By Prof. Akhtarul Wasey
Translated from Urdu by Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
9 May 2022
Introduce the Uniform Civil Code to the People of India and Let Them Consider It Realistically and Fairly
1. Ignoring the Uniform Civil Code is one way for defeating the so-called advocates of the Uniform Civil Code.
2. It's also crucial to dispel the misconception that only Muslims will be affected by the Uniform Civil Code.
3. The UCC will be rejected not only by Muslims but also by the Hindu majority in the country.
4. If the Uniform Civil Code is forcibly imposed on them, it will create unrest among them and this will not be conducive to the healthy development of any country.
In a country that embraces practically all the religious traditions of the world, is proud of its position of unity in diversity, and recognises 22 languages in Schedule 8 of the Constitution, where the ruler and the water change over a few miles, where several rivers flow from various springs in various directions, eventually connecting the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, and the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal combining to form the enormous Indian Ocean. You can't imagine India without diverse religious units, just as you can't envision the vast Indian Ocean without these rivers.
However, there have been several attempts in the last few days to transform this multi-colour into a single colour. Now, in India, a similar call for a Uniform Civil Code is being heard once more. Those who have been calling for a Uniform Civil Code for years are unable to define what a Uniform Civil Code is. What shape and form will it take? Religious principles underpin the Hindu Civil Code as well as the personal law of numerous religious groups. Can you picture a Hindu wedding without the seven rotations prescribed by the 'Sanatan Prampra'? Can Sikhs accept each other as life partners without accepting Guru Granth Sahib as a witness? Similarly, can a Christian be married in a church without the pastor administering the oath? Can a Muslim, whether Sunni or Shia, marry without the help of a judge or Mujtahid? If not, then why the writ of the Common Civil Code?
Does the Uniform Civil Code imply that marriages should be formally registered? As far as we know, even Muslims are not opposed to marriage registration. Marriage records are stored in mosques in most places. The Waqf Board in various provinces preserves the record of marriages across the province, and a living example of this can be found in Telangana, where the record of marriages has been preserved for hundreds of years.
The Indian Constitution guarantees religious freedom to all religious sects in the country, which is both applicable and advantageous to the religious diversity of the country. As mentioned above, family law is considered by every religion as a part of their religion and they think that their family law is protected under the constitution. The Uniform Civil Code would be a step toward depriving this constitutional freedom and it would not be accepted by any sect adhering to the Constitution of India and religious beliefs.
The subject of a common civil code has come up several times. It is being examined and implemented anew in states where the BJP is in power, but we believe that implementing the Uniform Civil Code will be difficult. It also appears that those yelling chants in favour of it have no actual motivation other than to harass Muslims.
People who talk about one country and one law forget that family laws are not separate only in one country and their separation is not unnatural. Most countries around the world have a tradition of enforcing their own family laws in private life, but separate revenue laws are found only in our country. For example, not every Indian gets the same tax benefits, but if a Hindu gives an affidavit when filing his tax return that he is part of a joint Hindu family, he is given substantial tax benefits. That a person who does not take such an oath even though he is a Hindu is deprived of these concessions. It is also interesting to note that no matter how much a non-Hindu insists on being a part of a joint family, he will not be given these privileges. Those who talk about "one country, one law" should now be questioned about their silence on this issue.
It's also crucial to dispel the misconception that only Muslims will be affected by the Uniform Civil Code. The UCC will be rejected not only by Muslims but also by the Hindu majority in the country. Muslim family law has small interpretive distinctions, whereas Hindu family law, marriage, divorce and inheritance issues have major disparities. There are also substantial distinctions between northern and southern people. The question arises as to whether all of these Hindus have a common viewpoint and have agreed on a single common civil code. If that's the case, you'll need to know what the code is. The truth is that any move like this would cause disturbance among the various sections of Hindus, who would be forced to oppose it. This will be an open challenge to their religious authority or the status, privileges and authority of their Dharma Guru.
In terms of Muslims, their perspective is very obvious. They have their own perfect religion, and the Holy Quran, Hadith, Consensus (Ijma') and Conjecture (Qiyas) are the key sources of their family law. It should be noted that Consensus and Conjecture are only permissible if they do not contradict the Quran and Hadith. They have the complete right to profess their faith and follow religious regulations under the Constitutional rights of the country. As we have stated above, there are people of different religions in India who have their own religious and family laws and every religious entity loves its family law and will not be willing to give it up at any cost. If the Uniform Civil Code is forcibly imposed on them, it will create unrest among them and this will not be conducive to the healthy development of any country.
We would like to advise the ruling class and party leaders in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and other BJP-ruled states where the Uniform civil code is being discussed that they should first introduce a model or outline of uniform civil code to the people of a multi-religious country India and give them a chance to consider it realistically and fairly in a democratic country. We understand that this is being done solely to assuage the emotions of some people and scare minorities. We don't know anyone else, but as common Indians, we believe that if the ruling elite or party actually does play such a game, it will be like walking down a blind alley with no way out.
The author effectively encourages Muslims not to yell at this moment without any reason, and that ignoring the Uniform Civil Code is one way for defeating the so-called advocates of the Uniform Civil Code. And if God willing, our current authorities make such a mistake, the vast majority of the people in this nation will understand them completely because people in this country can be religiously inactive but not religiously stray.
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