The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), is planning an initiative under which it will make it binding on Muslim men to commit in the nikahnama (Islamic marriage contract) to not use the practice of instant triple talaq.
The Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill a little over month ago which makes instant triple talaq a criminal offence. The AIMPLB had attempted to convince the Supreme Court against banning instant triple talaq last year but failed.
Now, the AIMPLB plans on releasing a “model nikahnama” at its annual convention slated to be held between February 9 and 11 in Hyderabad, which contains an undertaking by the bridegroom that he will not divorce his wife through triple talaq.
A breach of this undertaking will make it invalid under the Shariah or Muslim personal law, according to the board’s general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani. A wife can challenge a triple talaq given by her husband in court citing the nikahnama as proof if he has stated in the marriage contract that he would not do so, Rahmani said.
The move comes even as the Bill remains stuck in the Rajya Sabha.
Although the apex court banned instant triple talaq on August 22, 2017, there have been several cases recorded of the practice still being used.
Nikahnama Undertaking Will Stop The Practice
The AIMPLB had initially insisted that the triple talaq issue was not within the judiciary’s realm, but agreed later that more protection could be given to Muslim women through the nikahnama.
Rahmani said that the Board had informed the Supreme Court even before the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha that such a provision would be inserted in the nikahnama.
He further noted that a model nikahnama discouraging men from adopting triple talaq as a way of divorce was already available, but the inclusion of the new undertaking would help stop the practice altogether.
According to the board’s spokesperson Maulana Sajjad Noamani the provision was proposed by several of its members and a decision regarding it would be taken at the convention.
MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, the only Muslim MP who opposed the bill during the LS debate, will be chairing the convention’s reception committee.
Muslim Community Welcomes Move
The Muslim community has expressed support for the move.
Naved Hamid, president of All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat, an umbrella body comprising over 40 Muslim organisations called it a “wonderful step” to fulfil a “long-standing demand” and said it was the “need of the hour.”
The board’s executive member Maulana Athar Ali has stated that triple talaq cases would drop substantially once the model nikahnama gets released, stating that most of community follows “Shariah rules on matrimonial issues”.