Thoughtful pronouncement of Talaq is a solution and never a problematic bad social practice. It must not be treated as a ritual or religious dogma. It is a legal provision which can be exercised sensibly by either gender in their respective capacity or in the court of law.
In case of a Muslim family, the practice of Talaq (divorce) is both a legal and social practice which is unavoidably conditional under a religious obligation. Also, it works as a social device that is effectively practiced and exercised by other civilized communities around the world regardless of any prejudice but ethically.
The other implied meaning of Talaq is separation which remains in force until there is a hope of reconciliation between wife and husband. Thus, the word Talaq acts as a sword that falls on a married couple which is extremely unfortunate and ill luck for them.
Talaq facilitates and repairs the physical, moral and social obligations on the part of a husband and a wife in case their married life turns out to be an unbearable burden and eventually this legal marriage fails. It prepares a spring board for either gender to take a jump into a purer, stronger and better form of relationship. Pronouncement of Talaq is NEVER spontaneous, thoughtless and without upholding the possibility of reconciliations and fair meditation. Therefore, on the call of conscience it becomes a legal practice and can NEVER be taken or treated as a ‘bad social practice’. The life of a phoenix is in its death.
Marriage is the foundation to the making of a family and it is one of the strongest social institutions of the entire Indian communities where Indian Muslim community is not an exception. Exercising Talaq itself works as a social device which maintains and preserves the sanctity of a civilized society. Why do people get married if they don’t want children? Just sensual pleasure is not all. Marriage is the only most reliable social institution that guarantees the essence of a morally strong family. Even animals have children and families in the jungles.
There is a strong binding force that keeps marriages intact from the view point of every sense of humanitarian characteristics. And the harsh reality is that somewhere or the other, one of the merits of the human character collapses. Here, the evidence of Talaq is NEVER inevitable. It is a fusion of morality and the dignity of two individuals which safeguards the essence of physical relationship in respect of their emotional and sociological edifice of belongingness. The command of God Almighty in the holy Qur-aan reads:
‘Divorce is twice. Then [after that] either keep [her] in acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment’. Chapter2: the Cow, Verse no. 229
Divorce invites reconciliation. It gives time to a possibility of mental reunification of understanding between the two. What one desires is good intention and the strength from morality. Utter pleasure of sensuality is a sin and against morality in case of a human being. The act and pronouncement of divorce is extremely conditional. Divorce initiated by an infuriated person who is still aware of his action, and not so infuriated that he is not aware of what he is saying. In both the cases, triple divorce in the same session is a catastrophe. A reconciling approach in order to strengthen a sacred institution like marriage is seldom a failure. And God Almighty likes this behavior. Talaq has been taking place even in the era of the Prophet [pbuh]. Such evidence of Talaq is nothing new particularly for Indian Muslim community.
Psycho-sociological factors that affect harshly the marital status are many. Taking into account the current trends working as antinodes of moral code of conduct in a modern society like extra-marital and live-in relationship, homosexuality, lesbian mind set and a number of socially disapproved practices prevail. Adultery is a sin but society lives on and approves of it in the name of consensus sex. These are not the outcomes of religious dogmas but are the drops of venom which are responsible enough for defragmenting the fabrics of healthy and civilized society. Be it any religions of the world, such practices are forbidden. The safety and sanctity of any civilized society must not be at any risk in the name of sick and obnoxious liberal practices. If Talaq takes place because of any of the antisocial and unnatural reasons, it comes as bliss to either of the gender.
Triple Talaq is a bad social practice only when it acts against the ethics of morality and conscience; if it weakens the edifice of civilized society. On the contrary it appears as a bliss which is permissible and enact able for the peaceful renewal of married life. Polygamy among Muslims and non-Muslim community is a common practice in our contemporary social life. This practice is in force and not confined only to a male or female. Hence, it’s not a myth even. Else, the numbers of brothels are already on rise and the sophisticated whores under the garb of tourism are never a shortage.
Women’s right to equality and dignity encompasses the right to equality and dignity of men. No society claims to be healthy and productive in the absence of any of the two: the men and the women in terms of their right to equality and dignity.
The commencement of hearing the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of triple Talaq and polygamy from 11May, 2017 is a welcome judicial process. But politicizing the issue with an intention to humiliate a particular community is malicious and muffled practice. The pronouncement of Talaq is purely subjective in nature and function. No one peeps, though very immodest through a hole as to see and find what takes place inside home of a family. It is rather a call from one’s conscience and human intellect regardless of community and regions of civilized people. The responsibility of the State is to see that civility prevails and sociability moves forward intellectually sound and physically strong. Rest is the game of politics.
Dr. Madani Mohiuddin Ahmad, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA