By Asif Merchant, New Age Islam
22 April 2017
Nowadays, wherever one goes, if it is a meeting with a few Muslims, the topic of Triple Talaq is bound to come up. I have yet to come across an ordinary Muslim who is in favour of it. The consensus seems to be that this is something which is spoiling the image of Islam, but there is nothing we can do about it. There is this mysterious All India Muslim Personal Law Board which alone is entitled to speak for all Indian Muslims. If it is acting in an illogical manner, so be it.
How has any entity assumed the right to represent and guide all Indian Muslims? There is no such thing as a Pope in Islam, but apparently this Board fancies itself as some sort of Pope.
What is the constitution of this Board? How have these members been selected? Do they have a term, or are they members for life? How can anyone else become a member? I was unable to find out anything on the Net.
With these people representing Indian Muslims in the Triple Talaq case before the Supreme Court, others may be forgiven for assuming that Muslims are in favour of Triple Talaq, while the Government is desperately trying to make them see sense. The AIMPLB even complains that the Government is interfering with the religious freedom of Muslims to practice their faith according to their scriptures. In truth, it is the AIMPLB which has hijacked Muslim religious freedom. The voice of the ordinary Muslim is not being heard at all.
At some stage, it will become necessary to challenge the existence of the AIMPLB as representing Indian Muslims. That is a long procedure, probably involving appeals before the Waqf Board. However long it takes, it will have to be done sometime, but right now, the issue of Triple Talaq is before the Supreme Court. Can anything be done about this?
I appeal to our editor, Mr. Sultan Shahin to start an online signature campaign on change.org or Avaaz. Maybe it is too late to be impleaded in the case, but it would be an opportunity for ordinary Muslims to express their disagreement with the position held by the AIMPLB.
Intellectual refutations of the sanctity of Triple Talaq are meaningless and ineffectual. Action is needed, and I hope Mr. Shahin will extend the scope of New Age Islam to make it an action-oriented magazine.
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