More than 92% of India Muslim women want the abolition of the practice of triple talaq, a recent survey conducted by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), a women’s rights advocacy group, has revealed.
The BMMA, which is campaigning against triple talaq, in its study has found that majority of Muslim women in the country want an end to the practice triple talaq, or instance divorce, which destroys their lives and that of their children.
Triple talaq is a practice in which a Muslim man may divorce his wife by speaking the word “talaq”, which means “I divorce you”, three times in quick succession to her.
The practice has been outlawed in many Muslim majority nations, but is permitted in India under the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat).
Members of the BMMA who held a day-long workshop on Muslim women’s rights on Friday, interacting with the media on Saturday said that women have demanded a ban on the practice of oral divorce.
“Our nationwide study ‘seeking justice within the family’, also found out that 92% of Muslim women want an end to this practice,” said Zakia Sonam, one of the co-founder of the BMMA.
“Along with oral divorce the practice of halalah must also be abolished,” she said.
She further said that the group started an online petition to ban the triple talaq practice and so far 50, 000 Muslim men and women across the country have signed it.
“The instant method of divorce has no mention in the Quran. The Quranic guidelines say that the couple should undergo a process of mediation before divorce takes place.”
“In the course of our work, we have regularly been approached by our sisters, complaining about mistreatment and misuse of the oral talaq system. In most cases, men go scot-free and believe their action is approved by the Quran.”
Women are being divorced for the flimsiest of reasons and denied their basic rights and even quazis approve and support Muslim men to divorce their wives and also encourage halalah, said Dr Noorjehan Safia Niaz, another co-founder of the BMMA.
Halalah is a practice where a couple which underwent a divorce cannot remarry unless the woman marries another man and then if her second husband dies or divorces her, the couple can remarry.
“We demand for a legal ban on triple talaq divorce and halalah and divorce process must be mediated and made mandatory as per the provisions of the Quran,” she said.
“Muslim women are citizens of this country and constitutional safeguards are applicable to them also.”
Asked about the affidavit that the Muslim Personal Law Board filed recently, BMMA state convener Safia Akhtar said, “It advocates triple talaq, addresses women as lumpish and says that it is better to divorce women than kill them.”
“The Muslim personal law must be reformed in such a manner that all discriminatory practices are struck down and ensure that Muslim women’s constitutional and Quranic rights are safeguarded.”
Alam Ara, a victim of triple talaq from Bhopal said, “My husband’s family is very affluent. When he married me, he already had a wife about whom he didn’t tell me.”
“After I delivered a baby girl, he …asked me to leave and it has been two years that I am still fighting for my rights. He, along with his parents and sisters physically abuses me and beats my daughter and as I have nowhere to goI am tolerating the abuse,” she said.
“I want this triple talaq thing to end immediately. A ban of the practice of triple talaq and halalah will bring relief to thousands of Muslim women.”