Shayara Bano, a 35 years old Muslim woman from Uttarakhand got triple talaq from her husband in 2015. A year later she approached the Supreme Court challenging “triple talaq” and filed a complaint against her husband. How hard it is to believe that a husband can easily leave her wife just by saying the word ‘talaq’ three times! No one except the victim of this cruel practice can feel the pain of getting divorced. The worst part was that they even didn’t get any alimony or compensation.
This is not the story of one Shayara Bano, but thousands of Muslim women who suffered due to instant talaq.
What is Triple Talaq?
Triple talaq was a part of the Islamic religious practice for 1400 years. It is a form of divorce in Islam which allowed any Muslim man to legally divorce his wife by stating the word “talaq” three times in verbal, written or more recently in electronic form. The man didn’t need to explain the cause of the divorce and his wife need not be present at that moment.
A divorced woman can not remarry her divorced husband unless she remarried another man. This practice is called Nikah Halala.
This Islamic divorce practice is banned in 20 Muslim-majority countries including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Afghanistan etc. In India, triple talaq has become the subject of controversy & debate. The protesters raised the issue of justice, gender equality, and secularism.
Some brave women like Shayara Bano, Gulshan Parveen, and others stood against instant talaq and filed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) against it. The Muslim Rashtriya Manch, an affiliated Islamic Organization to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha, started a petition to end the instant talaq practice. In March 2017 over 1 million Indian Muslims signed the petition.
On 13 May 2017, the Supreme Court described ‘triple talaq’ as the “worst form of marriage dissolution.”
Terming as ‘unconstitutional‘ the Supreme Court banned the Islamic practice of instant talaq – ‘triple talaq’ in India. This historic judgment was delivered by 5 judges bench with the majority of 3:2. The Judges said that the instant talaq practice was not protected by Article 25 (freedom of religion) of the Constitution.