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Islam, Women and Feminism (17 May 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Triple Talaq: There Are Lies, Damn Lies, and Then the AIMPLB’s Claims

By Sheeba Aslam Fehmi

16 May 2017

The historic fast track special hearing in the Supreme Court on instant triple Talaq – as practiced amongst Sunni Muslims in India – has already exposed the double standard and irrational audacity of the Muslim clergy that is being represented by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). That the instant triple Talaq is not one of fundamentals of the faith and without it being in practice, the lives of the Muslim believers shall be no less meaningful, is the moot point on which the entire case turns.

I have a premonition here; the moment things will start falling in place in court, the board is going to put forward its decades-old defence that “any interference in the Shariat (as prescribed by the board) will not be tolerated”. Though times have changed, the herd mentality through which they have been exercising their sway on the mostly uneducated Sunni masses have made them experts in arm-twisting the state machinery through successive governments at the Centre.

As far as this particular dare of the board is concerned, let me remind both the government and the Supreme Court that in all the translations or interpretations of the Holy Quran, approved and accepted by the board or any other renowned seminary in India, the mullahs have conclusively declared that the Quran permits a husband to beat his wife in case she is disobedient. Their creative translation of Sura 4:34 is this:

Husbands should take full care of their wives; with [the bounties] God has given to some more than others and with what they spend out of their own money. Righteous wives are devout and guard what God would have them guard in the husbands’ absence. If you fear high-handedness from your wives, remind them [of the teaching of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, then hit them. If they obey you, you have no right to act against them. God is most high and great.

Beyond doubt this is a matter between husband and wife and therefore Shariat is applicable here. Nevertheless, when the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 came into being, no Maulana had the guts to ask the government to exempt Muslim women from the security of this law.

Here, it is pertinent to state that globally, Islamic feminists do not translate or interpret the line from the above mentioned Sura as ‘then hit them’; on the contrary, the preferred translation is:

‘As for women you feel are averse, talk to them suasively; then leave them alone in bed (without molesting them) and go to bed with them (when they are willing).

It is pertinent to remember here that the same AIMPLB has been audaciously demanding an amendment to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act to exempt Muslim girls from it. Under the Shariat Application Act, marriage is one subject where the Sharia should be applicable, as per the board. Clearly, the board is in favour of child marriages, which may also be termed as forced marriages of minors. The board has not given up this demand yet but has been keeping mum on the ‘right’ of Muslim husbands to beat their wives – again a ‘personal matter’ within the four walls of the home.

The board and the obscurantist patriarchy of the community in India have been choosing their mitigable issues very carefully. There is no resistance to secular legal measures curbing anything that is in-your-face oppression of women – the beating of wives is clearly too unpalatable to be brought on board – but the tools of systemic oppression are adhered to.

Thus while (a) the possibility of a girl child fully realising her full capabilities through education, professional training and maturing of personality may be stunted through child marriage, (b) the terror tool of instant triple Talaq must continue as a measure to achieve total submission of wife before husband and (c) the fear of husband-sharing due to unrestrictive polygamy may continue – all in violation of the Quran – the ‘right’ of a husband to beat his wife, which the AIMPLB actually brings on record in all the interpretative literature it publishes and circulates, is not pressed.

If  a suggestion of wife-beating from the Quran can be taken away by the law of the land, then surely a mere ‘practice’ that is neither approved by the Quran nor is part of Sunnah, or the Prophetic tradition, may also be banned, without causing any harm to the fundamentals of the religion.

It’s over to you now, dear judges of the Supreme Court.


Sheeba Aslam Fehmi is an Islamic feminist writer, journalist and activist.

Source: thewire.in/136062/triple-talaq-lies-damn-lies-claims-india-muslim-personal-law-board/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/sheeba-aslam-fehmi/triple-talaq--there-are-lies,-damn-lies,-and-then-the-aimplb’s-claims/d/111176


  • What about the wife beating the husband which is as common as the husband beating the wife in all cultures? What is described as Common Couple Violence is by definition common and an effective process for conflict resolution which is what is allowed by the Quran. This is neither necessary nor mandatory but an option to be used when such a course of action can save the marriage. Clearly not to be used if this is unacceptable to the other person in which case the husband can proceed to the next step of divorce directly without resorting to beating. The use of minor violence is to indicate that the threshold of tolerance has been crossed when verbal persuasion fails. Most women would prefer a minor beating to set right the relationship to divorce and those who do not, can put their foot down. Let not the firebrand feminists decide for all women to their detriment.

    What should be criminalized is type 2 violence or violence emanating from patriarchal attitudes where violence is resorted to for its own sake to keep the spouse in a state of submission at all times. It is the systematic practice of violence as a means to control behaviour that must be criminalized and not CCV.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/17/2017 11:14:00 PM


    As a Muslim I am ashamed to note that AIMPLB board insists on keeping the provision of wife-beating in the law. The word ‘daraba’ in the verse 4:34 which is quoted to legitimize wife-beating has a wide range of meaning. In the context of this verse as rendered below (copied from my duly authenticated exegetic work), it can at best mean a symmbic gesture of beating as advocated by al-Tabari and al-Shafi’i:

    “Men are the supporters (qawwamah) of (their) wives because God has favored each of them in different measures and because of what they spend (for them) of their wealth. The righteous women are devout and guard the unseen that God would have them guard. As for those (women), of whom you fear extramarital perversity, counsel them, leave them (alone) in their beds and assert on them (wadribuhunna); but if they listen to you, do not seek a way against them. (Remember,) God is Sublime, Great” (4:34). [Essential Message of Islam, Ch. 33.4]

     The Prophet detested the idea of beating one’s wife and is reported to have said: “Never beat God’s handmaidens.” The English language does not have any suitable word for the symbolic gesture of beating to fit the context of the above verse.


    Hence, by Law, wife-beating, which practically means, beating up, should be delared illegal – albeit with a clear definition of ‘beating’

    By muhammd yunus - 5/17/2017 4:23:24 PM

  • AIMPLB's opposition to setting 18 years as the minimum age for a girl to marry is inexcusable.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 5/17/2017 12:59:34 PM

  • Very reassuring to see a lady joining the pen-war against AIMPLB whose insistence to retain the instant triple tallaq reflects gender terrorism and treason against Islam as expounded in my following article:

    AIMPLB Advocates of instant Triple tallaq are Gender Terrorists and Traitors of Islam and may be sued for human rights violation under cover of religion.


    By muhammd yunus - 5/17/2017 6:50:56 AM

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