Sparking a Conversation: Triple Talaq

In our next video in the ‘Sparking A Conversation’ series, Ali Khan Mahmudabad discusses the highly controversial issue of Triple Talaq in the Muslim community. Despite no theological or jurisprudential backing, the practice of men uttering the word divorce thrice has become commonplace in certain sections of Muslim society, placing the prerogative of divorce on the husband. However, Khan argues that the onus of removing such a law lies not with the judiciary alone, but with the members of the community as well. Should leaders of the Muslim sects who allow such practices be involved in deciding the fate of Triple Talaq? Or would an independent third party such as the Supreme Court be the best judge of the effects of the practice, and hence choose whether or not it should be outlawed?

If one were to read Quran carefully, the practice of Triple Talaq is not explicitly mentioned. While the concept of divorce is touched upon, reconciliation is always emphasized, with the Prophet himself frowning on the utterance of the word divorce more than once, in¬†chapter 2: verse 230. Despite this, some scholars have interpreted the word ‘Talaqaaha’ from the same chapter and verse as the third and final utterance, giving rise to the concept of ‘Triple Talaq’. Since then, several countries have disallowed the practice, including Pakistan and Egypt. In India, however, the practice continues to exist, with some claiming that it is kept in law to use against the Muslim community. The removal of the practice by law, however, may not solve the issue, as Khan argues. To truly reform the Muslim community, such a change in traditions must stem organically from within the people, as was done in the twenty other countries where the practice was banned using legislation. The main aim of having an organic transition is to minimize the political motivations which influence such a decision as well as retain both the religious and legislative sanctity of Muslim traditions.


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