India: Debate On Triple Talaq And Uniform Civil Code Is ‘Unsolicited Polemic’ – OpEd

The ongoing debate on divorce (triple talaq) and Uniform Civil Code, in India has been slammed as an “unnecessary polemic”. One wonders as to how the Uniform Civil Code or the abolishment of the triple talaq would help in the country’s development. If the government intends to provide equal rights to Muslims, it should not refrain from removing the religious stipulation from the Section 341 in the Constitution.

Talking today to the media reporters, Maulana said that Muslims’ condition is worse than that of the Dalits and other backward sections of the Indian society, as the Sachchar Committee has also revealed. Therefore, the apex body of Sunni Sufi Muslims in India, All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board recommends the government to ameliorate the social, educational, economic and political condition of Muslims rather than indulge in the unnecessary issues and debates.

On this occasion, the Sufi Muslim clerics and scholars also endorsed the demand of the All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board. Two more key officials of the board, who are currently on a visit to an international conference on the unity of Ummah in Moscow, Russia, were also in the AIUMB press meet. Before they left for the conference in Moscow, Maulana Syed Tanveer Hashmi and Syed Salman Chishti endorsed the statements of the founder-president of the AIUMB. They appealed to the Indian government to ensure the constitutional freedom of religious practice to the followers of all religions in India.

Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichchawchchvi further said that the debate is pointless because the Uniform Civil Code is already enacted in the country. All the criminal and civil laws are equal and uniform for all the religious communities. Only the laws of marriage, divorce and inherence are practices as per the personal laws, though the Special Marriage Act is also there. Hence, he wondered whether how government’s unsolicited interference in the laws of nikah and talaq would help in the development of the nation on the constructive lines. “Similar personal laws are practiced by people of other faith traditions in India. Apparently, the government’s intent behind raising the issue of triple talaq is dubious”, he said.

Islamic Scholar and writer, Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, a key member of the World Sufi Forum, said that the we should did not reject the law commission’s questionnaire, but rather, answer each and every question. He further said that “we should not see a sinister design behind the questionnaire which elicits opinions about reforms in other communities, not only in the Muslim community”. The AIUMB has got it translated into Urdu and Hindi for its wider dissemination among the Sufi Sunni Muslims attached to various wings of the board across the country. It has also run a campaign to bring awareness to stop the abuse of triple talaq and other Islamic practices.

The AIUMB also questioned the Salafis lashing out at the law commission’s questionnaire on triple talaq, as the Salafi or Ahle-Hadisi sect has nothing to do with any of the four Islamic schools of law pertaining to the issue. “The Law Commission has done nothing wrong by asking the mainstream Indian Muslims’ opinion on this question. Common Muslims have to be educated and trained to democratically protect and practice their personal laws”, said the founder-president of the AIUMB.

The AIUMB is also planning an Islamic seminar on triple talaq which will gather the leading muftis and experts on Hanafi Islamic school of law. “We will come to the final result after considering all aspects of the matter and will uphold the Ulama and Mashaikh’s position on the issue”, said Syed Muhammad Ashraf Kichchawchchvi.

*Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, Independent writer and columnist, well-versed in Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion, Researcher in Culture & Communication Studies, Arabic-Urdu-Hindi Author & Translator, a Frequent Commentator on Muslim Affairs in national and international Media.


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