Lucknow: In a ground-breaking development, Dargah Ala Hazrat (Bareilly), which represents the Barelvi sect of Islam, ruled that even Muslim woman can pronounce the much controversial triple talaq to her husband, according to a report.
Triple talaq (Talaq-e-bidat) is a Muslim man divorcing his wife by pronouncing more than one talaq in a single tuhr (the period between two menstruations), or in a tuhr after coitus, or pronouncing an irrevocable instantaneous divorce at one go (unilateral triple-talaq).
Nikah halala refers to the marriage of a woman with another man who subsequently divorces her so that her previous husband can remarry her.
The fatwa, issued by the world renowned seminary in west Uttar Pradesh, comes in the backdrop of triple talaq being challenged by a Muslim woman, who was divorced by her husband through a phone call from Dubai. She filed a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the Muslim practices of polygamy.
"Muslim women have the right to divorce themselves in certain circumstances where they no longer wish to continue in the marriage. It is provided for in Islamic law. But an agreement for the same has to be made at the time of 'nikah' (marriage). It can be oral or written," Mufti Mohammed Salim Noori, spokesperson for the 'dargah' said.
Petitioner 26-year-old Ishrat Jahan has sought a declaration from the court that Section 2 of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 was unconstitutional as it violated fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 (equality), 15 (non-discrimination), 21 (life) and 25 (religion) of the Constitution "in so far as it seeks to recognise and validate talaq-e-bidat (triple talaq) as a valid form of divorce".
On June 29, the apex court had agreed to examine the issue and said that a divorce through 'triple talaq' among the Muslim community was a "very important matter affecting a large section of people", which has to be tested on the "touchstone of the constitutional framework".
The apex court had taken suo motu cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in cases of divorce or due to other marriages of their husbands and urged Chief Justice of India to set up a bench to examine the issue.
Subsequently, various other petitions including one by triple talaq victim Shayara Bano were filed challenging the age-old practice of 'triple talaq' among the Muslim community.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Jamiat-e-Ulema had defended triple talaq and said it was part of Quran-dictated personal law which was beyond the ambit of judicial scrutiny.