By Jyoti Punwani
Oct 6, 2016
For the first time, posters denouncing triple Talaq and warning husbands who resort to this practice to divorce their wives, have come up in about a dozen mosques in the heart of Mumbai’s old Muslim area. Social worker Abdul Razzak Maniyar, who runs the Public Complaint Centre in Pydhonie, has put them up, with the title: Triple Talaq on the phone to the mother of his child; Public Complaint Centre got Rs 7 lakh for the wife; a warning to those who give triple Talaq.”
Maniyar resolved a divorce case a fortnight ago, which resulted in the husband having to pay Rs 7 lakh to his wife after he divorced her over the phone. The money included the Rs 3 lakh her father had given the husband; Rs 2,70,000 maintenance for her and their son under the Muslim Women’s Act 1986, Rs 1 lakh in lieu of the gifts she had brought with her but which were currently in UP, and Rs 30,000 for the motorbike that her father had given the husband. The gifts she had with her, including her Mehr in the form of gold ornaments, remained with her. Additionally, the husband gave a written assurance that he will never claim custody of their infant son. The marriage was just two years old when the Talaq was pronounced.
All these details have been put on the poster, which describes the case in detail.
Maniyar, who has been resolving marital disputes at the Centre with the help of lawyers since 1985, decided to put this poster up for the first time, to create awareness that this not the right way to divorce, he says. “Some men think if they say Talaq over the phone, it won’t amount to one; while others feel this is the only way to divorce,” he says. The poster asks men who want to divorce their wives to first find out the proper Islamic way of pronouncing Talaq. But the real urgency behind putting it up is what the poster describes as the “Supreme Court sword hanging over Muslim Personal Law.”
The reference is to the case currently on in the Supreme Court, wherein three divorced women and a number of organisations have asked for a ban on triple Talaq, as being in violation of the wife’s Constitutional fundamental rights, and also not in accordance with the Quran. The poster refers to these women as “RSS inspired”. (In fact, only one of the organisations who have approached the Supreme Court is RSS-affiliated.)
The poster says that all four schools of Islamic thought uphold this method of unilateral instant triple Talaq, which is destroying the lives of Muslim women. If we want to protect the Sharia, says the poster, we have to prevent these women from “falling into the clutches of Islam’s enemies (read RSS), by helping them get their rights.”
Finally, the poster warns Muslim men that if they pronounce triple talaq, they will be dragged to court under four laws: Sec 498 A IPC (cruelty to women), the Domestic Violence Act 2005, the Muslim Women’s (Protection of rights on Divorce) Act 1986 and Sec 125 CrPC (providing for lifelong maintenance). They should not provide fuel to Islam’s enemies in undermining the Sharia, or they should be prepared to face jail under these laws.
Maniyar says Muslims have appreciated the poster, feeling this kind of awareness raising measure was necessary. None of the mosques have taken it off. Men returning from Namaz pause and read these posters, he said.