The AIMPLB executive committee said talaq-e-biddat is sinful but valid. It also criticised the Modi government and said attacks on personal law would not be tolerated.
ABDUL BARI MASOUD | Caravan Daily
BHOPAL / NEW DELHI — While Constituting a larger committee to go into the ‘inconsistencies’ of the Supreme Court’s recent judgment on Triple Talaq, the All India Muslim Personal Board (AIMPLB) has announced that it won’t file any review petition against the verdict as of now.
AIMPLB, which is considered as the sole representative body of the Indian Muslims, also expressed displeasure over the present central government’s attitude on Muslim Personal Law and described it as “attack on the personal law of Muslims”. It also reiterated that the government and the courts have no right to interfere in personal laws as the Constitution provides them protection under Article 25.
At its first Executive Committee meeting in Bhopal after the Apex Court’s judgment on Triple Talaq on August 22, the AIMPLB said it respects the court judgment which accords protection to Muslim personal law but has “serious reservations” on the second part of the judgment which opens the door of ‘interference’ into the personal laws.
Talking to Caravan Daily, Dr. S QR Ilyas, AIMPLB Executive Committee member said there was no consensus in the meeting on the issue of filing a review petition against the judgment as most of the members opined that it is not an appropriate time for this.
There are many parts of the judgment that need a detailed study — as the Court ruled that personal laws cannot be tested by courts on the grounds of violation of fundamental rights but it had examined the validity of Triple Talaq — for this a larger committee was formed which would see the inconsistencies, if any, with Shariah, Dr. Ilyas said.
AIMPLB plans to initiate different programmes to educate Muslim women and men on Shariah with the help of Muslim organizations. The Board also decided to work for the protection of rights of Muslim women within Shariah and will take appropriate steps to ensure help to divorced women.
The meeting noted that “Supreme Court had taken up the issues relating to marriage/divorce/polygamy/gender equality etc on the suo-moto basis. Later on, private parties also approached the court and joined the proceedings. Thereafter, the issue was confined to the examination of the legality of Talaq-e-Biddat (Triple Talaq pronounced in one sitting coming into effect immediately) qua the four schools of Sunni law namely, Hanafi, Maliki, Hambali, and Shafai. The discussion in the Court was confined to these four Schools of thought. The Hon’ble Supreme Court took a view with the majority of three Hon’ble Judges that Talaq-e-Biddat is set aside. The AIMPLB, as a representative body, respect the Judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court delivered on 22.08.2017”.
Board reiterated that the Muslim Personal Law is based upon Quran, Hadith, Ijma and Qiyas and all the four schools of jurisprudence recognized that the practice of three pronouncements of Talaq in one sitting has the basis in religious texts and belief.
It further said that “the sanctity of belief and practices in a personal/matrimonial relationship in Islamic Laws cannot be treated differently from the belief and practices in a personal/matrimonial relationship by the other citizens of India who follow their own custom and practice and they have this protection.”
Dr. Ilyas said the meeting has reiterated that as per Shariah law applicable to these four Sunni Schools of thought has been that Talaq-e-Biddat is sinful but valid.
“For a long time, we have taken steps to discourage this practice through community reform programmes and have issued Model Form of Nikah nama about two decades ago. Prior to this judgment, we had already submitted to the Hon’ble Supreme Court that the Board had passed a resolution of the Board on 16.04.2017 stating that those who indulge in Talaq-e-Biddat, should be socially boycotted. The Board had also filed the affidavit to the effect that the Board shall advise all the Qazis, Imams, Maulvis that they should advise the bridegroom/man that in case of difference leading to Talaq, the bridegroom shall not pronounce three divorces in one sitting”.
In the meeting, Board also took strong exception to the present government’s interference in the religious of affairs of the community, Dr. Ilays said.
The meeting observed that “the government had laid bare its intention in the form of the Attorney General’s submissions in the Hon’ble Supreme Court that all forms of dissolution of marriage without an intervention of the court should be declared as unconstitutional. We record our displeasure and consider it as the attack on the personal law of Muslims as this is contrary to the protection guaranteed by the Constitution of India also. We make a categorical statement that the community cannot and shall not tolerate such attack on the Muslim personal law ”.
In response to a question that Board came under criticism from many members of the community for its handling of the Triple Talaq case, Dr. Ilyas insisted that the meeting felt that the Board had defended the case effectively in the court and no member has raised any question about it.
The Board has passed a resolution to constitute a Committee to advise the method and process for undertaking large scale community reform programme within the Islamic Shariah (Islah-e-Mashrah).
Dr. Ilyas said the Board plans to initiate different programmes to educate Muslim women and men on Shariah with the help of Muslim organizations. The Board also decided to work for the protection of rights of Muslim women within Shariah and will take appropriate steps to ensure help to divorced women.
On the Babri Masjid case, scheduled to hear from October 5 by the Supreme Court, the Board reiterated that it would accept the court verdict. However, the Board expressed concern over the political inference by the present government in the matter by using people like Shia Waqf Board chief. Dr. Ilays said the Board has constituted a panel to monitor the hearing of the case. The meeting also expressed displeasure over Board’s Vice President Maulana (Dr) Kalbe Sadiq’s statement on Babri Masjid issue. Dr. Sadiq had reportedly said that if Muslims win the Babri Masjid case, they cannot build the mosque.’
However, during the meeting, Maulana Sadiq has clarified that he said this as his personal opinion and assured that he would desist from making such statement, a source said.