AIMPLB condemn fatwa against Imrana
According to the AIMPLB, the edict issued against Imrana's separation from her husband is illegal, reports Masoodul Hasan.india Updated: Oct 24, 2006 22:15 IST
The decision of Muzaffarnagar district court in the Imrana case has once again led to heated debate over the fate of the poor woman who was raped by her father-in-law Ali Mohammad last year.
However there was hardly any taker of the controversial fatwa (edict), which had declared her marriage as null and void and had erroneously suggested that her husband had become her son after rape.
"There was no Shariat angle in the case when Imrana had reported her rape," commented a senior member All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and naib Imam Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rashid.
He said it was a rape and had there been application of Shariat law the accused would have been stoned to death. Rashid, who represents 300-year-old Firangi Mahal known for authentic fatwas said the edict against Imrana’s separation from her husband was illegal.
Pointing out that court too had only decided about rape case and not dwelt on her divorce. Even though her marriage had not been terminated, Rashid said if Imrana had any doubt about it she could go to Darul Qaza (Shariat court) to rectify it. Another AIMPLB member Dr Naim Hamid also rejected the fatwa. He said there was no question of annulment of her marriage.
The vice president of All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) Maulana Mohd Taqi said, "Rapist had been given punishment and there was no adverse impact on her marriage."
He said without talaq by her husband the marriage could not be declared null and void by any fatwa. Taqi said Nikah could not be broken by rape.
In fact Fatwa row had taken a curious turn when the Darul-Uloom Deoband (DUD) had ratified the fatwa of village panchayat in Imrana case. But Khalid Rashid said village panchayat had no right to issue fatwa.
Later shaken over the sharp Muslim reaction the Deoband seminary had backtracked claiming that “it did not issue any edict in the name of Imrana”. The fatwa was basically against the tenets of Islam.
Even in case of divorce, the Quranic verse (Surah Al-baqra) is quite specific in showing kindness to the wives. "When ye have divorced women and they have reached their term (Iddah - waiting period) then retain them in kindness or release them in kindness.
Retain them not to their hurt that ye transgress. He who doth that hath wronged his soul” (Surah Al-Baqra). Verses Al-baqra and Al Nisa are full of instructions to men about their soft treatment to women.
Prominent Shia cleric and AIMPLB member Maulana Kalbe Jawad is also rejecting the fatwa said rape did not terminate her marriage.
It may be recalled that the DUD had based its edict on a verse of Al Nisa (The woman) which says "and marry not those women whom your fathers married, except what hath happened (of that nature) in the past. Lo! it was ever lewdness and abomination and evil way."
Historically before the onset of Islam Arabian society was full of examples when sons married their mothers. Quranic verse banned this practice. Subsequently in the next verse Quran says "forbidden unto you are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters, your brother's daughters, your sisters' daughters, your foster mothers, your mother-in-law, wives of your sons." But the holy book did not mention anywhere that rape by father-in-law would terminate the marriage.
In the Book of Fatwa Tauziul Masail of Ayatollah Hussain Sistani (Iraq) there is no mention that rape of daughter-in-law by father-in law would annul her marriage.
In fact the Deoband has always been at the centre of storm for its controversial edicts. Last year, the DUD had issued fatwa declaring watching television including Islamic channels impermissible. However Muslim critics had then declared it null and void.
Email Masoodul Hasan: firstname.lastname@example.org