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Thursday, February 15, 2024

The question of triple Talaq: What does Council of Islamic Ideology say? 

Efforts are being made to introduce new laws to determine the procedures of divorce. However, this should be done while ensuring that no social disruption takes place

The controversial question of divorce is going to be settled once for all. In the latest move, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has recommended that the act of triple talaq (or instant divorce) should be deemed a punishable crime. The discussion is going on to determine legal parameters for new legislation which may ensure social stability without causing cultural chaos.

Replying to a question by Member of National Assembly (MNA) Bashir Virk, CII authorities informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice that the divorce takes place when the word for it, talaq, is uttered thrice in one breath – even if it has been done in jest. Now the confusion concerned the concept of talaq has been lessened.

There has been considerable debate as to what talaq is and how does it take place. Contrary and contradictory statements have been at the surface involving clerics from different sects. It deemed it important to set the criteria to determine its meanings and scope.

Law minister warned that making triple talaq a punishable crime would open other means for police to demand bribes

Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem said that there was precedence in the Islamic history of such an act being punished by the state, saying that the second caliph of Islam, Hazrat Umar (RA), had punished those who performed the act of instant divorce. “Therefore, the NA can make laws to make this action a punishable crime,” he said. Endorsing the law minister, CII Chairman Dr. Qibla Ayaz said triple talaq should be made punishable in Fiqah Hanafi.

When inquired about the punishment, Ayaz said that the CII had not determined that as yet. “If the ministry of law agrees to our suggestion to make it a punishable offense, the punishment can also be determined.”

Read more: Triple Talaq Bill: India’s New Legal Tool to Discriminate against Muslim Men?

Interestingly, the law minister warned that making triple talaq a punishable crime would open other means for police to demand bribes. “If divorce is not a crime, then such legislation should be avoided,” he said. “But if there is a precedence of the righteous Caliph, then we are bound to follow it as well,” he added.

The committee deferred the discussion on the bill about divorce as well as that on inheritance till the next meeting. During the meeting, committee chairman Riaz Fatyana expressed displeasure with the ministries which had failed to provide the details of the more than 750 laws sought by the committee. He suggested that four or five relevant officials be called in to inquire why the required information had not been provided so far.

The committee is expected continue the debate on the subject and offer final word to the government.