Muslim women demand codification of personal law
After their win in the Supreme Court — which struck down instant triple talaq as unconstitutional — Muslim women are now demanding codification of Muslim family law.
The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) has prepared a draft law and is petitioning MPs to take up the issue in Parliament. In August this year, the Supreme Court held instant triple talaq unconstitutional on a petition filed by the BMMA.
The BMMA is now spearheading the campaign for the codification of Muslim personal law and the issue is being discussed at its three-day national meet, which began here on Tuesday.
Zakia Soman, the founder of BMMA, said that for last 10 years there is an atmosphere in the country where women’s rights can be promoted. “We are hopeful that we will be successful in our campaign for the codification of personal law.”
She said that Muslim women have been faceless, voiceless and invisible. “Our rights have been denied because we have not spoken out. But now we have to ensure that there is the codification of Muslim family law based on the constitution and the Quran.”
Soman said while the Supreme Court has ruled against instant triple talaq, no procedure was laid down for divorce. The Supreme Court also did not touch the issues of polygamy and halala.
BMMA has prepared a draft law, based on the Quran and the Constitution, and after taking the opinion of thousands of Muslim women has written to women MPs to take up the issue of a codification of Muslim personal law in Parliament, said, Soman.
Noorjehan Safia Niaz, co-founder of BMMA, said that while all other communities have their own codified law, Muslims were denied such a law due to interference by political and religious leaders.
Niaz said the draft law proposes age of marriage as 18 for girls and 21 for boys, consent of the couple, mandatory meher to the bride equal to at least the annual salary of the groom, proper procedure of talaq as mentioned in the Quran, banning muta marriage and polygamy and making halala an offence, children’s custody and property rights.
“Women’s rights are our collective responsibility. Leaders too have to change their thinking. It’s not about politics or ego but simply about progress,” Jasbir Singh, chairman of the Rajasthan state commission for minorities, said.