Huge win for women’s rights as India bans Islamic instant divorce

India’s top court has declared the controversial Islamic practice of ‘triple talaq’ as unconstitutional.

Triple talaq is a practice which allows Muslim men to dissolve marriages instantly by pronouncing the word divorce three times.

Even though it is banned in most Islamic nations, including the likes of Pakistan and Bangladesh, India is one of the few countries where a Muslim man can divorce his wife in a few minutes.

The court has seen an increasing number of cases filed recently by Muslim women and rights group, with more and more Indian Muslim men instantly divorcing their wives by issuing the triple talaq by letter, over the telephone, and increasingly through text messages over Whatsapp and Skype.

In a 3-2 majority verdict, the court called the practice ‘unIslamic’. The judgement is a huge victory for Muslim women who for decades have lived with the threat of instant divorce dangling over their heads like a sword.

According to a report by the BBC, Shayara Bano, one of the main petitioners, appealed to the people of India to accept the ruling and not politicise the issue. “I have felt the pain when family breaks. I hope no one has to go through this situation in future,” she told reporters.

“It will change the entire landscape of Muslim families. It’s now in the mainstream and will protect not only women but children. Families will be more stable because children will also be protected,” Chandra Rajan, an advocate for the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIWPB), told the BBC.

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