Muslim bodies fear push for uniform civil code

New law should be within court guidelines: MES

August 23, 2017 07:57 am | Updated 07:57 am IST - KOZHIKODE

kozhikode, Kerala, 31/10/2016: MES President Fazal Gafoor( to go with story).

kozhikode, Kerala, 31/10/2016: MES President Fazal Gafoor( to go with story).

Muslim organisations in Kerala, especially those with forward-looking agendas, have generally accepted the Supreme Court verdict on triple talaq (instant divorce), even as they shared the concern that the Modi government might ‘misuse’ it for going ahead with the uniform civil code.

Muslim Educational Society president Fazal Gafoor said reformist organisations had always been against the practice of instant talaq. They had stood by the Shariah-compliant three-stage talaq which was scientific. “It was the failure of reformist movements to get the practice eradicated that necessitated the court’s intervention,” he told The Hindu . “Now that the court has given its verdict, the government should bring in a law within the framework suggested by the court.”

Dr. Gafoor, however, is apprehensive that the Modi government will misuse the court verdict to push for its avowed objective of a uniform civil code, which, in his view, would damage India’s multi-religious social structure and federal polity.

Jamat-e-Islami stance

Sheikh Mohammed Karakkunnu, State vice-president of the Jamat-e-Islami, said triple talaq was against the spirit of Shariah, the Islamic jurisprudence. He said the government should not use the court order to head for a uniform civil code.

Hussain Madavoor, Islamic scholar and a former head of a faction of the Kerala Nadvatul Mujahideen, said triple talaq at one go was wrong. The three-stage talaq prescribed by the Shariah that involved counselling, mediation, and the time and space for possible reunion between estranged couples, was the real Islamic divorce practice. This should be incorporated in the new talaq law to be enacted.

However, many organisations belonging to the majority Sunni stream seemed resigned to the verdict even as they resented compromising the Muslim personal law. The Samastha Kerala Jamiyathul Ulema, a Sunni organisation, wanted the government to make the new law Shariah-compliant.

In a statement, Syed Mohammed Jifri Muthukoya Thangal, president of the Samastha, said before making the law, a panel, that includes Muslim leaders and scholars, should study the Shariah principles and draft the law in accordance with the Shariah norms.

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