The World of Talaqs

via H.Balakrishnan published on June 17, 2008



Reference the Article “ Instant divorce is alien to Islam’s spirit “- (TNIE-17 Jun).

The writer deserves compliments for his well intentioned scholarship. However,one wonders whether he has not put himself at risk of a  ‘ Fatwa ‘ from the ‘ ulema ‘? 

Scholarships by learned Muslim and also non-Muslims,on the subject have unequivocally stated that a woman’s problem in Islam is more ideological than legal. Here depressed social position derives from her depressed theological position, the apologists stand to the contrary notwithstanding!!

As the intellectual Ram Swarup, a multi-lingual scholar, puts it succinctly in his ” Woman In Islam ” :

” Woman can receive no justice much less honour in a religious ideology which has no concept of a female God.Although the Quran may teach here and there kind treatment of woman, it is within the framework of man’s unquestioned superiority, moral and metaphysical “.

The writer of the Article stated : ” – – the plight of Muslim women at the hands of the ‘unscruplous misinterpreters of the shariah – -“.Would that include the ‘ learned ulema ‘ of Darul Uloom, Deoband?

One ‘ must ‘ read Arun Shourie’s ” The World of Fatwas: Or the Shariah in Action “  (ASA Publications), to understand the subject. Here is an example quoted in the book, taken from Darul Uloom’s ‘ Fatwa Section Library ‘- in this case ” Fatawa, Dar-al-Ulum,Deoband – Vol IX “:

Case 174Zaid said angrily to his wife, ‘One Talaq, Three Talaqs, Five Talaqs’. Now he says he had lost his wits due to rage,and did not know what he was doing. What does the shariah say in this case?Has the divorce taken place?

FATWA:  Zaid’s wife stands divorced. Divorce is generally declared due to anger – -. And the legists have accepted divorce due to anger – -. Zaid cannot remarry her without the proper procedure.” (pp 298)

Numerous such examples can be had in Shourie’s book, inclusive of Talaq being pronouced in alcoholic stupor/dreaming/sleep-talk/boasting to friends etc. All of them were held ‘ valid ‘ by Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband!! 

Here is another example from Ram Swarup’s ” Woman in Islam”, where a ‘drama in reel-life’, turns into a ‘ horror story in real life ‘.

” The Hindu (January 1, 1987) reported the case of ‘drama in real life’. In Islamabad, in a divorce scene in a TV Urdu play,a prominent actor, Usman Pirzada, was shown divorcing his wife by saying ‘ talaq ‘ three times. But to his misfortune, the role of the wife in the play was enacted by his real wife, Samina. The religious scholars lost no time in proclaiming that the actor and the actress stood separated after the triple talaq.This was irrespective of the fact whether they intended to divorce each other in real life or not.”

And what of the ‘proper procedure ‘ cited in the Fatwa cited above? 

Again from Shourie’s book. ” The situation is scarcely better if the husband,having thrown her out, repents, and wants the woman to continue as his wife. The ulema insist that she cannot be his wife again unless, after her iddat is over, she marries another man, unless that second marriage is actually consumated, unless that second man also divorces her, and her iddat is once again over. This is the ‘ halalah ‘. Unless the second husband consumates the marriage, the ‘ halalah’ is not complete, declare the ulema, again and again “. This is Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband. Are they ‘misinterpreting’ the shariah? One is curious to know.

The Shah Bano case is ‘ too well known ‘ to bear any repetition here. 


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