APRIL 18, 2016: On Saturday, The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) alleged that attempts are being made to “interfere” in Shariat laws through courts and appealed to the NDA government to maintain the stand of “non-interference in such matters” as was adopted by the previous governments.
The AIMPLB working committee passed a resolution to this effect in a day-long meeting at Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow. The board will send the resolution to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for continuing with the stand of “non-interference by courts and government in Muslim personal law” in two cases currently pending in the Supreme Court.
The Board’s remarks come weeks after the Supreme Court sought the Centre’s response in a plea challenging the constitutionality of Muslim practices of polygamy, triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat) and nikah halala (by which a Muslim man is not allowed to remarry his divorced wife if she did not marry another man after she was divorced). The plea has been moved by one Saira Banu who wants triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy declared illegal, calling them in violation of Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.
Jilani (Board Member) said in an interview that the board will also prepare its stand with the help of Ulamas (Islamic law scholars) and submit it before the Supreme Court. He said the board will inform the apex court that Islam allows women to remarry, allows widow remarriage and has even regularised divorce. Jilani said issues like chanting of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” were not discussed as they are not related to the personal law. He, however, added that Deen Bachao-Dastoor Bachao (save religion and constitution) campaign started by the board last year against the “imposition of surya namaskar and yoga” in Rajasthan government’s schools, will continue.
He said wherever there are any such attempts to force the education of a particular religion in the government schools, the board will campaign there. He said earlier programmes under the campaign had attracted a large number of non-Muslims who are not in favour of changing the secular nature of education in government schools.
The Board decided to run the campaign due to the apprehension that there could be interference in the Muslim personal law after the formation of new government at the Centre. The uniform civil code is often advocated by BJP spokespersons and this raises the fear that the government will also support it. The ultimate question is, whether the Apex Court should intervene to bring uniformity in the laws so as to cope up with today’s pragmatic society or should the unending saga of personal law prevail?
BY – NIKITA GOEL