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Muslim body opposes efforts to impose Common Civil Code in name of social reform, gender justice

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has come out strongly against the government’s stand on triple talaq. Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari, the Jamaat chief said: “The Constitution of India guarantees the freedom to profess, practice and propagate one’s own religion. This inviolable freedom is given to every individual and enshrined as a fundamental right in our Constitution.

“Government should not interfere in the belief and religion of any citizen. Muslims consider divorce, polygamy and other personal laws as an intrinsic part of their religion and are hence obliged to follow the Sharia in those matters. The government should respect this position of Muslims instead of conspiring to put an end to it. The government cannot force Muslims to follow other communities in issues related to personal laws as it would amount to an infringement on their fundamental rights. Those clamoring against triple talaq and demanding a ban on polygamy are a miniscule minority and are not representative of the Indian Muslim community. Efforts to impose a Common Civil Code in the name of social reform and gender justice will prove counterproductive.”

Maulana Umari said: “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind completely stands by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board which is the authentic representative body of Indian Muslims. All major Muslim organizations and a vast majority of the Muslim community stand solidly behind the Board and will not accept any interference in their personal law. Those try to sow the seeds of dissension among Muslims will never succeed. The problem of triple talaq and polygamy has been blown out of proportion with the sole motive of portraying Muslims as being patriarchal and misogynistic. The percentage of polygamy amongst Muslims is negligible. It is not mandatory for Muslims to practice polygamy but permission to have more than one wife does exist, albeit under certain conditions.”

On the question of triple talaq, the JIH President said: “Most of the Islamic scholars accept pronouncement of triple talaq in one sitting as leading to a final and irrevocable divorce. However if a person pronounces triple talaq in one sitting but says that he intended only a single divorce, then it will be treated likewise. The ideal way of divorcing one’s wife is to pronounce talaqs one by one over a period of three months between her menstrual cycles, so that there is an opportunity for reconciliation between the spouses. A little known fact is that Islam allows a woman to get divorce through a process called ”khula”.

If she is not happy with her marital life, she may return her alimony and demand separation. If the husband does not comply to her request then she may approach a ”Qazi” (judge) who will help her to complete the divorce formalities.”

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