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All righs are available to women in Islam

New Delhi: In an atmosphere of differences opinion on triple talaq, Muslim women associated with different groups and sects claimed at a press conference at Press Club of India here on 27 October that 10 crore Muslim women of India fully support Muslim Personal law and are opposed to any kind of inerfernce in it. Ms. Asma Zahra (from Hderabad), Mamdooha (from Delhi) and Atiya (of Jamat-e Islami) said at the press conference, while accusing those who pay only lip service and express only verbal sympathy with Muslim women and are becoming victims of national and international conspiracy on the pretext of equality and uniform civil code, said that the ratio of divorce and more than one marriage or polygamy is minimum among Muslims but propaganda on such a large scale is being made as if Muslim men have no other work or agenda except divorce or marrying more than once.

These women, while emphasising the point that the rights and protection Islamic Shariat has granted to women have not been given by any other religion, told those who talk of women’s rights that if they are really sincere (in what they say and claim) to them, they should take practical steps in ensuring their proportionate representation in courts, educational institutions, armed forces and other important research and analytical centres and institutions. Describing Islamic concept of marriage as unique, these women said that nikah is such an agreement (or contract) before implementing and executing which a woman has full right to make worthwhile change/s in it. As regards right of inheritance, in this also there is no discrimination between man and woman. Rates of foeticide of girls¸ abortion and polygamy also are very low in Muslims, they said.

These women said that Muslim women are fully satisfied and support Shariat laws and commands (concerning marriage, divorce, khula’, annulmemnt of marriage, inheritance) and do not want any kind of change in these. They also said that the objective of the questionnaire issued by the Law Commission appears to be in all likelihood a pointer to introduction of uniform civil code which all of them refuse to accept and they all are with Muslim Personal Law Board. It was also stated in this press conference that more than 97% Muslim women are leading a happy conjugal life and that in case of irreconcilate dispute, Islam has kept the door of separation open and that the laws of divorce are very easy. In other religions, for divorce one has to go to court and it takes six to eight years for getting divorce. One lady speaker said that it would be very humiliating that after putting a restriction on divorce when the case is pending in court for years, the woman should be compelled to live with the same husband against her wishes who had divorced her. Whether it is one, two or three divorces in spite of the fact that whereas in Islam it (divorce) has been described as one of the things most disliked by God, under Islamic, personal or family law both husband and wife or man and woman can lead a happy life.

It was also stated in this press conference that in spite of polygamy being allowed in Islam, according to government records the percentage of second marriage among Muslims is 3.5 and the second wife of a (Muslim) man equally enjoys, like the first wife, all social, religious and other rights. The problem of second marriage is in those communities where second marriage is not allowed and in these communities, after the wife, there is the scope for only a ‘keep’. The speakers advised the government to provide security to those women whose death rate because of insufficient dowry is about 26000 annually, whose rape takes place, on an average, every 15 minutes, whose unborn infants who are killed even before seeing the light of the day every seven minutes, who are frequent victims of domestic violence and who are got married before 18 years (the legally prescribed date of marriage). There are many such customs and traditions which violate human rights, the speakers said.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2016 on page no. 15

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