Poster with Broken Heart and Word Divorce

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Cultural Custom was Viewed as Oppressive to Muslim Women

In India, many Muslim men divorce their wives instantly by saying “talaq, talaq, talaq.” Talaq means divorce. This has victimised Muslim women.

The Supreme Court of India has struck down the law as unconstitutional. While Muslims form a minority in India, they number close to 155 million. Critics have argued that triple talaq is not mentioned in either Sharia law or the Koran.

The practice of triple talaq has been practiced in the country for decades. It is not uncommon to find men divorcing their wives through phone, email or WhatsApp messages.

While making their ruling, the majority of the Supreme Court’s bench declared, “It cannot be considered as an integral part of the personal law and cannot have constitutional protection. It is against Quran and violates the Shariat.”

The court was split 3-2 in favor of quashing the practice. However, the Chief Justice, JS Khehar had a minority opinion, concluding that the Supreme Court did not have the power to strike it down. Instead, he called for an injunction on the practice while handing over the matter to the legislature. In his view, Justice Khehar sees triple talaq as a matter of faith, not something that the Supreme Court can intervene.

One of the women involved in the petition, Afreen Rehman, commented, “I will have to live with stigma all my life because, in India, the woman is always considered responsible for divorce. I don’t want to return to my husband- that’s not why I’m fighting this case. It’s for justice and to ensure other women do not get treated like this.”

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