Recently, India’s top court banned the controversial law that allowed Muslim men to end the marriage by uttering talaq— Arabic word for divorce—three times.
But what is this cult of instant divorce?
A triple talaq is a form of Islamic divorce which has been used by Muslims in India. It allows any Muslim man to legally divorce his wife by stating the word talaq three times in oral, written, or more recently electronic form.
This mode of divorce is not universal among Muslims across the world, as many other Islamic schools of thought prefer the divorce process to be deferred, in many cases over a period of three months. The government has cited the example of many predominantly Muslim countries, including Pakistan, that has banned instant divorce.
Although divorce in Islam can take a variety of forms, some initiated by the husband and some initiated by the wife, men take undue advantage to this cult of instant divorce. This sort of divorce without the gap between is considered not approved in Islam It is too rash, unfair and condemnable. Only some of the laws given in the Quran is straightforward and the rest are subject to interpretation and the interpretations may change based on the social and economic development of man. Instant divorce is one such issue.
There is a 3-step process to follow divorce as per Sharia law:
- A couple can apply for the first talaq in any judiciary body. After the first one, Islam gives them one more chance for reuniting within a waiting period of 3 months. A couple can re-unite within this waiting period, without any new marriage contract or following any rituals that are been followed in newly marriages.
- A couple can apply for the second talaq in any judiciary body. After the second one, Islam gives them the last chance for reuniting within same waiting period of 3 months, without any new marriage contract or following any rituals that are been followed in newly marriages.
- A couple can apply for the third talaq in any judiciary body. After third one, they can’t reunite.
In traditional Islamic jurisprudence, instant divorce is considered to be a particularly disapproved, but legally valid, form of divorce. Changing social conditions around the world have led to increasing dissatisfaction with traditional Islamic law of divorce since the early 20th century and various reforms have been undertaken in different countries. Contrary to practices adopted in most Muslim-majority countries, Muslim couples in India are not required to register their marriage with civil authorities.
Muslim marriages in India are considered to be a private matter unless the couple decided to register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act of 1954. Owing to these historical factors, the checks that have been placed on the husband’s unilateral right of divorce by governments of other countries, such as the prohibition of instant divorce, have not been implemented in India.
There was a desperate need to ban this cult because of the following reasons:
- It creates Inequality between men and women. Thus, violating one of our fundamental rights—the right to equality.
- It’s immoral towards women which is unacceptable in Indian society.
- The practice brings women—who are completely dependent on men for their livelihood—into the streets. And, many of them suicide too.
Quran was revealed on him from the creator which includes guidance for people and Islamic laws. Since these laws are revealed by the creator himself and there is no one who is more just than him then the question of injustice to anyone does not rise here. Even if we talk about the concept of divorce in Islam.
Usually, the term is used to signify that after saying divorce three times, then couple cannot be together ever but reality is something different, actually the concept of instant divorce doesn’t exist in Quran. It’s something misinterpreted and invented by people.
For more details, one can refer to chapter 65 of the Holy Quran that deals with the issue of divorce.