Muslim women demand reforms in personal law: NGO

Mumbai, Dec 1 (IANS) Over 500 Muslim women from across India on Thursday passed a resolution to demand comprehensive reforms in the Muslim Personal Law through codification, including triple talaq, an NGO’s leaders said.

“We renewed the call for the abolition of oral ‘triple talaq’ (divorce given by saying talaq word three times) and ‘nikah halala’ (governing remarriage of divorced couple). There is no mention of triple talaq in the Holy Quran, but it is prevalent in our society. We demand an immediate end to this practice,” said Noorjehan S. Niaz and Zakia Soman, co-founders of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA).

The women had converged for a three-day conference here as part of BMMA’s 10th anniversary celebrations.

Besides, they said, women from the community want Parliament to enact a Muslim Family Act wherein the minimum marriage age is fixed at 18 for women and 21 for men, and triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy are illegalised.

The Muslim women also said custody and guardianship of children must be given to both parents, the minimum ‘mehr’ should be equivalent to the groom’s annual income and woman’s share in property stipulated under the law.

The resolution adopted on the occasion also demanded that all marriages in the community be compulsorily registered and ‘qazis’ (clerics) be brought under the ambit of the law, Niaz and Soman added.

“We demand our Quranic and Constitutional rights and our petition against triple talaq and ‘nikaah halala’ is pending in the Supreme Court. We want our elected representatives to live up to their obligations and support Muslim women’s quest for gender justice and equality,” said Niaz.

At a public hearing held on the occasion, eight women from different states detailed the pain and sufferings they underwent owing to ‘triple talaq’ and demanded its abolition, said Soman.

“Muslim women are denied their rights despite Quranic provisions; but now we will not tolerate injustice. We will not accept the diktats of patriarchal bodies which stand thoroughly exposed,” Soman said.

–IANS

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