'We need to change the attitude of Muslims.'
'Muslim youngsters have to be taught not to misuse triple talaq.'
The Supreme Court on May 11 began a historic hearing on a clutch of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the practice of triple talaq, polygamy and nikah halala among Muslims.
The court has so far ruled out scrutiny on polygamy, and said it would first determine whether the practice is fundamental to Islam.
In the run-up to this hearing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met a delegation of Muslim clerics led by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, telling them that the issue of triple talaq should not be politicised and urged Muslim leaders to initiate reform within the community.
Rediff.com's Syed Firdaus Ashraf spoke to Maulana Mahmood Madani, leader of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind and a member of the All India Muslim Personal Board, on how the community views the ongoing debate.
What does Islam say on triple talaq?
Read the Quran and the Hadith (Prophet Mohammed's sayings).
Sunni Muslims all over the world follow four schools of thought: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali.
All of them say triple talaq is allowed, but yes, it is wrong.
The real issue is that people are misusing triple talaq.
Triple talaq is banned even in countries where Islam is the State religion.
These countries you are talking about are fighting terrorism. Have you asked why? Have you ever thought about this?
India is not a Muslim country. It is ruled by non-Muslims and still Indian Muslims are not involved in terrorism.
They have never joined ISIS or Al Qaeda because they love their religion.
But with this case, you will push him away from religion.
These countries which have banned triple talaq, use religion for their own political gain.
In India, our religion is our life. We do not use religion in politics.
I am talking about women's rights.
Islam has given 14 different types of rights to women -- more than any other religion.
It is true that some people are misusing triple talaq.
I oppose any move where a woman is thrown out of her house by giving triple talaq, but I want to ask a counter question: Is the percentile of divorce among Indian Muslim men higher than in other religions?
If the answer is yes, I am ready to sacrifice my head.
You met Prime Minister Modi on triple talaq. What did he say?
The prime minister told us there should be no politics on triple talaq. We welcomed it.
He said the Muslim community must solve this problem on its own.
He told us the government cannot do much until we (the Muslim community) change things.
We told him we were happy with his suggestions and told him that he should then take a step back (on triple talaq) and so must the courts.
We will tell Muslims that they must not give triple talaq at any cost. We will stop nikaahs (Muslim marriage) and tell couples to first know their rights in Islam before they get married.
Only when they familiarise themselves with their rights will they get a marriage certificate.
But we don't want the government to interfere in this issue.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case on triple talaq.
It's a sub judice matter, so let me not comment on it. Wait for the judgment to come.
The Muslim community is divided over the issue, with 50 per cent saying triple talaq is not legal.
Neither I, nor anyone else, have the power or the right to change what is written in the Quran.
Allah doesn't need us; we need Allah. People are free to not follow the Quran.
It is also wrong to say 50 per cent oppose triple talaq.
There are only a few Muslims who believe that triple talaq is wrong because women's rights are impinged upon.
But we cannot change the Quran just because some angry, crazy person has given triple talaq.
Even in countries which have banned triple talaq, the reality on the ground is different from the law.
In India, too, the court has ruled on 11 cases of triple talaq. Do you think the couple will start living together after the judgment?
If a devout Muslim woman is divorced by her husband and she still continues to live with him and has a child with him, that child will then be a bastard.
No Muslim woman will want to stay with such a man.
People believe triple talaq is an outdated practice.
It doesn't matter what people say or believe. I feel triple talaq is the best and right way for divorce.
I believe there is no need to change the system of triple talaq.
Yes, we need to change the attitude of Muslims.
Muslim youngsters have to be taught not to misuse triple talaq.
There are ways to improvise on all matters.
For instance, they can sign an agreement before marriage that two senior people in the family will have a say in the divorce procedure.
This agreement can be a part of the nikaah-nama (marriage contract).
There were even reports that Muslim women were reciting the Hanuman Chalisa praying for deliverance against triple talaq.
I do not know if these women (reading the Hanuman Chalisa) are in fact Muslim, or if they belong to another community.
If someone is fed up of Islam and does not want to believe in Allah, I can only pray that He should show them the right path.
Kindly note: Main image published only for representational purposes.