The AIMPLB has accepted that triple talaq is “sinful” and has no place in the Quran but has grown through custom and practice over 1,400 years.
In the ongoing hearings on triple talaq, the Supreme Court had asked the All India Muslim Personal Law Board if it would be agreeable to the idea of a woman rejecting triple talaq (uttered in a single sitting, or via SMS) and inscribing this wish in the nikahnama, the marriage contract. On Thursday, the AIMPLB readily accepted the suggestion and said it would pass a resolution to that effect, and send a model nikahnama incorporating this, alongside an advisory to the effect, to qazis, religious officials who preside over Muslim marriages.
This is decidedly a step forward, although it doesn’t cover women who are already married. Also, by implication, triple talaq itself doesn’t become extinct if a woman desires the provision. The BJP government has been campaigning for a ban of triple talaq on the ground of gender equality, although data shows just one per cent of Muslim marriages are affected by it.
The AIMPLB has accepted that triple talaq is “sinful” and has no place in the Quran but has grown through custom and practice over 1,400 years. But it appeared reluctant to let the Supreme Court test its constitutional validity under Article 25 (freedom to practise religion), saying the nation’s highest court would be up a “slippery slope” if it did so. AIMPLB counsel Kapil Sibal instead said if the government amended the law, it would be logical for the court to regulate (if a matter came before it). It is salutary that detailed discussions are taking place on social issues and personal laws.