From suo motu to judgment: The arguments for and against triple talaq

Triple talaq is sin but Shariat permits it, says AIMPLB

A man who pronounced triple talaq upon his wife approached Caliph Umar, one of the most powerful and influential Muslim Caliphs in history, for punishment. The Caliph ordered the man to be whipped. But he also ensured the separation of the couple.

This anecdote is quoted by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) in an affidavit to explain that though triple talaq is a “sin” and the “least appreciated form of ending a marriage”, Shariat (Muslim personal law) permits it.

Polygamy, it said, is “not even desirable”. The Quran does not make it mandatory. “Yet, since polygamy is endorsed by primary Islamic sources, it cannot be dubbed as something prohibited,” the AIMPLB told the Supreme Court.

The powerful Muslim body was replying to the court’s decision to examine whether Islamic personal laws discriminate against Muslim women.

The Board compared the religion’s tolerance to triple talaq to the situation of a sinner being appointed as a judge. “In Islamic jurisprudence, many times an irregular or improper nature of an act does not affect the legal consequences of the act. For instance, it is not lawful to appoint a sinner as a judge. However, if the State appoints a sinner as a judge and he passes a judgment, that judgment will be effective, provided it is within the limits of Sharia,” it explained.

However, the Muslim body said, any “uncontrolled use of divorce without regard to the restrictions established by the Shariat is a sin”. “To divorce the wife without reason and only to harm her, or revengefully due to the non-fulfilment of his unlawful demands by the wife or her guardians, and to divorce her in violation of the procedure prescribed by the Shariat, is irregular and undesirable,” it explained.

The AIMPLB argued that the Shariat permits triple talaq in the interest of both the man and woman as a means to keep their dignity and privacy intact. The intention is to save the family from delayed justice in conventional courts and to avoid mud-slinging in public. The Shariat intends triple talaq to help the estranged couple to “move on” with their lives and get over the bitterness and hatred they had felt for each other, the AIMPLB said.

‘Not arbitrary’

“To presume that each triple talaq is arbitrary and unreasonable is a fallacy of is a misconception that triple talaq is always a result of haste and is a power which is freely misused by a Muslim male,” it said.

In fact, over the years, triple talaq is resorted to only if intervention by families to reconcile the couple has failed and the couple wants “instant dissolution”. “There are innumerable instances where a Muslim wife seeks dissolution of marriage and approaches her husband for immediate dissolution by triple talaq,”the Board said.

‘If live-in is moral, why isn’t polygamy so?’

“If Indian laws can protect women having a living-in relationship with married men, why should polygamy be frowned upon,” the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) asked the Supreme Court.

The Muslim body said the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, protects women who were in live-in relationships with men, even if the latter were married, bachelors or widowers. This shows that the “promiscuous relationship” of a woman with a married man is no longer immoral. So why should a formalised polygamous marriage be considered immoral, it asked.

The board said “illicit sex had raised its head” in countries where polygamy is banned. “Women should appreciate the point that if the ratio of women is higher, would they prefer wedlock for fellow women, or let them be illicit mistresses of men, without any of the rights which a wife gets,” it asked the Supreme Court.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 3:06:18 AM |

In This Package
To clear the path ahead
Supreme Court sets aside instant 'talaq’
United against triple talaq, divided on legal points
Historic day for Muslim women: Shayara Bano on triple talaq verdict
Triple talaq lost staunchest support
Triple talaq: Will SC verdict end personal laws’ immunity?
The twists and turns taken during the marathon hearing on triple talaq in SC
Those who resort to instant triple talaq will be ostracised: AIMPLB
AIMPLB against triple talaq, says counsel
Triple talaq is Muslim woman vs man issue, not that of majority vs minority: Centre
Can women be given option of saying ‘no’ to triple talaq at the time of ‘nikahnama’, SC asks AIMPLB
Triple talaq a matter of faith for last 1,400 years, AIMPLB tells SC
Islamic law anglicised: Centre
Will enact divorce law for Muslims: Centre
Triple talaq hearing: ‘If God finds something sinful, can laws validate it’
Polygamy is not a religious practice, government tells Supreme Court
Ban on triple talaq will cause a vacuum: Supreme Court
Judges choose work over vacation
Constitution Bench to decide petitions on triple talaq: SC
Bench would hear debates on the ‘legal’ aspects of triple talaq.
SC is looking at triple talaq, not Uniform Civil Code: CJI
SC to examine if triple talaq is fundamental to religion
Peculiarities of personal laws should be protected: Jamiat
SC intervention in triple talaq amounts to judicial legislation: AIMPLB
Centre’s stand on triple talaq based on gender justice: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Cast asunder by triple talaq, Muslim women see hope in Supreme Court
You are reading
Triple talaq is sin but Shariat permits it, says AIMPLB
Practices in each religion are unique, according to the All India Muslim
Personal Law Board.
SC can’t decide on triple talaq, says AIMPLB
Supreme Court admits Muslim woman's plea to declare triple talaq illegal
A file photo of senior advocate Salman Khurshid.
SC seeks Khurshid’s assistance in talaq case
Next Story