New Delhi, June 30: After triple talaq, the government is now planning to support Muslim women in the matters of Nikah-Halala and polygamy being declared as unconstitutional. Muslim women have been fighting against this humiliating practice from the court to street for justice. They claim to have succeeded in some cases and will succeed against this inhuman practice as well.
Sources in the minority ministry informed that the government would extend all possible support to petitioners when the matter comes up for hearing in the Supreme Court. The SC agreed to hear this petition recently. Nikah-Halala is a controversial practice to be observed compulsory by Muslim women which forbids divorced women from remarrying until the woman marries someone else, consummates her new marriage and gets divorced or widowed.
Khatoon Sheikh of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) told One India that this was a very humiliating practice. "We have been fighting for the cause of Muslim women since 1995. We have partially succeeded in the matter of triple talaq and even in the matter of entering into sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali Dargah. We took the matter of Nikal-Halala in the court," Khatoon Sheikh said.
She said, "We consulted Qazis on the issue of Nikah Halala but they are not ready to relent on the other hand they are ready to provide men for Halala in lieu of money, this is the extent of exploitation and humiliation."
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National Commission for Minorities chairman Ghairul Hasan Rizvi told One India that such practices must be banned. "I have not seen the report as yet but the government will not go to the court against it. However, I will be able to comment more only after seeing the details of it."
But Islamic scholar Mufti and Qazi Afroz Aalam Qasmi told One India, "This is not a religious practice. Nikah-Halala is not permitted in Islam rather it is sinful as per Islam. There is an unanimity on the issue from all across the sects of Islam. It must be stopped immediately as it violates religious norms and a wrong practice as many other religions too have."
Qasmi said that the government must be welcomed if it wants to end Nikah-Halala. It is not part of Islamic law. The practice has been slammed by women activists too who called it retrograde and anti-women.
The Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and the law ministry directing the government to respond to the plea seeking to declare the provisions of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) which validate the practice of polygamy and Nikah-Halala as unconstitutional. The Centre is getting ready to put forth its stand by backing the petitions challenging the two practices.
The BMMA activist said, "My organisation is seeking a comprehensive law regulating all aspects of marriage and family by a Quranic-based law that complies with the Constitution too. We want Halala to be a criminal offence and polygamy to be illegal. We believe the Quran doesn't permit polygamy in today's context."