Saturday, April 7, 2012

Edicts (Fatwas), fracturing marriages in an un-called manner.

By Shafee Ahmed Ko

Greatly respected Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has come out with yet one more “fatwa” ruling in a divorce valid if an inebriated husband pronounces “talaq” in “Sharia” laws. Although he repents gaining his folly, the Seminary says he cannot re-establish marital rights since such divorce has become consummate. On the other hand few of the elite moderate thinkers in Islam are crisscrossed with such edict from Deoband Seminary, and they feel such statute is unfounded in Holy Quran and Ahadees, exegesis Prophet Muhammad.

The Indian media both print and electronic went overboard indulging in hype with tell tale stories of “fatwas” from Darul Uloom Deoband as running always in rampant.

In a close analysis, a brochure penned by Moulana Mufti Mohammad Mustafa Miftahi,Qazi-e-Shariat,Choru,Rajastan,India (First edition:1987:Published by All India Personal Law Board,Khanqah,Monghyr, 811201,Bihar,India) reveals, and few of their ways out are quoted as reference. These are amidst several stipulations, or demanded formula for an Islamic divorce in the aforesaid brochure.

Page 9: ISSUE NO.6 reads as follows:

“At the time of pronouncement of divorce the presence of, listening or acceptance of the wife or her relative is not necessary. If the husband alone pronounces “talaq” in a lonely place, then also the separation is effected. In the same way, if the wife is present, whether she listened or not, whether she kept quiet or refused to accept, the divorce in all these conditions comes into operation.”

Page 10: ISSUE NO.11

“If a man divorces his wife under the influence of intoxicants like toddy or liquor, the divorce is valid and takes effect”

In the wake of conflicting edifices originating one from the Deoband, on the other side the moderate thinkers in Islam such as A.Faizur Rahman from Chennai (South India) a strong critique against the proponents of dissolving marriage with an instant divorce, with triple pronouncement in single sitting, has come out in  an article written in a renowned daily “The Hindu” (April 4) that the “fatwa” was “Bad in law and theology as it was not based on the Koran and authentic pronouncement of the Prophet. He further went a step ahead to say, “Muslim institutions must understand that Koranic ontology revolves around the principles of justice, fairness and equity, and therefore any law that contravenes or abridges the rights arising out of these standards of ethics automatically becomes unacceptable. But the continued refusal of the Muslim patriarchy to see reason makes it imperative to analyse the procedure of talaq in the Koran to expose the illegitimacy of some of their fatwas.The Koran has dealt with the issue of talaq at length in chapters 2,4,65 namely Al-Baqara, Al-Nisa, and Al-Talaq”

Almost from four decades, the moderate thinkers in Islam, Asghar Ali Engineer, late Ko.Rafeeque Ahmed, an advocate from Ambur, V.M.Khaleelur Rahman, and many more have been vociferously writing and, sponsoring against the instantaneous divorce to fracture healthy marriages.

Towns such as Ambur and Vaniyambadi,in the State of  Tamil Nadu, India have the self established Sharia courts to decide the divorce matters with self styled judges and jurists, again these scholars are mostly the breeds of Deobanad Madarasas(School of thoughts) besides the Kangaroo courts prevailing either in the locale (Mohalla) “Jamaat” or the mosque “Muthavallis” (care takers). Such care takers known as “Muthavallis” are mostly from affluent sort, with scant knowledge of Holy Koran, as well Ahadees.

On the other hand the pragmatic system of government courts has an appellant court so that an aggrieved person goes for an appeal lest the lower courts have ended in a flawed judgement. But the aforementioned Sharia courts are self styled and no appellant Sharia courts are to in the near vicinity, and the verdicts pronounced by these “Moulanas” become an inevitable sentence. 
Recently the Muslim Law Academy-Tamil Nadu,Chennai Zone conducted a seminar in view that Islamic law in India be codified within the frame work of Koran,Sunna,Ijma and Qiyas.Eminent scholars such as  Asghar Ali Engineer, a sitting Judge, Honourable Justice G.M.Akbar Ali, M.Abdul Rahman, a Member of Parliament participated in a large gathering.The writer of this article has reported on this seminar in a popular Muslim webmagazine,”” under the head, “Seminar on codification of Islamic Law held in Chennai”:
 An interesting but regrettable fact that is invariably  seen as elsewhere in the mosques, every Friday the congregational  sermon, the large hearers are witnessed but they all remain as captive audience, mostly graduates “Moulanas” of Deoband Seminaries being captivated mostly by them but such discourses are mostly forgotten  until next Jumma prayer falls in. More fairly to say an obsessed mass is witnessed every Friday, keeping it a weekly (weakly) as a  ritual. 
There is cry and call now from the moderate thinkers in Islam that a concerted and cooperative effort should counterbalance the evils of wrong decisions taken against Holy Koran and Ahadees.  They feel the need of hour is  to launch the best possible way to teach the Holy Koran and Ahadees from the tender age of children from the suitable teachers who have the proper perspectives of Islam,Ahadees and Sharia, and and should be man of practice.It is their general feeling that Holy Koran has to be followed in letter and spirit, instead keeping it as a relic.