The Honorable Supreme Court in a landmark judgment declared the “instant” triple Talaq unconstitutional. The verdict was delivered by five judges from various religious backgrounds despite opposition from All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and other religious institutions. The SC ruled that “instant” triple Talaq does not fall under the tenets of Qur’an, although there are Maulavis across the world who endorses such practices. The highest court of India also cited examples of Muslim countries such as Pakistan that has banned “instant” triple Talaq.
Let us see what Qu’ran has to say on the issue of Talaq. Verses 228, 229 and 230 of Chapter two called “Surah Al-Baqara” say the following:
2.228: And divorced women should keep their souls away till three menstruations, and it is not lawful to them that they conceal what Allah has created in their wombs. If they have faith in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the right to take them back during that period provided they will to rejoin. And the women have rights similar to those over them according to law, and men have superiority over them and Allah is Dominant, Wise.
2.229: This divorce is for two times only; then is to retain with good or to release with kindness, and it is not allowed to you to take back something of what you have given to the women, but if both fear that they could not keep the limits of Allah. Then, if you fear that the Twain shall not remain just on the same limits then there is no sin on them for that with which the woman ransoms herself. These are the limits of Allah, do not transgress them, and whoso transgresses the limits of Allah, then they are the oppressors.
2.230: Then if she is divorced for the third time, then that women will not be lawful to him.
The court read out the judgment, “We welcome the judgment of the Supreme Court of India since it accords protection to Muslim personal law and says that personal laws cannot be tested by the courts on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights. Chief justice of India, JS Khehar, Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justice Kurian Joseph have accorded Personal laws the status of fundamental rights being protected under Article 25 of the constitution.”
Prime Minister Modi welcomed the decision as he felt that the 3 talaq was discriminatory, derogatory and unconstitutional. PM tweeted, “Judgment of the Hon’ble SC on Triple Talaq is historic. It grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment.”
There is no doubt that Muslim women will be better off from this judgment, as they are protected by the law against arbitrary divorces. There has been sufficient rejoicing by the Muslim women across the country. Farah Faiz, Zakia Suman, President of Rashtrawadi Muslim Mahila Sangh, said, “The court has given a direction to the government to frame a law. We have won half the battle. We will be victorious in the true sense only once the law is framed so as to make this practice punishable. There is no remedy for women against the practice till a law is framed.”
However, real empowerment of women including Muslim women goes far beyond banning triple talaq. The modern education among Muslim women is the key that will fetch them decent occupation – a game changer for Muslim women in India. This is the only way that they will be empowered and equipped with the wherewithal to break the shackles of their vulnerability.
While the proper procedure of Talaq in Quran in clearly mentioned in Qur’an, there are some people who have been practicing “instant” Talaq through whatsapp, email, video chat and similar channels. This is not only unconstitutional but also un-Islamic.
The Policy Times has the following observations on the issue –
- The SC judgment is good, but not landmark as this judgment is on no way going to empower women. The real and only way to empower Muslim women is through education and employment.
- This judgment is not going to help BJP gaining votes of Muslim women. With the kind of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim propaganda that BJP and its branches have been running, there will be little impact in common Muslim women.
- The Muslim community faces severe challenges today. Muslim leaders have a big role of play in educating the section of Muslims who are opposing the verdict.