Why Should a Muslim Woman Suffer Lifelong Consequences of Her Husband’s Impulsive Decision?

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A decent meher, right in paternal property and sufficient scope for remarriage will make divorce a non-issue for Muslim women. It will also transfer the financial burden and social stigma arising out of impulsive divorce to the husband’s shoulders and there will be no need for someone like PM Modi to lament the oppression of Muslim women.

AAZEEN F KIRMANI | Caravan Daily

While a third divorce finds no mention in the Holy Quran, triple talaq in one sitting has been deemed effective since the time of Khalifa Omer (RA) and during almost 1400 years of its practice Islamic scholars have not been able to settle at a consensus regarding its validity and effectiveness.

Among the major jurists of Islam Iman Sahfii (9th century) considers instant triple talaq as legitimate while Imam Abu Hanifa (8th century) and Imam Malik (8th century) state that whether legitimate or not once pronounced it becomes legally valid and irrevocable. Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (14th century) on the other hand considered triple talaq in one sitting as legally invalid and showed that Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (9th century) had the same stand in this regard.

Fast forward to 21st century, the government of India has invoked the directive principles enshrined in the Constitution of India to declare triple talaq invalid and illegal. The Supreme Court of India having heard the contending parties (All India Muslim Personal Law Board and the Government of India) is yet to pass a judgement on the validity and legality of triple talaq.

While the judgement is awaited it would be pertinent to point out that it is not divorce (instant or any other form) which oppresses the Muslim woman. Rather it is the deprivation of her other God granted rights which has made her dependant on and desperate for the mercy of her husband.

There is no reason why a Muslim woman would suffer lifelong consequences of her husband’s impulsive or well thought decision of divorce if the social conditions are conducive for her remarriage. While the Prophet of Allah (PBUH) and his companions had no qualms about marrying divorced women, Muslim men of the sub continent have made it almost a taboo on themselves to even consider divorced women for marriage.

Ideally a Muslim woman after observing the mandated period of iddat after divorce should be able to get married and move on. Even if she is unable to get married, sustenance need not be an issue for her, considering the financial rights given to her in Islam- but which are in practice duly usurped by social norms and customs of the Indian sub-continent.   One is her right to meher, which is more often than not settled at the lowest possible amount and many a times not even paid to the wife after divorce. Second is her right in her father’s property, which men often don’t see the need to give to their sisters, even though it is a great sin to deprive a woman of her property rights.

A decent meher, right in paternal property and sufficient scope for remarriage will make divorce a non-issue for Muslim women. It will also transfer the financial burden and social stigma arising out of impulsive divorce to the husband’s shoulders and there will be no need for someone like PM Modi to lament the oppression of Muslim women.

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