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Imrana's fate should not be decided by ancient law, says Islamic law expert
June 28, 2005 17:05 IST
Criticising the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband's edict that Imrana, a woman who was allegedly raped by her father-in-law in Muzaffarnagar, cannot live with her husband, Islamic law expert Tahir Mahmood on Tuesday said the woman's fate cannot be decided by 'ancient juristic wisdom'.
"That a woman subjected to sexual indignity by any of her husband's ascendants or descendants becomes haram (prohibited) for him was a rule of worldly wisdom evolved by some religious jurists of Arabia over a 1,000 years ago," Mahmood, who is Member of the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, said in a statement.
He said the rule, pronounced in a society where almost instant remarriage of divorced women was the order of the day, was a pro-women norm enabling the wives outraged by sexual misbehaviour of their male in-laws to walk out of their marital bond and seek a new life elsewhere.
"In a country like India, where Islamic law is only selectively applicable under the authority of its own law, the rule need not be strictly imposed on an innocent and unwilling couple desirous of continuing in marriage," Mahmood said.
The Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband passed the edict that Imrana cannot be allowed to live with her husband any longer, which has been supported by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.