Scholars Agree with SC Ruling on Talaq
Hyderabad: Several intellectuals and Muslim religious scholars who gathered here expressed their unanimity over Supreme Court’s assertion that Quranic procedure of talaq (divorce) should be adopted did not amount to “interference” in the Muslim Personal Law. At a round table conference held in the city on ‘Talaq According to the Quran’, they said that they do not, in any way, undermine or deny the Hadith (narrations on speeches and acts of Prophet Muhammad) that corroborate with the Quran. They said there was a humanitarian, gender-just procedure of talaq based on natural principles of justice in the Quran.
Prof. Mohsin Usmani (formerly with English and Foreign Languages University), Faizur Rahman, general secretary, Islamic Forum for Promotion of Moderate Thought, Chennai; Dr Parveen Sultana, former principal, Sultan ul-Uloom College of Education, Hyderabad; Khalida Parveen, General Secretary, Umoomat Society for Women; Founder-Secretary, Forum for Muslim Parliamentarians Aariz Muhammad, Dr Lubna Sarwath, environmentalist and socio-economic activist and others participated in the conference. They appealed to the Supreme Court, High Courts, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Jamiat ul-Ulema-e Hind and other organisations to popularise the Quranic procedure of divorce.
They said that the Quran had prescribed seven steps for divorce, which included husband and wife reasoning things out through dialogue; temporary physical separation; efforts to effect reconciliation; arbitration; the first talaq followed by iddat; options within iddat; second talaq or resumption of conjugal relations without re-marriage; and options after iddat — re-marriage or separation through the final, irrevocable talaq.
They said that instant talaq (uttering ‘talaq’ thrice at once) was not under any circumstances in compliance with the Quran. They said that courts in India had upheld that the Quran was the primary source and the weightiest authority on any subject under Muslim law. They cited judgments in a few cases, including in the Anwara Begum and Dagdu Pathan cases, and the SC in the Shamim Ara case that upheld the Quranic procedure of divorce (talaq) and invalidated the instant talaqs.