Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Update on "Triple Talaq"

Indian Express: The National Commission for Women is trying to set the record straight on Triple Talaq in other parts of the Muslim world.

They are arguing that Muslim personal law in India is particularly backwards. In Pakistan, "triple talaq," or instantaneous verbal divorce, has been illegal since 1961. More facts about personal (marriage) laws in other parts of the Muslim world:

She said creating awareness about other Islamic societies would help fight the propaganda that the Shariat laws could not be interpreted or changed. In countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, even a second marriage is banned.

However, in countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria and Bangladesh, second marriages are discouraged through a strict legal and administrative mechanism. [In India, polygamy is still legal under Muslim personal law. -AS]

Unlike in India, where Muslim women have no right to divorce, in Turkey and Iran, both husband and wife enjoy equal rights for seeking divorce. In Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh, government officials have to prove that they had gone for a divorce only after having made serious efforts to patch up their differences with their spouse. In all these Islamic countries, divorce is final only after a court verdict.

Again Turkey, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran and Bangladesh have legally banned one-sided divorces, which gave men arbitrary powers to break marriages, while countries like Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Pakistan and Bangladesh had banned the practice of triple talaq long ago.

These are useful facts to have, and not to make debating points in favor of the Uniform Civil Code. I follow the NCW and Nafia Hussein here in thinking primarily of human rights for Muslim women in India.


Rob Breymaier said...

Triple Talaq is just plain oppressive. The fact that there is even a debate about it speaks volumes about who is represented in Indian government and the committment of the government to human rights.

This seems like an issue Sonia should be shouting about. Seeing as she is not Hindu or Muslim she could have some "objectivity."

And, are you arguing against a uniform civil code?

Amardeep said...


I'm definitely pro-Uniform Civil Code, though I've been forced to accept that there is no political will for it right now. Maybe it will be something that the next generation of secularist Indian leadership will be able to do.

Soniah Kamal said...

I've grown up watching many Indo-Pak movies where a husband says the all dooming talaq thrice, and the woman, covering her ears, screams, No.
I got married in Pakistan. As a woman my right to divorce my husband had to be written in to the marriage certificate.
Of course this caused much distress, did talk of divorce on such a happy day. People may as well have covered their ears: No No No.
I got my way, though.
Soniah Kamal

Amardeep said...


Thank you for your comment. Your story makes this issue a little more real to me.

I'm glad you got your way!

Soniah Kamal said...

Hi Brey
Actually I am Muslim, though still very objective :)
Problem as I see it is many people are very confused by what religion dictates and what culture expects: getting divorce written into my marriage certificate was a 'bad omen', already portending doom on a day when that's the last thing that should have been on my mind. I'm still foggy about the three divorce decree, having had various Muslim clerics telling me there's no such thing, but having seen various depictions in pop culture.
Unfortunately what with marriage painted, in the Indo-Pak subcontinent, as a giant bed of thornless roses, most women forgo rights such as divorce or an adequate 'haque mehr' (the amount of money a husband has to give his wife in the event of a divorce), and later suffer for it.
I was just amused to see how many people were upset with me for ruining 'their' special day by bringing up divorce at 'my' marriage.
Amardeep- enjoy your blog.