From ‘Historic’ To ‘Conflicting’, Mixed Reactions From Women Experts On Triple Talaq Verdict

Muslim women have long argued that the triple talaq law violated their right to equality.

Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled instant Triple Talaq unconstitutional, saying the government will need to frame a new law.

Muslim women have long argued that the law, which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering the word “talaq” three times, including by Skype and WhatsApp, violated their right to equality.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation asked women campaigners and legal experts their views on the ruling.

ZAKIA SOMAN – CO-FOUNDER BHARAT MUSLIM MAHILA ANDOLAN AND PETITIONER: “It is a welcome judgment. We had wanted justice from the court, and today they have given us that in banning triple talaq and calling for legislation.

The legislation has to be based on the Quranic injunction and comply with the constitutional principles. This is perfectly possible. We are confident it will uphold gender justice.

No one believed triple talaq would be banned. But today it has become history.”

FLAVIA AGNES – ACTIVIST AND FOUNDER, MAJLIS LAW CENTRE: “Asking parliament to pass a law is the right approach. But this parliament does not have adequate Muslim representation. How can a majority pass a law for the minority?

Also, what is to stop Muslim men from simply abandoning their wives? There is the risk that the cost of litigation and fear of courts will lead to more women being abandoned.

We must address the core concerns of Muslim women including their awareness of economic and legal rights, instead of using triple talaq as a stick to beat the community with.”

KARUNA NUNDY, LAWYER, SUPREME COURT: “It is a very important victory for gender justice. The court recognised the fact that even if one person is suffering from the violation or deprivation of a constitutional right, then the courts must step in.

Also, the judges made it clear that fundamental rights apply to codified religious personal law, and that triple talaq is not in accordance with religious law. This is important in reassuring the Muslim community that it’s not a judgment motivated in any manner by Hindu triumphalism.”

KAVITA KRISHNAN – SECRETARY, ALL INDIA PROGRESSIVE WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION: “It is a victory for Muslim women, and they must now keep up the pressure on the government to ensure the law sticks to the agenda of gender justice.

The argument that banning triple talaq won’t address other concerns of Muslim women is a specious one. This practice is insulting and demeaning to women, and it should be outlawed.

But it would be dishonest of the government to speak as though the Muslim community has some unique patriarchal character. There are other patriarchal customs in other communities, as well. What is important is that the government uphold the autonomy and character of the community while also upholding gender justice.”

ASMA ZAHRA – WOMEN’S WING, ALL INDIA MUSLIM PERSONAL LAW BOARD: “I have a mixed reaction, as it is a contradictory judgment, with dissenting views.

The rights of the Muslim community are guaranteed by the constitution. Any interference of our religious rights amounts to an attack on our constitutional rights. Some matters are private to a community, and our right to uphold them must be respected.

Triple talaq is not against women; in some cases, it offers her a quick exit from a bad marriage. In any case, it is a vanishing practice. What the government really needs to focus on are education, employment and economic empowerment of the community.”

(Reporting by Rina Chandran @rinachandran, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith; Please credit the Thomson ReutersFoundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.)

© Thomson Reuters 2017

20 COMMENTS

  1. Regarding Racism in many countries / places in the world- Below are a few verses from AL QUR’ÂN which one should ponder over carefully if one believes in God. These verses should be considered as our slogan in our fight against racism.
    Al-Qur’an: chapter 49 Verse 13: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things.”
    DO NOT THINK OF BEING BETTER THAN OTHERS:
    Al-Qur’an: chapter 49 Verse 11: “O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.”
    MANKIND WAS ONE NATION AND OVER THE AGES THROUGH MIGRATION WE BECAME DIFFERENT NATIONS. YET WE ARE THE SAME AND WE SHARE THE SAME EARTH AND FEELINGS ETC.
    Al-Qur’an: chapter 2 Verse 213: “Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed; but the People of the Book, after the clear Signs came to them, did not differ among themselves, except through selfish contumacy. Allah by His Grace Guided the believers to the Truth, concerning that wherein they differed. For Allah guided whom He will to a path that is straight.”
    RIGHTEOUSNESS IS DEFINED IN JUST ONE VERSE OF THE QUR’AN:
    Al-Qur’an: Chapter 2 verse 177. “It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in God and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him (i.e. God) , for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God consciousness.”
    ASSIST EACH OTHER IN DOING GOOD:
    Al-Qur’an: Chapter 4- verse 85. “Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein: and whoever recommends and helps an evil cause, shares in its burden: and Allah hath power over all things.”

  2. Court does not have authority to take the decision on religious rules and regulations, Any religion should have freedom to fallow. rather than changing religious rules, let them change there religion itself, why to make problems for those following religion.

  3. All well and good…. for 7th century Arabia. Times change, people change, circumstances change. Change with the times Muslims, else suffer the consequences.

  4. modi did not marry like a pedophile and he left a marriage as it was against his wishes …. and since his wife is not complaining YOU should not rant n bark about his wife as his wife is a private person or you will be liable for personal breach of privacy … if hisj wife is not complaining n leading her own life why r u barking as if modi spent nights with ur mom sister or daughter n left them without paying anything ? such nonsense comparative analogy is reason why ur qaum is behind . hiding under fake name wont change anything but bring ur closer to ur grave ..

  5. The triple Talaaq verdict I say is a Good beginning to do away with the injustice existed in some of Muslim communities in the name of religions beliefs, as one of the gentlemen pointed out we cant generalize it to whole muslim community. As education of the community increases and better sense prevails, they will gradually realize that family is built on only love, trust and respect and nothing else. All the religions teach the same, the marriage is a sacred union of man and a woman who come together to share the love of God and build a family and there by society. So any type of violence, in fidelity will no doubt shake this foundation.
    Next step, should be registration of marriage should be made compulsory irrespective of religion and possible CIVIL Code after considering the fundamental rights as per our constitution.

  6. The comment by Favia Agnis holds true for all the ladies. Even Modi has abandoned his wife. The problem can be more compounded if the husband has keeps and it cannot be prove under right to privacy act. As barrister like Jootley & kaapil will always find a way around.

    • You retard Modi was married by his parents at the age of 15 and by 16 he left his home not for second or third or fourth wife but for spiritual and social service. You may hate Modi for his work but don’t let that hate blind you and make you act like a monkey.

  7. When someone is a citizen of a country he/she is bound by the laws and bye-laws of that country. This is not negotiable. These laws and bye -laws OVERWRITE anything that the different peoples believe. Otherwise no social order is possible. There will only be anarchy. It is a simple theory: no point complicating it by bringing in a religious dimension.

  8. SCs decision on Tripple Talaq is most welcome, but the way it was discussed in media and by government was not really required. How many muslims are really divorcing their wives like this? I hardly see any in my surroundings, and what if he simply abandons her? In fact what is more important is to make a law that will not allow Muslim men to marry more than one women. Why does they need a right to marry 4 wives? Also, make a common civil code for all irrespective of their religion and caste, that is more important in democratic country like India. In my childhood I was taught that all Indians are treated equally, But it was wrong, here people are treated according to their castes and religion. There are different rules and regulations for person from one religion or caste, why so? Lets treat them equally and instill the fillings that they are part of one India.

  9. SCs decision on Tripple Talaq is most welcome, but the it was discussed in media and by government was not really required.
    How many muslims are really divorcing their wives like this? I hardly see in my surroundings, and what if he simply abandons her? In fact what is more important is to make a law that will not allow Muslim mens to marry more than one women. Why does they need a right to marry 4 wives? Also, make a common civil code for all irrespective of their religion and caste, that is more important in democratic country like India. In my childhood I was taught that all Indians are treated equally, But it was wrong, here people are treated according to their castes and religion. There are different rules and regulations for person from one religion or caste, why so? Lets treat them equally and instill the fillings that they are part of one India.

  10. The problem is politics. Half these women’s organizations are associated with anti BJP parties, so they don’t want to support triple talaq ban because it’s part of the BJP agenda. That is why they are giving mixed signals. But if you take a poll among Muslim women majority will be happy with this decision.

  11. Saying panel didnt have muslim is like saying the judges were uneducated. Religion dont qualify a judge, triple talaq, polygamy, child marriage, bigamy in hindus, muslim female vaginal mutilation are not personal choices, these are patriarchal customs, the paper right of a women does not enable her choice. The macho men in our society saying this judgement wont affect triple talaq proves the deep rooted hatred and intolerance of women needs an unbiased govt workforce women can rely on.

  12. The late Mr. Archie Augustine (a Roman Catholic) from Estcourt, Kwa Zulu Natal put it beautifully when he said the following about the Qur’ân:
    “Despite your religious or non-religious attitudes, the Holy Qur’ân is a boon to your intellectual and moral strength. Even if you are not concerned with moral issues, then pamper your intellectual curiosity and read the Qur’ân. The greater the level of your education, in any field, or the greater your social or political standing in your community, the more reason why you should procure your own copy of the Book and begin to read it”.
    “Nothing, but nothing, is left ambiguous or unanswered. It is a Book of Law interwoven in morality till it touches every facet of the human experience. It includes politics, economics, moral behaviour, personal cleanliness and propriety, inter-family relationships, bequests and inheritance, inter-religious respect and tolerance, charity, the sin of taking and of giving commercial interest, the importance of prayer, the belief in ONE GOD, religious-sociology and oneness of humankind. Bring any manner or word, concept or subject matter to mind and you will find, not only a reference to such a matter, but a treatise, succinctly and poignantly illustrating, advising, illuminating and directing”.
    WESTERN CRITICS
    Western critics of the Qur’ân frequently point to the allegedly “incoherent” references to Allâh – often in one and the same phrase – as “He”, “Allâh”, “We” or “I”, with the corresponding changes of the pronoun from “His” to “Ours” or “My”, or from “Him” to “Us” or “Me”. They seem to be unaware of the fact that these changes are not accidental, and not even what one might describe as “poetic licence”, but are obviously deliberate, a linguistic device meant to stress the idea that Allâh is not a “person” and cannot, therefore, be really circumscribed by the pronouns applicable to finite beings.
    QUOTE FROM AL GHAZZALI:
    “Allâh has got no length and breath as these are attributes of a body which is an originated thing. Its Creator existed from before it. So how would Allâh enter in a body, as Allâh existed by Himself before all originated things and there was nobody along with Him? Allâh is an All Knowing, Almighty, Willing Creator. These attributes are impossible for a body. Allâh exists by Himself without the substances of a body. Allâh is not like any worldly thing, rather He is ever living, ever-lasting, and nothing is like Him. Where is the similarity of the Creator with the created, the Fashioner with the fashioned? Hence it is impossible that anything can ever resemble Allâh!” (Al Ghazzali – “The Revival of the Religious Sciences” Vol. 1)

  13. Only words r not enough to live life. Spirit Counts and Supereme Courts Lacks Basic/Basics forms/spirit of Talaq. SC Literally does not know, what Talaq is n does not khow it should work. Bare meaning/definition only, of any word r not acceptable in any civilized nation/culture. Wrong will never become right n will remain wrong. Even word Wrong is Wrong and Right word is Right.

  14. Quran Says in Al Baqarah 2-216:
    “But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.”.
    This in context of war but I believe its applicable in this case as well.
    Islam is about surrendering to Allah will “WITHOUT ANY EXCEPTIONS”. Any Man or Woman who makes an exception doesn’t remain a Muslim. Islam is not a compulsion on anyone, including the ones who are BORN as Muslims.
    Islam is not governed by EXTERNAL RULE AT ALL. Its between you and your creator. Anyone mistaking in this basic is BIGGEST FOOL OF ALL TIMES.

  15. The comment of Kavitha Krishnan that “But it would be dishonest of the government to speak as though the Muslim community has some unique patriarchal character” Who doesnt believe that Muslim community leads the pack in showing patriarchal character, are they allowed entry to Mosques, Are they allowed to dress the way they like like men do, are the allowed to pursue all vocations occupations unless permitted by men. Its true that Hindu religion, Christanity and even other religions have elements of the same, but the whitewash the ills of one community as if it didnt exist is only possible by people like Kavitha Krishnan who are in indirectly helping such injustices prevail.

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