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'Unislamic, draconian': Free Muslim women of talaq-e-hasan clutches too, says plea to SC

By Our Representative 

Considered close to the BJP-RSS dispensation, Firoz Bakht Ahmed, formerly chancellor of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University and grandnephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has approached the Supreme Court for a ban on talaq-e-hasan, a form of divorce by which a Muslim man can divorce his wife by pronouncing talaq once every month over a three-month period. He insisted, the perpetrators of this form of talaq should be jailed for 10-years.
Calling the practice of talaq-e-hasan or talaq-e-husna "void and unconstitutional", Ahmed cited a petition filed by Benazeer Heena, a journalist, before the Apex Court, stating that the curse is similar to triple talaq, "cured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi", though regretting, the bane of talaq-e-hasan continues to "haunt and horrify Muslim women."
In an email alert to Counterview, Ahmed, who approached the Supreme Court through his counsel Atulesh Kumar, said, "The only difference between triple talaq and talaq-e-hasan is the gap of three months, whereas triple talaq is given in one sitting... It is high time that Muslim women come out of the clutches of this draconian practice."
Seeking directions from the court to the Union of India to frame guidelines for uniform grounds and procedures for divorce for all citizens, Ahmed claimed, "Talaq-e-hasan and other forms of unilateral extra judicial talaq are an evil plague similar to 'sati'... Many poor women in Muslim society are leading a pathetic and pitiable life owing to the practice." Hence there should be "complete ban on talaq-e-hasan and other forms of unilateral extra-judicial talaqs."
Even though Benazeer filed her case with the Apex Court soon after receiving her first divorce notice in May this year, after which she was got second the third notices, regreted Ahmed, the court appeared to believe there is "no urgency in the matter".
First, she was declined the request and asked her to make an application before the registrar instead. On receiving her final notice of talaq, the court did list the matter, but told her counsel, Anand, to seek instruction from the petitioner, Benazeer, whether she was open to divorce by mutual consent if "meher" was taken care of.
Claiming that talaq in Islam is "the most heinous and horrendous act/ crime in the eyes of Allah", Ahmed cites the case of Sahaba, a follower of Prophet Muhammad, who approached Him to divorce his wife. The Prophet asked him the reason. Sahaba made many complaints against his wife. The Prophet then asked him if his wife just had any one good quality. Sahaba, a truthful man, responded that she did have a good quality.
At that point, the Prophet advised the Sahaba, “Look here, if your wife has 99 (ninety nine) negative qualities but just one good quality, shun thinking about divorcing her and spend the rest of your life with her just focusing on that single good quality and treat her as your dutiful wife as Allah considers the sin of divorce to be one of the most pugnacious, unpalatable and unpleasant among all sons committed by humans."
Based on this anecdote, Bhakht said, all forms of unilateral extra-judicial talaqs, including talaq-e-hasan/ talaq-e-husna, are void and unconstitutional, are arbitrary and irrational sans compassion. They also lack concern for Articles 14, 15, 21 & 25 of the Constitution of India. The court to the Union of India should frame guidelines for gender neutral, religion neutral, uniform grounds for divorce and its procedure for all citizens, he added.

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