Politics has often meddled in religious affairs only to make things worse. During an era where people love their automobiles and pet dogs more than their spouses, any religious values, not only Islamic, would go for a toss. Politics plays a major role in the crushing defeat of religious values for its own gains. If the creation of religion is considered as a major success of politics, then its ability to keep it divisive for aeons would be the hallmark of its success. Anyhow, for once, politics has stepped into the religious realm with a purpose of serving a better cause: The Triple Talaq debate in Islam.
Divorce in Islamic Sharia is one of the most debated topics among its scholars and is also one of the least attractive topics that anyone in a harmonious wedlock would love to talk about. But unfortunately not every wedlock is harmonious and the emergence of invigorated female fraternity is questioning the perceived male chauvinistic ideals that Islam grants to its men in the matter of divorce.
The debate has a circuitous nature connecting the law and the people involved. If you carefully analyze the talaq procedure, you would find it working fine for men and women. It was created when people were even-headed and judicious. Today, people are hasty, headlong and harefooted, that makes the law controversial. A marriage relationship cannot be ended in matter of seconds by saying the word ‘talaq’ thrice. If Islamic scholars advise so, then it is better to overhaul the law because Islam treats married relationships sacred and doesn’t allow its breakage spontaneously. Let us change or end the law for what men and women have become.
To dig deeper, it is important to understand a few details about how divorce works within the religion’s legitimate boundaries. There is a clear disconnect between what is recommended by Islam and what is being thought of divorce in Islam. Talaq is an option given to men in a nuptial bond that they should never think of saying it under normal circumstances but only be aware of it as an exit that can be used when the going gets real tough.
A married relationship is sacrosanct like in any other religion and that bondage of love and mercy cannot be treated paltry and broken for petty issues. Even though, talaq is legitimate in Islam, it is considered as the most unpleasant thing that is permissible in Sharia. On another note, the procedure of Talaq in Islam is not outrightly outrageous at women when followed strictly. Islam offers it as the final resort to end a relationship not the first step when the husband finds little sugar in the tea prepared by his wife.
When there are tough times between a couple they are asked to sort it out within themselves by communicating to each other. If it doesn’t work, the next step is to reach out to their close friends or relatives and ask for suggestions what needs to be done. While doing so, both the man and woman are not allowed to complain about their spouses but to get suggestions to save the marriage. The next step is each of the couple approaching a learned man and discuss the issues to find a way out to avoid a divorce. If all these steps do not work, then the man can initiate the process of divorce by pronouncing the word talaq. But there are conditions.
A man cannot pronounce the word ‘talaq’ once or a even a hundred times when his woman is in her period of menstruation and if pronounced it is invalid. The relation between a man and a woman is not so intimate during this period and hence there are more chances they get frustrated at each other. Hence, in this period, talaq when pronounced is illegitimate.
After giving the first talaq, the man and woman are required to live under the same roof until the woman completes three menstrual cycles (this period is called iddah). If there is any physical relationship during these three months, the divorce automatically stands null. This is indeed a trick tailored in the law understanding the nature of carnal needs of men. If the hatred amongst the couple is real, then they should prove it by being together for three months without any physical relationship. After three months, the relationship can be revived if in the interests of both the parties. There are three such divorces that can be given by a man and after the third talaq, he can remarry the woman only after she is divorced after a remarriage by another man. Thus the divorce cycle through talaq is considerably long so that it get quashed eventually saving the marriage.
One of the primary questions of the modern day thinkers is why Islam offers the right to initiate a verbally pronounced divorce to a male and not to a female? In olden days, women are considered emotionally weak and they break down easily for trivial things, whereas on the other hand, men are expected to be strong and thoughtful. There are no such differences in modern lifestyle and hence the law may need some changes. It would be more apt to blame the people that follow the law than blaming the law itself.
Islam does offer the women her right to initiate a divorce but not the verbally pronounced one, like ‘talaq’. Through ‘Khul’a’, a woman can approach a council demanding divorce from her husband, if he is not willing to grant one.
Does the law need a change or overhaul?
Bear in mind religious ideals are based on logics and the question is how much we agree to those logics in this furiously fact-driven world. There are still hundreds of people that have faith in their religion and it would be unfair to demoralize their beliefs by overhauling the law. But a legal procedure should be made mandatory after three divorces are given by the man. Similarly a legally bound divorce procedure after a first talaq would give some time for the couple to think and reconcile. Political decisions can help religious laws work better.
Is birth certificate a mandate in Islam? But, people do get their children’s’ birth certificates as it would benefit them. A legal decision makes procedures smoother for modern day divorces than complicating things with single or triple talaq. Islam also expects a divorce to be a smoother one as it mandates the man to give the woman a parting gift. Thus, you pronounce or do not pronounce talaq, a legal divorce can ease the complexities involved.
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