Talaq is an Arabic word for divorce. Divorce can be defined as a legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body. In the Muslim community, marriage is considered as a sacrament so Muslims prefer to follow Sharia Law (Islamic law) in case of any dispute or divorce.
In the Muslim community, the process of divorce is known as Triple Talaq. Under Sharia Law (Islamic law) Muslim husband can give divorce to his wife by pronouncing ‘Talaq’ three times. Islamic law talks about three types of divorces; Ahsan, Hasan, and Talaq-e-Biddat (triple talaq). The first two types of talaq are revocable but the last one is irrevocable.
A Muslim husband can give divorce to his wife and wife does not have any right to give divorce to her husband under this law. The egregious practices of triple talaq, polygamy, and halala in Muslim community subject the husband as supreme in the relation. Women are still not considered as equal in Indian society and practices like triple talaq make their situation worse but due to religious beliefs still, this practice is being followed by the Indian Muslims.
The government of India introduced The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance, 2019 to stop the practice of Triple Talaq but still many people are in favor of this practice as it belongs to a religious procedure and few other consider it as an injustice to the divorced wives.
Divorce in Muslims
Divorce has become common nowadays and couple prefers divorce over a bad marriage. Indian courts grant a divorce to the couple based on their petition. But Muslim community follow their religious law (Sharia Law) for divorce.
Muslim men can give divorce to their wives orally by saying talaq. Talaq-e-Ahsan, Talaq-e-Hasan, and Talaq-e-Biddat are the three forms of talaq according to the Sharia Law.
In Talaq-e-Ahsan Muslim husband say talaq one time to his wife and wait for a three month to get it valid, in Talaq-e-Hasan husband give one talaq in each month and Talaq-e-Biddat gives the right to a husband to sat talaq thrice in one sitting and that will be considered as divorce in Muslims.
The supreme court of India has banned talaq-e-biddet because in this process of divorce the well-being of a wife and her future is ignored. The Sharia Laws also give a right to Muslim women in the form of fiqh Khul’ or Khula to initiate divorce through the mutual consent of the husband. But triple talaq is most common way among the Muslims for divorce.
Arguments against Triple Talaq
Triple Talaq is a 1400 years old tradition and a most accepted way of divorce in the Muslim community. Now when many men and women are raising their voice against this practice then we should know what’s wrong with this tradition.
Many Muslim countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia have outlawed this practice of triple talaq because this practice declares husband as supreme in the relation of husband and wife. This practice does not allow women to feel equal to men so it goes against the article 14 (Right to Equality) and Article 15(1) of the Indian constitution which says that there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the basis of gender, race, etc.
Triple Talaq also gives the right to men to give divorce to their wives without trying to sort out the things. In many cases, the wife gets talaq on small issues which is against Islam as well but there is no one in support of woman usually.
After triple talaq, the divorced woman gets some financial support till iddat but this support is insufficient for her as most of the time, these women are not too qualified to get some job or start some business.
Many Muslims are against triple talaq but not all of them are in support of triple talaq bill. The clause 5 of triple talaq bill makes the divorced women entitled for maintenance from the ex-husband but the bill also has the provision to put the husband who gave triple talaq behind the bars.
Now the question arises that who will earn to give maintenance to the victim of triple talaq. Apart from this, this bill is not liked by the religious minded people as they feel that the government is interfering in their religious matters.
Triple Talaq Bill
Talaq-e-Biddat popularly known as triple talaq gives power to the husband in the Muslim community to end the social contract of marriage without thinking twice. Triple talaq leaves the women and her kids helpless in many situations as there is no provision of alimony after divorce in triple talaq.
The case of Shamim Ara vs State of Uttar Pradesh initiated the debate on triple talaq by raising the question of the necessity of divorce. Another remarkable case in the context of triple talaq was the case of Mohd Ahmed Khan vs Shah Bano Begum.
It was a controversial maintenance lawsuit in India where the Supreme Court ordered to give maintenance to divorced wife until her re-marriage. Although the Indian Parliament reversed the judgement that’s a different story and some political benefits were involved in that.
The other important case where the well being of divorced Muslim women was highlighted was the case of Shayra Bano. She was the original petitioner of the case of declaring Talaq-e-Biddat as a void. She challenged the whole process of Talaq-e-Biddat. On the legal ground, she proved that this practice violates the Right to Equality of women, transgresses Article 21 of our Constitution.
On 22 August 2017, a panel of five judges of Supreme Court declared it as unconstitutional. On 28 December 2017, the Lok Sabha passed The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 207. This bill was formulated by the central government of India for the well being of divorced Muslim women. Under this bill giving Triple Talaq to the wife is considered as an offense.
Triple talaq is a controversial matter for most of the countries in the world. This practice is against the Muslim women as most of the time she is not prepared for the divorce mentally. Many Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have already banned this practice.
The supreme court of India has also imposed a ban on this practice by using the term “talaq-e-bain” but on grounds, things are still not in favor of Muslim women. Daily reports of many cases are lodge in different police station against the husbands for giving triple talaq to their wives. It is expected that slowly Muslim men will start accepting triple talaq as a banned Practice in India.
The ban on triple talaq is considered as a good step in the direction of uplifting the Muslim women but it’s not sufficient. The literacy rate is very low among the Muslims and conditions of Muslim women are even worse. Most of them don’t know about their right so they cannot come out from their house to complain against their husband.
Again the practice of triple talaq cannot be stopped and law to stop it and difficult to enforce. So this may possible that this practice will continue in some part of society with a different name.
Muslim clergies should support the women of their religion and try to make the men understand to not to follow this practice then only the law will be able to help all the Muslim triple talaq victims.