ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Muslim Women: Historic Demand for Change

A number of Muslim women and their organisations are part of the national debate on ending the system of triple talaq. Triggered by the public interest litigation currently being heard in the Supreme Court, this represents a major change from the past when individuals like Shah Bano went to court raising issues around marriage and divorce procedures for Muslim women. What remains unchanged is the position of the ulema and the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board.

The question of triple talaq is once again in the news and has triggered a national debate. This is not as a reaction to a fatwa or a judgment, but because the issue has been raised by Muslim women and is also being discussed in the Supreme Court.

This debate has led to two unprecedented developments in September. The chairman of the Andhra Pradesh (AP) Minorities Commission, Abid Rasool Khan, announced to the press that he had written to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) to stop supporting triple talaq, a common form of divorce among Indian Sunni Muslims, by which a wife is instantly divorced if the husband says/writes “talaq’’ three times, even in her absence. If this was not done, said Khan, the board would be responsible for the eventual derecognition of Muslim Personal Law, paving the way for a uniform civil code (UCC).

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