme Court must weigh in on the side of the Muslim women over the hollow discretion of the Muslim board. Preventing from creating an uproar in the lives of many Muslim families , such practices demand immediate ban , making it ‘un-EASY’ for the megalomaniacs to take the undue advantage of the fuss.
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