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Published in the 16-31 Jan 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

AIMPLB clears model nikahnama

Lucknow: The executive committee of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) ratified the model nikahnama with some amendments in the original draft on December 25 here. The executive committee meeting urged Muslims to avoid the practice of triple talaq.

The nikahnama would be circulated after it is approved by the board’s general body meeting sometime early next year. The Muslim wife’s right to seek separation from her husband has been dropped.

AIMPLB assistant general secretary, Abdur Raheem Qureshi told the media that it was not proper to ban the practice of triple talaq or to impose rules of a particular school of thought upon the whole community.

He added that the model nikahnama would curb the growing incidence of talaq. The nikahnama would be publicised widely. Social evils could be checked through increasing awareness and not legislation. He cited the failure of laws in prohibiting child marriages and untouchability in the country.

The nikahnama has been divided into three parts and contains information about couples and their age, permission of their guardians in case they are minor, and the witnesses. It has details about mahr (dower).

The nikahnama furnishes guidelines for prospective couples, details about their relationship, obligations and duties, besides advising them how to settle matrimonial disputes. AR Qureshi said that nikahnama asks couples to carry out their obligations in accordance with the Shariat. In case of a dispute, efforts should be made to settle it by the elders of the two families and if it persists it should be referred to the Shariat panchayat or local ulama whose decision should be accepted by both the parties.
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