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Muslim Law Board to ask grooms for oath against instant talaq

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which failed to convince the Supreme Court against banning instant triple talaq last year, is all set to make it binding on Muslim men to commit in the nikahnama (Islamic marriage contract) that they will not use the practice.

Over a month after the Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, making instant triple talaq a criminal offence, the board, at its annual convention to be held between February 9 and 11+ in Hyderabad, will release a “model nikahnama”+ requiring the bridegroom to undertake that he will not divorce his wife through triple talaq.

Once such an undertaking is given, its breach will be seen as invalid according to the Shariah or Muslim personal law, the board’s general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani said.

If a man gives triple talaq despite stating in the marriage contract that he won’t, his wife could challenge it in a court of law, citing the nikahnama as proof. The board’s Hyderabad convention comes at a time when the Bill is still stuck in the Rajya Sabha. MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, the lone Muslim MP to oppose the bill during the LS debate, will be chairing the convention’s reception committee.

Muslims back Board move on talaq

Though the AIMPLB had initially maintained that the triple talaq issue was outside the judiciary’s realm, it later agreed that protection could be given to Muslim women at the time of execution of nikahnama. “Before the Lok Sabha passed the bill (on December 28 last year), we had told the Supreme Court we would insert this provision in the nikahnama,” Rahmani said.

He added that a model nikahnama which discouraged men from using triple talaq as a form to divorce was already in place, but the new undertaking would help stop the practice altogether.

The board’s spokesperson Maulana Sajjad Noamani said the provision had been suggested by several of its members and a decision on it would be taken at the convention.

The apex court struck down instant triple talaq on August 22, 2017, but several cases of the practice being still in use have surfaced after that.

The board’s move is being welcomed within the Muslim community. “This will be a wonderful step towards fulfilling a long-standing demand of women and many educated, enlightened men in the community. It is the need of the hour,” said Naved Hamid, president of All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat, an umbrella body of more than 40 Muslim organisations.

The board’s executive member Maulana Athar Ali said triple talaq cases would reduce substantially once the model nikahnama is released. “The majority in the community follow Shariah rules on matrimonial issues,” he said.

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