“Talaq! Talaq! Talaq!” and a full stop was forced to all of a woman’s happiness, dreams and aspirations without a right to seek a clarification. A reality of a large group of Muslim women in the modernised 21st century!
Divorce has, and will always be a sad and disheartening reality of the society. But the harshness of this institution multiplies to an even greater extent when the point of discussion is the despotic arrangement of triple talaq.
Triple talaq – a practice of divorcing, exercised by a man in Islam by merely pronouncing the word ‘Talaq’ thrice in a row to his wife. And a practice solely and exclusively for men!
The Islamic law forbids a woman from divorcing her husband once their marriage has been consummated, debarring the ‘man’ in the relationship from any such restrictions. Now that’s some example of righteousness and equality, isn’t it?
Triple-talaq plus polygamy; the men by the virtue of the Islamic law, pockets a handful of opportunities for them. With the women left with the brutal practice of Halala followed by the talaq to suffer for being a Muslim. The practice or the rituals by the Islamic Law are not biased. It is the practitioners or the so-called ‘mullahs’ that have twisted the law suiting their own propositions. The whole problem is in the interpretation and implementation of the practices which go against the sharia itself.
Let’s rewind back a little and get to the onset of the practice.
The system of triple talaq was first sanctioned by the second Caliph Omar during his reign. The Caliph recognised the ruling in a few cases where the women were suffering in a bad marriage and wanted to be freed. But their husbands were delaying the divorce by misusing the lengthy and cumbersome procedure prescribed by the law. So basically a practice legalised for the betterment of women in the 7th century has become a source of social demotion for the same in the 21st century!
This all is happening because of the credible preachers of the law for following exactly what the word in the law read and skipping to follow what the spirit of the law meant.
And this is just the start of the battle. A battle by the innocent brides, who in less than a fraction of time were left divorced, a battle by the Muslim women who now have to prove their ‘Muslim-ness’ for having raised a voice against a patriarchal practice, a battle against the All India Muslim Personal Law Board which wrongfully boasts of protecting the rights and laws of the Muslim when in real all it does is be gender biased.
For a fast developing country like India, it is finally a high time to stop such malign and patriarchal practice, and give way to social, religious as well as inter-religious equality.
A practice already banned in 22 Islamic countries either explicitly or implicitly, the utterance of talaq, talaq, talaq thrice at a go by a man itself doesn’t define any equality of any kind. Period.