As the Supreme Court is proceeding with the hearing of Triple Talaq petitions of Muslim Women, there is much anticipation building up. The Muslim community is waiting for the judgment with bated breath.
Speaking in favour of abolishing the practice, former Union minister Arif Mohammed Khan, who is also senior counsel in the case, said in Supreme Court that the practice equates to ‘burying alive of Muslim women’. He connected his statement to the medieval practice of pre-Islamic era of Saudi Arabia where young girls were buried alive.
Khan is an active participant in the debate. He had quit the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 because of its stand in the Shah Bano case. When the SC asked Khan if Triple Talaq is a fundamental practice in Sharia law, he prompted, “Far from being fundamental or sacrosanct, it violates every good thing that the Quran prescribes.”
On Friday, the senior counsel said, “Through Triple Talaq, they want to bury Muslim women alive,” as quoted by Indian Express. He was speaking for Muslim women in front of a five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar.
Khan requested the court to get involved with the matter. He went ahead and hit at the All India Muslim Personal Board as well. “They had risen not in response to the requirements of Islam, but that of the empire…Those who overtook the state established by the Prophet after his death established the empire.” He added that AIMPLB has taken Islam to “ridiculous levels”.
The secular bench, which also comprises of Justices Kurien Joseph, U U Lalit, R F Nariman and Abdul Nazeer, is hearing seven petitions out of which five are filed by Muslim women against the practices of triple talaq, polygamy and nikaah halala.
Among many others who are speaking against such diktats are Ram Jethmalani, who appeared for three women petitioners and a voluntary organisation, Forum for Awareness of National Security. The organisation stated that the practice violates the constitution and is, “repugnant to the teachings of the Prophet”. Jethmalani said that state has an obligation towards its citizens to provide uniform civil code, “at least start with giving a uniform code of marriage to husband and wife”.
Former Union minister Salman Khurshid, who is assisting the bench as an amicus curiae, pointed out that instant triple talaq “cannot be justified or given legal validity”. He added that the practice is “sinful but legal”.
CJI Kehar inquired if Triple Talaq exists outside the country and how do other non-Islamic countries deal with the matter. But the bench asserted that many Islamic countries have already done away with the practice and Sri Lanka is one of the non-Islamic countries who still have Triple Talaq as legal.