Muslim Divorce in India

MUSLIM DIVORCE IN INDIA: Board to Divorce "Triple Talaq"

By Srawan Shukla

In what may come as a big relief to the Muslim women, their husbands would not be able to get rid of their wives in future by simply reciting talaaq, talaaq, talaaq.

The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board is set to ban this practice from next month and ratify the new model talaqnama. 

The Board is likely to adopt a resolution at its annual meeting of 41-member working committee on July 4 at Nadwa College, here. 

The new talaqnama, carefully drafted by the Board clerics after carrying out deliberations for three years, disapproves of the age-old three-talaaq system and replaces it with the Shariat-approved 'phased-talaaq'. 

Though the draft of the new talaqnama was already approved in Board's Patna meeting in October 2003, it was awaiting a final nod from the 41-member working committee, Board's highest-decision making body. 

Under the new talaqnama, the separating couples would be given a minimum of three months to reconcile, instead of shauhar (husband) just firing talaaqs to separte without giving any chance to his begum. 

Board also recommends increase in ‘Mehr'

Muslim women, who virtually had no separation rights till now, have also been given equal rights to approach the Qazi for separation against their erring husbands. 

"It's all being done as per Shariat. Instead of three talaaq at one go, couples would be given three months to reconsider their decision and if they insist on separation even after the expiry of the said period, the Qazi is empowered to formalise talaaq as per the new talaqnama," said Zafrayab Jilani, a Board member. 

The Board would print the new talaqnama forms in large numbers in Urdu as well as in regional languages and make it mandatory for all the couples to fill it at the time of marriage. 

The Board is also recommending increase in 'Mehr', which is fixed at the time of marriage. Parents would be advised to fix a staggering amount to protect matrimony of their daughters. 

However, the Board has fixed no upper or lower limit for it. The amount would be decided mutually by both parents. It's being done mainly to discourage talaaqs. 

"It will be a welcome step in the direction of reforming the Muslim society in India. The new talaqnama would drastically bring down the number of talaaq cases as no sensible husband would dare to breach the new talaqnama," claims Jilani.

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