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Supreme Court strikes down triple talaq: Tracing evolution and origin of divorce through Islamic history

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is "void", "illegal" and "unconstitutional". The apex court by a 3:2 verdict held that the triple talaq is against the basic tenets of Quran. Reacting to this, Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin said the "laws have been rectified" and women have "nothing to complain about".

 Supreme Court strikes down triple talaq: Tracing evolution and origin of divorce through Islamic history

Representational image. Reuters

"In Quran, the prescribed method is that the man says talaq in the first month, talaq in the second month, and in the third month, he either says talaq again, or he says he's ready to retract his statement. This is done to ensure that divorce isn't happening in a fit of rage and anger, and that anger and confusion are dispersed during this period," he said.

Explaining further the development of triple talaq as a practice, he added, "A different view of divorce was taken by the second Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab. In the Prophet's lifetime, then under the Caliphate of Abu Bakr, and also during the early period of the Caliphate of Umar, three utterances of talaq on one occasion used to be taken together as one utterance. Then it occurred to Umar Ibn al-Khattab that in spite of the fact that a system had been laid down which permitted the husband to withdraw his first or even second talaq, men wanted to rush into divorce. He felt that if they were hell bent on being hasty, why shouldn't rules be imposed on them to bind them to a final divorce on the utterance of talaq three times in a row? It was then that he proceeded to impose such a rule," Wahiduddin said.

"This act on the part of the second Caliph, that ran against the principles of the Quran and Sunnah, did not in any way change the law of the Sharia," he added.

To think that this led to any revision of Islamic law would be to misunderstand the situation, he said. "The Caliph's order merely constituted an exception to the rule, and was, moreover, of a temporary nature. But he also started the practice of whipping the back of the man who wanted triple talaq. Each law of the Sharia may be eternal, but a Muslim ruler has the power to make exceptions in cases of certain individuals, and in special circumstances."

"Later, the Ulema split into two: The Salafis and the Hanafis. The former accepted that that practice was an exception but the Hanafis made it a part of the Sharia, and they now need to accept their mistake. Now that laws have been rectified, women have nothing to complain about," Wahiduddin added.

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Updated Date: Aug 23, 2017 07:26:32 IST