Originally Posted on Facebook, 22nd April 2017
Currently in India, Modi, along with many Secular reformers, are demanding that Muslims end the ‘triple talaq’ system of divorce. The argument, so it goes, is that women feel insecure to be married when they know that when they get older, their husband that just divorce them easily.
Before I make an extremely obvious point about Secular India, I’d like to make it clear that abandoning women just because they’re older or changed in appearance by the common vicissitudes of life, in favour of newer wives, is pretty cruel, cold-hearted and downright mean-spirited. I’d wonder what kind of a man could live with himself and do this?! Of course, one could ask the question, ‘if the only thing keeping a callous man with a good woman, is the process of getting a legal divorce through courts, is he someone that deserves a good wife?
Now on to the issue of Islamic law. Of course, Islam does have safeguards. Usually, there is alimony paid to divorced women, usually during her ‘iddah’ period (around three months). After that, it is usually child support if there is children involved. The woman goes back to the protection of her family (that why families are important and part of social calculations!). If the woman has no family, then the government (usually a specially appointed Caliph/Imam’s deputy) is in charge of providing for her (if she has no house and means of adequate support).
Lastly, Women have dowries, which tend to be large in amount, in order to provide for themselves should their husband divorce. Usually large doweries provide an incentive for the husband not to divorce (because then the full amount is instantly due, which can be quite hefty).
[Obvious] Observations about Secular Societies & Divorce
You can still be divorced in a Secular marriage – at any point in your life. Secular marriages differ by each country. In some countries, the marriage is very easy to legally dissolve, in others, it takes times (usually because Western Secular legal system struggles to keep up with the 1 in 2 divorce rate occurring in the hundreds of thousands every year!).
Western Systems, due to their historical traditions of marriage, may, at the Judges discretion, divide up the property of the man and women (not necessarily 50-50, and the man may end up getting the woman’s house, even if he divorced her, as long as he is unemployed and ‘unable to fend for himself’, while his wife who is slapped with the divorce, is employed and bought the house herself (or inherited it from her own family)! So deadbeat husband divorces his wife and gets her property. Go equality!! [Note: Sarcasm].
Of course, in the eyes of the Western ideology of Individualism, Marriage is so…passe. How can an ‘individual’ be ‘shackled’ to the needs of someone else? Isn’t this oppressing the individual spirit? Well many think so, and more and more people are opting never to be married for this very reason. The boyfriend-girlfriend relationship or any other paramour relationship in the West, HAS NO TALAQ, NEEDS NO TALAQ. Forget about saying three words, you don’t even have to say anything, you can just leave – and the law can’t make you stay or pay for your partner!
But something tells me we won’t hear Modi describe premarital (or extramarital) relationships as ‘exploitative’ as he had described talaq in Islam.
We should sympathise with the plight of women who are casually discarded by their husband for petty reasons, and we should – as Muslims – SOLVE THIS PROBLEM in the Indian Muslim community by raising extreme social opprobrium upon any hard hearted men who do this. And make sure that they find it hard to get remarried to anyone else except other divorcees.
However, the approach by the Secular Indian government to ban people saying three words in order to divorce their wives, is not just a mask for nationalist intolerance against a minority, but wrong for a Secular government that claims it doesn’t take any positions on religious issues. Of course, they could argue ‘how do you stop men leaving women then?’. To which we should ask ‘how should we force them together?’ or ‘how do we stop (Secular) boyfriends dumping their long-term girlfriends?’
I’d like to hear some consistent answers…
Addendum: India media agencies concede that Divorce rate is low amongst Muslims compared to other communities 
P.S: In case it wasn’t obvious to skimmers, this post isn’t defending callous husbands who ditch their wives mercurially. This post isn’t denying there is a minority of people who are a problem, and need to be addressed by social measures within -and exclusively by – the Muslim community itself. However, we should not allow this social problem to become a door-way by which intolerant nationalists and Secularists ban or decide what is or isn’t to be practiced within Islam by Muslims.
You don’t stop all car crashes by banning German cars just because some foolish people abuse/race them….nor should you. The analogy is quite apt, when you consider that in many ways, German cars can be more reliable than others.
P.P.S: Please no debate on cars and car manufacturers