The Draft Divorce Bill is a Direct Attack on the Shariah: AIUDF President Maulana Badruddin Ajmal

Mumbai March 25: The Draft Divorce Bill, prepared ostensibly to make the divorce process easier, is a direct attack on the Shariah and against the Personal Law of Indian Muslims, argued Maulana Badruddin Ajmal in a press statement today from Mumbai. Maulana Ajmal is the Member of Parliament from Dhubri, Assam and national President of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) who is also a member of Majlis-e-Shura of Darul Uloom Deoband and president of Assam State Jamiat Ulam-e-Hind.

He decried the crude attempt to amend divorce laws that have stood the test of time, as contrary to the marriage and personal laws of the Indian Muslims.

The draft of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, crafted in Maharashtra and sent to the centre has now received the cabinet’s stamp of approval and may shortly be presented in parliament for being passed.

Maulana Ajmal emphasized that Muslim personal law provides for the safety and security of Muslim women in all respects and there is no need to make any changes. Right from her nubile stage to when she gets married and bears children and grandchildren, all her needs are taken care of by her father, her husband and then her children. She is genuinely entitled to a share of the property on the death of her husband and other relatives.

Islam has given the wife, on having children, an eighth share of the property and on not having children, a fourth share of the total property of the husband. To increase her share to half will deprive her children and other heirs of their rightful share in the inheritance and this will undermine the safety and security provided by the Shariah not only to the wife, but also to the other closely related inheritors. And this is directly tempering with the Islamic law of marriage and inheritance derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah, he said.

If passed, the amendment proposes to provide women with a share of their husband’s property, if they opt for divorce. It also seeks to give adopted children the same rights as biological children.

The Qur’an has clearly laid down that adopted children cannot be treated on the same basis as biological children, and the latter cannot demand a share in the property of their guardians.

According to Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, if women, after divorce, are allowed a half share of their husband’s properties, it will let the proverbial jinn out of the bottle. This will open the door for conspiracies, greed and personal enrichment at the cost of the husband and a situation might be created that might make it easy for the woman to divorce her husband and grab share of her property.

It must be borne in mind that as a householder, the man has not only to take care of his wife and children, but even in some cases his maternal and paternal grandparents, including brothers and sisters.

It is easy for even a primary student of psychology to understand that this move would disturb the husband-and-wife equation in the house, and the wife, on the slightest pretext can insist on a divorce.

Maulana Ajmal emphatically asserted that India’s constitution has given adequate protection to Muslim Personal Law and the proposed amendment is another attempt to damage its edifice.

It is unfortunate that after the defeat in the recent elections and being assailed from all sides, the UPA is weak in Center as well as in the state of Maharashtra. Proposing a Bill like this amounts trying to enter into one more dangerous territory, and any nationwide protest may wipe out the remnants of its tattered political raiment.

“Muslims, Ulama and intellectuals, will not take this deleterious move lying down and will try to oppose it tooth and nail, right from the halls of parliament down to the streets. I will oppose this Bill with all possible means and would also write to Hon’able President of India, UPA Chairperson and the Prime Minister citing the Muslims’ complete disagreement on the propose Bill,” said AIUDF president Maulana Badruddin Ajmal.

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