Muslim men should be punished when they divorce their wives quickly without good reason, an Indian religious group has suggested.
The All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) made this demand in a petition to the country’s Supreme Court. The group’s President Shaista Amber said introducing a punishment could act as a deterrent for men considering the ‘triple talaq’ method of divorce.
In many Muslim cultures, a husband seeking a divorce only need say “ant taliq” (I divorce you) three times in order to end his marriage. While this usually occurs on three separate occasions, some men will say it three times at once. This is known as the ‘triple talaq’.
By contrast, women have almost no rights in these situations. They are unable to divorce this way and they cannot stop their husbands from using it. This situation has resulted in stories of men who divorce their wives publicly, by text or using social media.
The AIMWPLB claimed this method of divorce goes against the tenets of Islam. The “triple talaq is like a hanging dagger for Muslim women” Shaista insisted, adding that the Quran “says there must be time for reconciliation between partners”. However, she said the Board was in favour of “Khula”. This is a divorce which can be initiated when women return their husband’s wedding gift.
Many Muslims object to the triple talaq and several countries have banned it outright. These include Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. In fact, last year senior Pakistani clerics argued that not only should men who use it be punished, so should any authority which accepts such a divorce as legally valid.
Earlier this year, more than 200 Indian men voiced their support for the triple talaq divorce’s abolition.