HC judge’s remarks on Sharia draw ire

emarks by Justice B. Kemal Pasha, a sitting judge of the Kerala High Court, at a seminar in Kozhikode early this week on the Muslim Personal Law, have re-triggered discussions on Islamic Sharia, while sparking off vocal protests from Muslim organisations across the political and ideological divides. The protestors have come out in unison against what they allege as attempts to amend Muslim Personal Law, deeming it to be discriminatory against women. Justice Pasha, possibly in a jibe aimed at the religious outfits, had asked if Muslim men could have the privilege of four wives, why not Muslim women too could have four husbands.

The judge had also said that Muslim women were being deprived of the rights enshrined in Islam and that many provisions of the Muslim Personal Law were against women. As such, it was unfair to oppose the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and even the Supreme Court was reluctant to interfere in the subject, Justice Pasha had observed.

Suprabhatham , a Malayalam daily run by the Sunni group of the Samastha Kerala Jam Iyyathul Ulema identified with Islamic cleric E.K. Aboobacker Musaliar, in an editorial, lashed out at the judge’s remarks saying that it would only help to strengthen the apologists of UCC.

What Justice Pasha thinks about inheritance and divorce rights of women is not different from what the RSS conceives.

Shaikh Muhammed Karakunnu, Assistant Ameer of Jamaate-e-Islamic Hind, Kerala, said that Justice Pasha had touched upon two topics adopted by Sharia. “Polygamy is very much inevitable at times considering the humanitarian factor. Who will marry a young widow whose husband died in the Kargil war or who has met with a fatal accident, and provide for their children,” he asked.

He said the paternity of a child cannot be decided if women had four husbands. Besides, inheritance in Islam is based on the idea that men are responsible for protecting women and children. It is the husband who pays maintenance to the wife after divorce and not vice versa, he added.

Kerala Naduvathul Mujahideen State president T.P. Abdulla Madani, general secretary P.P. Unneerkutty, and Kerala Jameyathul Ulama secretary M. Mohammed Moulavi warned that any attempts to dissect Islamic Sharia through the prism of modernism would have far-reaching ramifications. “This is not for the first time Sharia has been subjected to such discussions. Time and again, these discussions have crossed limits,” they said. According to them, polyandry was unscientific and irreligious, while polygamy was scientific, religious and its objective is betterment of society. ‘‘Moves against Muslim Personal Law by people in responsible positions is a cause for concern. It has to be suspected whether the allegations raised against Sharia are part of the anti-Muslim movement,’’ they said.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 6:26:34 PM |

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