BMMA RAISES DEMAND FOR A BAN ON ORAL DIVORCE
Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan held simultaneous press conferences and press releases in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and UP to demand a ban on oral divorce. Victims of oral/unilateral divorce presented ways in which their husband’s have divorced them.
For many years Muslim women have been the victims of oral/unilateral divorce. State as well as religious bodies have ignored the plight of women who have been divorced by their husbands. Muslim men have divorced their wives through letters, sms, emails and orally. A Muslim marriage is a socio-religious contract which is solemnized with the express consent of both the parties. How can the same contract be terminated on the whims of one party, the man?
Quran has very clearly mentioned the process by which divorce can take place. Arbitration is required as per the Quranic verse 4:35. Talaak-e-Ahsan is a clearly mentioned process in the Quran according to which the divorce should take place. Inspite of these injunctions a Muslim man continues to divorce his wife without any fear of law. And he is supported by qazis, muftis and maulanas who justify this method of divorce.
We believe that a long term solution to this problem is the codification of Muslim family law. BMMA has been working on the draft of a codified law which is based on the quranic verses. While we are working to strengthen the draft by doing nationwide consultations, we demand that the government takes urgent and immediate action to call for a ban on oral/unilateral divorce.
The issue of oral divorce is not new to bodies like AIMPLB who have never taken any step to abolish this practice. They continue to consciously ignore the practice thereby allowing a Muslim man to continue to trouble his wife. One-sided divorce is like a sword hanging on the head of a Muslim woman.
How can the community progress when half of its population lives in fear and insecurity within their own homes? The government must immediately declare unilateral oral divorce as unIslamic and unconstitutional. This practice not only violates the Quranic principles of equality and justice but also goes against the values and principles of the Indian Constitution.