Triple Talaq, Islam and the Indian Constitution: What is the Current Affair of Adeeb Rehman?

By Muhammed Shafeeq CM, for

The dismal showing of Islam from the case of Afreen Rehman who moved to Supreme Court against Islams triple Talaq provision after being divorced remotely is just a part of religious destruction. She harshly alleged her husband in terms of mental harassment, demand over dowry, beating and eviction from home et cetera. The critical thinkers of Islam deemed to use the opportunity to explore against the ethical concept of Islam. Even the Shah Banu case in 1986 got contemporary relevance in Media.

The fatal point in Islam is the degradation of Women is one of the core statements in the preface of the book An Anthology of Quran written by the eminent English orientalist Edward William Lane[1]. There are myriad texts asserting the Men dominance in Islam. The chief justice of Indian Supreme Court similarly quoted the words of William lane in the final verdict of Shah Banu case.

Some questions which arise under the ordinary, civil and criminal law are of a far reaching significance to large segments of society which have been traditionally subjected to unjust treatment. na Stree Swathanthrayam Arhatee ( The women does not deserve Independence) said Manu Smiriti, the law giver in Hindusim. And it is alleged that the fatal point in Islam is the degradation of Islam. To the prophet, this the statement has been ascribed, hopefully wrongly, that women was made from a crooked rib, and if you try to hand it straightly, it will break; therefore treat your wives kindly[2].

These allegations emerged from the interpretation to have equality amidst the Men and Women in every bubble of life. The ideology of gender equality which explores such allegations was sprouted in 18th century at Britain. Then it was widely spread throughout the Europe and America. A vindication of the rights of women of Mary Wallstonecraft was the first and pertinent text that expounded these beliefs. The book vividly elucidates to have gender equality in every sphere of life even in education, job and politics.

But Islamic jurisprudence concentrates on a law built under the natural installations on human body. It is explicitly defined in Islamic creed to care women in an attention which the human gave to eye. We may cut and polish our nails. It is a part of body treatment. But the eye cannot be treated in such a manner. Even though eye and nail are parts of a same body, its treatment is distinguished. Thats why Islam doesnt consider the inequality between Men and Women in certain walks of life.

Recently, some orientalists and Islamic feminists argued that the conventional reading of the Islamic ethics creates more brutality, while the modern readings ensure gender equality. The feminine reading of Amina Wadood interprets the arrival of Quran as a heavenly notion against the mens dominance in the land of Arabia.

The Quran and women of Amina Wadood abridges that the circumstances of Arabia made the Quran mandatory to reveal in support of mens dominance. The independent commentary of Amina Wadood led to reject the fundamental scripts of Islam like the Hadith (prophetic text). She says I place greater significance on the Quran. This is similar to the orthodox understanding of the of Quranic preservation versus historic contradictions within the Hadith literature. Furthermore, I would never concede that the equality between men and women demonstrated in the Quran could be removed by the prophet. If such a contradiction did exist, I would choose in favor of Quran. Actually, there are no such contradictions. Furthermore Quran vividly expounds to follow prophet for interpreting Quran. And we have also sent down unto you, that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them and they may give thought (16/44)

Nor does he speak of desire, it is only a revelation revealed. (53/34)

The women and gender in Islam of Laila Ahmed and The Veil and male elite: a feminist interpretation of Islam of Fathima Merssini never attempted to give further thought apart they squeeze from European ideologies.

Road from Shah Banu to Adeeb Rahman:

Shah Banu case was one of the laureate incidents in the social, political and secular context of the country. In 1978, Shah Banu was brutally divorced by the barrister Muhammed Ahmed Khan after a 40-year happy marriage life. For maintaining her life, she met the magistrate for justice. She was honoured to give 25 rupees per month which was an irritation to all widows. By CRPC (The code of criminal procedure), she got an assistance of 179 rupees per month from the High court. Ahmed khan appealed to Supreme Court against the high court verdict. He tried to assert that the Islamic jurisprudence does not compel him to pay her for more than the period of Idhha (a particular period after the divorce). The bench which supervised the case, not only dismantled the appeal but also proclaimed that the divorced women has the right to be paid unto another marriage. By misinterpreting the Quranic verse, the court expounded that there is no difference amidst the Quranic verse and the code of criminal procedure.

The verdict emasculated the patience of Muslims as it dismantled the Shareeath of Islam in need of political notions. All India Muslim personal law board and Majlis e Mushavara led the Shareeath Campaign. Even though the campaign flourished with wide support, it was not enough to overcome the dominance explored by the national media and secular brainstorming thoughts. It was the first time the nation witnessed a conflict between Hindu-Muslim ideologies after the Independence. During this epoch, the highly communal troops like RSS burgeoned in the county as bedrock of political thoughts. The Prime Minister realized the mystery behind the campaign highly rooted in the country. The Muslim women (protection of rights on divorce act, 1986) was a spoofed outcome of this realization. Unfortunately, Rajiv Gandhi was roughly alleged as a conspirator of Islamic fundamentalists. The statement of advocate Kaleeshwaram Raj has a remarkable position in justifying the things in the right manner. He said the law provided for the Muslim Women by the Rajiv Gandhi government was extremely alleged in 1986. It was vividly elucidated as a counter attack to the popular verdict of Shah Banu case. The high court afforded 179 rupees per month. But in real, the 1986 act gave her the right to buy lifelong wealth from her husband in terms of Mathaa (money which the husband wants to give to his wife after divorce for her future life. The allegations are unambiguously false and mere.

Now, here is the same matter regenerated through Afreen Rehman. She mainly targeted the talaq-e-bidat method of divorce which she describe completely unfair, wrong and unacceptable. In Islamic jurisprudence there are different views on Three Talaq among the four schools of thought in the Islamic jurisprudence. In the Shafi school, even though the triple Talaq is not prohibited, but it is good to divorce in three times not in a sudden spell. Thus, pronouncing the divorce to a wife in a single step is not a motive factor in Islam. Islamic shaiah aims to avoid the Triple Talaq which was strongly banned by some of the Muslim Scholars. By this system, Islam motivates to retake the wife before the period of Iddha. This view expounds the typical thinking of Islam on happy marriage life.

Holy Quran Says:

And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. And if the latter husband divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon the woman and her former husband for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allah . These are the limits of Allah, which He makes clear to a people who know. (Al Baqarah 228)


This verse deeply expresses Almighty Allahs will to continue the marriage life without any distortions. Islam also order other people else husband to keep away from her at the time of Iddha.

And do not determine to undertake a marriage contract until the decreed period reaches its end. And know that Allah knows what is within you, so beware of Him. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing. (Al Baqarah 235)

Lodge them [in a section] of where you dwell out of your means and do not harm them in order to oppress them. And if they should be pregnant, then spend on them until they give birth. And if they breastfeed for you, then give them their payment and confer among yourselves in the acceptable way; but if you are in discord, then there may breastfeed for the father another woman. (Al Talaq 6)

By this verse Islam ensures complete security to the divorced woman which was not texted in any other heavenly scripts. Even though the Islam bestowed many conditions for Talaq, the religion is continuously questioned. The arguments to do talaq from a Court by scrutinizing the case are the real question on the human right of an individual. The Afreen Rehman discourse is another example emerged from the radical approach to Islam.


Biographical Note: Muhammad Shafeeque is enrolled in a special intensive programme in classical Islamic studies from Madeenathunnoor College of Islamic Science, Kozhikode, Kerala, India. His areas of interest are Quranic science, translation, theology, jurisprudence, and contemporary Islamic thought.

[1] Edward William Lane, selections from Kuran, (London 1982),p-xc

[2] Criminal Appeal No.103-1981-dated April 23 1985

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