Triple Talaq Bill: It has only made Muslims more wary of Modi government’s agenda

In fact, Triple Talaq is not permitted in Islam. It’s one of many social evils that has crept in it. Islam provides clear guidelines in this regard. Unfortunately, most of us are not aware of them

IANS Photo
IANS Photo

Humra Quraishi

I’m surprised or not really, as I have been writing all along that anything possible in these fascist-ridden times, with this right -wing government’s obsession with the Triple Talaq issue. Although there are hundreds of actual grievances facing the Muslim community in the country but those seem to be side-lined by the sarkar of the day. As it has decided to focus only on the much-hyped Triple Talaq issue.

Mind you, Triple Talaq is not permitted in Islam. It is one of those social evils that has crept in, like several other social evils hitting not just one community but all of them. In fact, social evils are plaguing the masses more as living or survival conditions are worsening in the country.

Over the last few years it has become a well-executed political strategy not to miss out on a single given possible opportunity to paint Islam in negative shades. What has been done to counter these extremely damaging notions? Nothing at all! On the other hand, the notion of Triple Talaq is played up although such incidents, of men divorcing their wives in this bizarre fashion, are rare. And when such incidents take place, they are blown out of proportion and the impression that’s relayed is that the Muslim men are a barbaric lot and their women a herd of cattle! Which is far from the truth.

The truth is that in today’s India, the Muslim community feels battered and shattered on every single front. The community is lagging behind on the socio-economic fronts, and together with that there’s a lack of confidence to counter the communal propaganda unleashed by the political rulers of the day. Distractions and diversions are thrown in a way that the picture gets hazy and dented. Lack of leadership in the community and shrinking of avenues and platforms to speak out from, have only compounded the grim reality. Unfortunately, no strong voice has emerged to say loud and clear that Triple Talaq is totally un-Islamic. Even in those television discussions or those so called debates a sane voice is either overpowered or almost throttled.

In reality, Islam has actually provided clear guidelines and precautions and codes of conduct in this regard. Unfortunately, we or most of us are not aware of them. A well- known lawyer, Danial Latifi had once explained to me during the course of an interview answering why he had decided to take up the controversial Shah Bano case, "I found Shah Bano to be an over smart woman who took full mileage out of the case. Why I took up her case? It was not as though I opted to fight for her…I was simply watching the proceedings of this case with a whole galaxy of lawyers, including the then Chief Justice of India, Justice Chandrachud. It was then, whilst her case was being argued by a junior lawyer, that the Chief Justice intervened and asked me, why don’t I , as a senior lawyer, fight for her. So I had no choice but to fight for her."

Latifi made it clear that Shah Bano had received her due maintenance on the basis and "strength of Quran's provisions." As he told me, "First of all, despite the contrary belief, marriage is a very serious business in Islam. Coming to the chapter on talaq, it is this chapter that lays down all the details including the procedure for talaq and the importance given to the arbitration aspect and, of course, the maintenance aspect. The fact is that triple talaq is un-quranic. In fact, one particular line from the Quran - wa lil mutha laqati mataun bil maroof haqqam alal mutaqqin (unto the divorced woman, a provision that is reasonable in the eyes of God, is obligatory, an obligation for the righteous ) - is enough to provide her status and a decent maintenance. And whilst fighting for the Shah Bano case I quoted this line and the minute I showed this line to the Chief Justice, he said this sentence was enough to get her due maintenance. So Shah Bano got her due maintenance on the strength of Quran's provisions."

Latifi was against the Common Civil Code and had blamed the BJP for making it into some sort of a political issue -"I repeat that I’m not in favour of a Common Civil Code. It is not needed. Also, because it has become a political issue and the BJP and its allies are looking for an issue and want to rake it up. I personally feel that the Muslim do not need it."


If the right wing regime at the Centre was genuinely concerned about the Muslim community of the country, it would have reached out to the community by improving their pathetic socio economic conditions. Pick up a copy of the Sachar Committee Report or any of the latest reports, the facts and figures will reflect the shocking details of the conditions of the Indian Muslim. On almost all spheres they are on the lowest rung. Why? Because of the communal elements in governance and the blatant biases in the very functioning of the State machinery. And, of course, the scenario gets compounded by the poisoning getting unleashed so very systematically against the entire community, as though the Musalmans are a brutal and barbaric lot.

If this government was actually concerned about the Muslim community, it would have reached out to the Muslim women and children and men affected in the Gujarat pogrom of 2002. The Muslim survivors of the communal anarchy in Western Uttar Pradesh are still sitting uprooted, with their political tormentors set free, terrorising an already terrorised community, so much so that an average Muslim is petrified to speak out against their tormentors. Many affected Muslim families have given up all hope of getting justice or compensation.

Mind you, this scenario will only get bleaker and definitely more complex with the passing of the Triple Talaq Bill. Needless for me to bare out these details but let me do so, for the sake of the fence-sitters.

It will provide a new alibi to imprison a Muslim man. All that needs to be done is to force, threaten or bully a Muslim woman into saying that her husband has uttered - ‘Talaq, Talaq , Talaq!’ The man then will be behind bars and woman and her children at the mercy of the State and whatever it unleashes.

In fact, the right-wing government’s frenzy into having this Bill passed without consulting the community (no, I don’t mean Muslims in the BJP-RSS fold or grasp! ) without finding ways and means to empower the Muslim community, only raises doubts over the government’s intentions and nothing else.

Today the Indian Muslims are feeling extremely wary of the dubious ways in which a certain agenda is getting implemented! They are aware of the political moves and are apprehensive of what lies ahead for them, for their very survival.

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