The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) executive committee members met to discuss the Supreme Court’s recent judgment on triple talaq on Sunday. But the meeting remained inconclusive on whether to challenge the Supreme Court’s judgment declaring triple talaq as unconstitutional.
While ‘respecting the judgment’ the working committee decided to constitute a committee to examine the judgment ‘to see the inconsistency, if any, with Shariat’. At the same time, the committee to be constituted will advise the board on methods and process for ‘undertaking large scale community reform programme within the Islamic Sharia (Islah-e-Mashrah)’, according to a two-page statement issued by the board after a nine-hour marathon meeting in Bhopal.
Three weeks after the Supreme Court banned triple talaq, AIMPLB said that talaq-e-biddat (practice of three pronouncements of talaq in one sitting) was sinful but valid and it has its basis in religious texts and belief as per Sharia applicable to four Sunni schools of thought.
On August 22, a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, by a 3-2 majority verdict, had held the practice of instant triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) illegal. Several Muslim organisations, including the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, among the oldest in the country, had objected to this, saying that instant triple talaq should continue and be recognised as a legitimate divorce among Muslims even if that meant courting punishment as per the law of the land.
Attacking the Narendra Modi government at the Centre in a statement issued after the meeting, the board said, “The government had laid bare its intention in the form of the Attorney General’s submissions in the Hon’ble Supreme Court that all forms of dissolution of marriages without intervention of the court should be declared as unconstitutional. We register our displeasure and consider it as attack on personal law of Muslims”.
The statement further said, “This stand of the present government is contrary to the protection guaranteed by the Constitution of India. We make categorical statement that the community cannot and shall not tolerate such attack on personal law of Muslim community.”
As per the statement which was read out by Kamal Faruqui, an executive committee member of the board, it was of the view that Islamic/Sharia law is based on the Quran, Hadith, Ijma and Qiyas. “We reiterate that the sanctity of belief and practices in personal/matrimonial relations in Islamic laws cannot be treated differently from the belief and practices in personal matrimonial relationship by the other citizens of India who follow their own custom and practice and they have this protection.”
As per The Indian Express, Board insiders say the matter of a review petition was discussed in informal deliberations over the past 20-odd days, but most felt that the risks of such a move far outweighed its potential benefits. Said a source, “There is a saying in Urdu, ‘Namaz bakshwane gaye they, roze gale padh gaye (Had gone to seek exemption from namaz, ended up being saddled with roza)’. Things have changed since the last order, there is a new CJI (Chief Justice of India), there will be a new Bench looking at it. What if they do not feel the same way about personal laws? What if they want to examine other practices like polygamy, nikah halala etc, like the original two-judge Bench had wanted examined? We would end up opening more fronts than we would like to. That is why the review petition never came up in the executive committee”.
About 45 members including the board president Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadvi, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, other office-bearers, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president and MP Asaduddin Owaisi and Babri Masjid Action Committee convener Zafaryab Jilani took part in the meeting. Three woman members also attended the meeting.
Talking to reporters, Zafaryab Jilani said they would abide by the court’s judgment on the issue. However, he said, one political party was trying to interfere in the issue and politicize the matter.
“We are examining the entire legal issue as to how to prepare ourselves for the Supreme Court’s day-to-day proceedings on the matter to begin from December”, he added.