The Triple Talaq allows Muslim men to leave their wives instantaneously by saying “talaq,” meaning divorce, three times. The thousand-year-old custom was just banned by the Indian Supreme Court.
I wrote about India’s controversial Islamic custom, and how the Indian Supreme Court was considering petitions that challenge Muslim laws governing marriage on the grounds that they discriminate against women, a charged issue that risks angering the country’s orthodox Muslims.
Among the petitioners calling for change is a Muslim woman whose husband, after 13 years of marriage, divorced her by saying “divorce” three times.
The Indian constitution protects gender equality, but on issues of marriage, divorce and inheritance, different religious communities are governed by their own so-called personal laws. Whether a person is subject to those laws is usually determined by their religion at birth.
Florida Divorce and Religion
In a Florida divorce, the court’s powers are found in the Florida Statutes.
Florida passed Senate Bill SB 386, which was approved by the Governor. Specifically, the bill prohibits courts in Florida from:
- Basing a decision on a foreign law that does not grant the parties to litigation the same rights guaranteed by the Florida or U.S. Constitutions.
- Enforcing a ‘choice of law’ clause in a contract which requires a dispute to be resolved under a foreign law that does not grant the parties the same rights guaranteed by the Florida or U.S. Constitutions.
- Enforcing a ‘forum selection’ clause in a contract which requires a dispute to be resolved in a forum in which a party would be denied his or her fundamental rights guaranteed by the State Constitution or the United States Constitution.
There are now over 30 states which have considered some limits on the application of foreign law, either through legislation or ballot initiative.
India’s Supreme Court Ruling
India’s Supreme Court banned the controversial Islamic divorce practice known as “triple talaq” in a landmark ruling last week. The practice, that stretches back over a thousand years, allows a husband to divorce his wife by simply saying the Arabic word for divorce, talaq, three times.
The five-judge bench did not unanimously ban the practice, which Balaji Srinivasan, one of the lawyers on the case, called “disappointing.”
Instead, three judges ruled that it was unconstitutional, while the remaining two judged that it should be up to the country’s parliament to pass legislation officially banning the practice.
“The majority decision is that triple talaq is banned in law,” said Srinivasan. “From now on in India, the law is that there is no practice of triple talaq which is held to be valid.”
The judge in the majority ruling concluded, on the basis of an act in 1937 that enshrined Muslim legal beliefs and traditions into law, anything that was “anti-Quranic” was therefore banned and didn’t deserve constitutional protection.
“triple talaq is against the basic tenets of the Holy Quran and consequently, it violates Shariat … What is held to be bad in the Holy Quran cannot be good in Shariat and, in that sense, what is bad in theology is bad in law as well.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has publicly advocated for a ban, added his voice to those celebrating the ruling. In a tweet on his official account, the prime minister called the court’s decision “historic,” adding that it “grants equality to Muslim women and is a powerful measure for women empowerment.”
The CNN article is here.