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Muslims only follow Shariat and Quran: Samajwadi Party MP ST Hasan reacts to Assam govt repealing Muslim Marriage and Divorces Act

ST Hasan stated, "There is no need to highlight this so much. Muslims will follow the Shariat and the Quran. They (the government) may draft as many Acts as they want.

On 24th February, controversial Samajwadi Party MP Dr Syed Tufail (ST) Hasan declared that Muslims will only adhere to the Sharia Law and the Quran, in response to the Assam government’s approval to abolish the Assam Muslim Marriages and Divorces Registration Act of 1935.

He stated, “There is no need to highlight this so much. Muslims will follow the Shariat and the Quran. They (the government) may draft as many Acts as they want. New laws keep on forming every day. Will they ask the Muslims not to do a Nikaah (Islamic ceremony) and marry according to some other tradition? Will they ask Hindus to bury their dead instead of cremating them? Every religion has its own rituals. They have been observed for thousands of years now. They will continue to be followed. Their laws don’t make any difference. Is Triple Talaq removed (after the Triple Talaq Act)? However, there has been a rise in the law’s abuse.”

On 29th January, ST Hasan announced that he would prefer the Quran over the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Additionally, he spoke against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and claimed that the latter is unacceptable and would face opposition as it is an initial step toward enacting NRC. He highlighted, “If UCC has different laws from Quran and Hadis we will not accept it. We are followers of the Quran and Hadis. We will go to any extent if our religion is attacked.”

Furthermore, the move by Assam’s government also faced criticism from Congress leader Abdur Rashid Mandal, who labelled it as discriminatory. He accused the government of attempting to polarize Hindu voters ahead of the elections by allegedly targetting targeting Muslim communities. He stated, “I have not gone through the details of this repealing. Overall it is a discriminatory decision of the cabinet of Assam because the government was talking about the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and banning polygamy but they failed to do so (bringing the UCC and banning polygamy) for unknown reasons.”

He added, “Just before the election, they’re trying to polarise the Hindu voters in favour of Bharatiya Janata Party by depriving and discriminating Muslims in some fields like repealing this act saying that this is a pre-independence act and citing child marriage which is not a fact. This is the only mechanism to register the marriages of Muslims and there is no other scope or institution and it is also as per the constitution of India. It is the personal law of the Muslim that can’t be repealed. I’ll discuss it with the leaders of my party and my party will speak about it.”

Hafiz Rafiqul Islam, a member of the All India United Democratic Front, questioned the Assam government’s commitment to enact the Uniform Civil Code and charged the administration with exploiting the repeal as a political ploy. He claimed that the Assam government lacked the will to implement a UCC, particularly because of the state’s heterogeneous religious and cultural composition.

He accused, “This Government doesn’t have the courage to bring UCC. They can’t do it. What they brought in Uttarakhand, is not UCC either. They were trying to bring UCC to Assam too. But I think they can’t bring it to Assam because there are people from several castes and communities here. BJP followers themselves follow those practices here. Elections are approaching, this is just their tactic to target Muslims. So, they couldn’t bring any Bill on polygamy or UCC in Assam. So, they are repealing the Assam Muslim Marriages & Divorces Registration Act. Assam cabinet doesn’t have the right to repeal or amend a constitutional right.”

The aforementioned law was repealed by the BJP government on 23rd February as it erased the legal foundation for child marriage within the state’s Muslim minority. The development was confirmed by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on 24th February in a tweet which read, “On 23.22024, the Assam cabinet made a significant decision to repeal the age-old Assam Muslim Marriages & Divorces Registration Act. This act contained provisions allowing marriage registration even if the bride and groom had not reached the legal ages of 18 and 21, as required by law. This move marks another significant step towards prohibiting child marriages in Assam.”

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