Pakistan’s Council for Islamic Ideology has recommended that the practice of Triple Talaq should be made a punishable crime.
As per a report in The Tribune, Pakistan’s CII has recently replied to a question by Member of National Assembly Bashir Virk, stating that under certain practices in Islamic societies, a divorce takes place when the word ‘Talaq’ is uttered thrice in ‘one breath’, even in jest.
Pakistan’s federal law minister Faroq Naseem had interjected that there have been instances in Islamic history where such acts of instant Talaq have been punished by Islamic Law. The present law minister of present-day Pakistan, then, cited that the second caliph of Islam, Hazrat Umar(584 AD -644 AD), had punished those who had practised instant Talaq. He then stated that the NA should make Triple Talaq a punishable crime.
Supporting the law minister the chairman of the CII, Dr Qibla Ayaz then stated that the practice of instant Talaq should be made punishable under ‘Fiqah Hanafi’. Ayaz also added that the CII is yet to decide what should be the punishment for Triple Talaq.
The Council of Islamic Ideology is a constitutional body in Pakistan which gives legal advice to the government on issues of Islam and religious practices.
It is notable here that the practice of Triple Talaq is banned in several Islamic countries, including Pakistan. In Pakistan, it was banned in 1961, under the Muslim Family Law Ordinance.
Recently, the Indian government had, in a bold and decisive move, banned Triple Talaq and made it a punishable offence after passing the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 earlier this year.
However, a significant section of opposition parties, many ’eminent intellectuals’ and so-called ‘secular liberals’ had opposed the government’s move, stating that the ‘Hindu Nationalist’ government is planning to punish Muslim men through this legislation. Their hollow argument was, sending the Muslim husband to jail will make it difficult for the divorced woman and her children to get maintenance. They had no explanation on how a Muslim woman is supposed to maintain herself and her children when her husband had the power to throw her away from her house after just uttering ‘Talaq’ thrice.
The fact that even an Islamic country like Pakistan is considering making the practice of Triple Talaq a punishable offence shows that just ‘banning’ does not end regressive practices. Most often, strong legislation and the fear of punishment under the law is needed for a practice to be shunned by people.