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Instant talaq banned in many Islamic countries: NCW

December 12, 2004 15:45 IST

Seeking divorce by uttering the word talaq thrice at one go is banned by law in many Islamic countries, including neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh.

As the country debates misuse of 'instant triple talaq' and cases of divorce through telephone and even email have emerged, the National Commission for Women has brought out a handbook enlisting the progressive personal laws practised in various Islamic countries.

The handbook 'Welfare of Muslim Women' aims at creating awareness among Muslim women in India about their legal and constitutional rights and the changes introduced by various Islamic countries in the Shariat.

Divorce by pronouncing talaq thrice at one go is prohibited in several Islamic nations, including Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the book compiled by NCW member Nafisa Hussain says.

In fact, the practice was banned in Pakistan way back in 1961, when family law ordinance was promulgated making registration of all marriages compulsory and making it mandatory for a couple to go through a reconciliatory process under the supervision of a government official before seeking divorce as a last resort.

Divorce can be sought only after the reconciliatory efforts fail, in the form of a written announcement and uttering the word talaq thrice is not sufficient in Pakistan.

"The main problem is lack of awareness among Muslim women. While in other countries, women have taken the initiative and raised voice against the practice of giving divorce by simply saying talaq thrice, Muslim women in India have not shown the same kind of activism on the issue," NCW member Hussain said.

"The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, from time to time, expresses concern over the practice and says it wants to take steps in this regard. But everytime, there is some or the other roadblock and nothing happens," Hussain said.

The NCW has even planned to approach the Supreme Court to seek directives on triple talaq in the context of a Muslim couple in Orissa wishing to continue their marriage after the husband uttered talaq thrice in a drunken state.

Meanwhile, on the issue of polygamy, the book informs that while Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Indonesia, Iraq and Pakistan have put in place strict judicial and administrative regulations on it, the practice is banned in Malaysia and Brunei.

Further, while in many Islamic countries, it is the right of a divorced woman to get maintenance money from her husband, in India, she has to depend on the Wakf Board for sustenance allowance.

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