NEW DELHI: Sharia has granted the triple talaq mode of oral divorce+ to husbands because men are better at controlling emotions and, therefore, unlikely to take impulsive decisions, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has said.
“Sharia grants right to divorce to husbands because men have greater power of decision making. They are more likely to control emotions and not take hasty decisions,” the board said in its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in response topetitions from Shayara Banu and other Muslim women+ who have urged the apex court to declare triple talaq unconstitutional.
While asserting that triple talaq was part of Islamic religious practice protected byfundamental right to religion+ and that the SC was barred from adjudicating its validity, the AIMPLB also launched into a vigorous defence of polygamy and said the practice, which allows a Muslim man to have four wives, was necessary to curb illicit sex and was meant to protect women.
The 68-page affidavit argued that the court’s concern for protection of Muslim women from alleged arbitrary divorce was erroneous as their rights were protected by Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, which was enacted by the Rajiv Gandhi government to annul the SC’s Shah Bano judgment in 1985.
Defending triple talaq rights given to Muslim men, the board said the practice provided an easy mode to end marriages that had irretrievably broken down. It said keeping the husband and wife together when the husband did not want the woman made the husband and his family inflict mental and physical torture on the woman.
Defending triple talaq in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has said it is a very private method of divorce without going to court and making public the differences between the couple and then awaiting a long process for the outcome. Court proceedings and trading of charges by the couple harmed the reputation of the woman more than that of the man, it said.
It said in the western world, as a result of gender parity and securing divorce through courts alone, the divorce rate had shot up.
Through advocate Ejaz Maqbool, the board said it was a misconception that Muslim men enjoyed unilateral and unbridled power to divorce.
“A Muslim man can delegate his power of pronouncing talaq to his wife or to any other person. However, such delegation does not deprive the husband of his own right to pronounce talaq. A Muslim husband may delegate the power absolutely or conditionally, temporarily or permanently,” AIMPLB said.
On the practice of polygamy, the board said, “Quran, Hadith and the consensus view allow Muslim men to have up to four wives.” It said Islam permitted polygamy but did not encourage it.