Supreme Court in a majority judgment struck down the ‘triple talaq’ saying it is violative of the constitution. No doubt the majority judgment held the supremacy of the religious book of the Muslim community the holy Quran but said that the ‘triple talaq’ including other practices of Muslim Personal Law which are violating the basic principle of Quran could not be allowed. ‘Triple talaq’ has no reference whatsoever in the holy book of Quran and also there is hardly any evidence of this practice from the early period of Islam. We published a comprehensive article on the subject by a member of our advisory board M B Siddiqui who elaborately discussed the issue. The Muslim Personal Law Board , the supreme religious body of Muslims did not react to the verdict. An important meeting of the board will be held on September 10 to ponder on the judgment. While some so-called Muslim organizations to which the petitioners who approached the court belonged vociferously welcomed the judgment, other religious Muslim organizations including Jamat-e-Islami were cautious to express their reactions. They are of the opinion that personal laws including Muslim Personal Law are beyond the purview of the apex court because the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. If the courts are allowed to review the personal laws to see whether they conform the principle of equality guaranteed in the constitution, then the provision of religious freedom will be diluted. The matter of any personal law that creates a controversy should better be left to that community. If the majority of that community wants to make any change, it is free to do it. It is a real religious freedom. Being a conglomeration of different religious and ethnic groups that form the vast population of the country, the constitution made a provision for religious freedom contrary to many other democratic countries where the will of the state has been thrust on the people. Thus ours is a model democracy of the world. With this verdict of the Supreme Court, this distinction is facing danger.
It is a coincidence, but there is a significance in this coincidence that the minority judgment was given by two judges belonging to the minority. The judgment given by Chief Justice of India Justice Khehar held that the instant talaq was the matter of religious faith which cannot be tested on the touchstone of Article 14. It should be the integral part of Article 25 that is freedom of religion. This judgment was endorsed by Justice S Abdul Nazeer. This minority judgment was countered by Justices Kurian Joseph, Rohinton Falli Nariman and U U Lalit. Here also two judges belong to the minority community. It was a wise formation of the bench, but the majority struck down the practice of the majority of the Muslim community. The majority judgment also does not violate the supremacy of the holy Quran.
It was the bounden duty of our religious leaders to discourage the practice which was detested by the Prophet of Islam Hazrat Mohammad at most and which has no direct reference in the holy Quran, but these religious leaders gave more importance to the practice than to the spirit of the holy book. We are looking forward to the reaction of the Muslim Personal Law Board.