Clerics must make progressive rules for Muslim communities

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Muslim students
In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Sharia courts runs by clerics have no legal sanctity. The Court basically highlighted two important points one faith cannot be used as dehumanising force and second an informal adjudication mechanism is not allowed to infringe on the Fundamental Rights of citizens. "We observe that no Dar-ul-Qazas or for that matter, anybody or institution by any name, shall give verdict or issue Fatwa touching upon the rights, status and obligation, of an individual unless such an individual has asked for it," Court ruled.

The apex court has given this judgement in response to a 2005 petition, which raised question about the Constitutional validity of such parallel courts. The Supreme Court in 2011 even had termed Khap panchayats as kangaroo courts and declared them illegal.

Clerics must make communities progressive lot not regressive one

On the matter of Dar-ul-Qaza or practice of issuing Fatwa, the court said that it is the informal justice system which is adopted to amicably solve the conflict and it solely depends upon particular person whether to accept it or ignore it. One can't be forced to follow it. "Fatwa does not have a force of law and, therefore, cannot be enforced by any process using coercive method. Any person trying to enforce that by any method shall be illegal and has to be dealt with in accordance with law," the apex court said.

Irrational Fatwas
If we flip through some of the obnoxious fatwas and rulings by these so called Guardians of Muslim society, we will understand why court has given this ground breaking judgement. Like one issued by Dar-ul-Uloom of Deoband sometime back, which ruled that a Muslim woman had to marry her father-in-law after he raped her. Then another illogical one is Muslim must wear veil in office and should not talk to their male colleagues in office. Most irrational one is Muslim talaq which can be declared even on phone. A Muslim man can declare his talaq on phone by uttering the word thrice irrespective of the fact that a girl might have not heard it because of some reasons. There are so many of it which force one to think that why not Muslim society rise from this petty issues and concentrate larger issue like their education socio-economic status and overall growth and development of the communities. Not even a single ruling of these clerics has ever said that education is mandatory for Muslim girls.

Religion versus Law
Question here is why a large number of people in our country go by what Dharmgurus say on particular conflicting issues and this is the case in every religion. In Hindu it is the priests, clerics in Muslims and popes in Christians. Talking about Hindu religion, i have heard so many people saying, so and so is the statement of village priest and that is sanctimonious, we can't defy it. Rules and regulations are for the betterment of people and if it's not qualify on that parameter it mustn't be followed and agreed upon.

The Supreme Court ruling also bring to fore a wrestling relation between religion and law. The 1985 Shah Bano case is the best example of it. The apex court in its ruling had ordered to give alimony to Muslim woman who was mother of five children. But because of shallow politics of Congress government it was not implemented. Rajiv Gandhi who was then Prime Minister, reversed this progressive judgment after caving in under the pressure of orthodox Muslim leaders.

Time has come the Muslim personal laws also be reformed like Hindu personal laws. Although resistance is bound to take place but if that will be for the larger benefit of the communities then that must be adopted. The Court has given them food for thought to ponder upon. Now, the onus is on them, whether they want a progressive society or regressive one.

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