Bhopal, Sep 13 : Thousands of Muslim women in the jam-packed historic Iqbal Maidan in Bhopal on Monday raised their hands to express solidarity with the Islamic Shariah. They declared in unison that they are safe under the Islamic Shariah and would not tolerate any outside interference whatsoever.
This was the scene when Muslim women in several thousands came out of their home and made a beeline to attend the “Ijlaas-e-Aam Barai Khwateen” (Women convention) under the aegis of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, (AIMPLB). It was first such convention of Muslim women after the Supreme Court judgement on Triple Talaq on August 22, 2017.
Iqbal Maidan was over-flowing with burqa-clad women who in rapt attention and in most disciplined manner listened to a host of speakers who emphasised the importance of Islamic Shariah and leading life as per its instructions in letter and spirit in all their day-to-day matters.
The speakers announced that they would seek the signatures of about three crore Muslim women on a memorandum against the Supreme Court judgment, which would then be sent to the Chief Justice of India. They termed Triple Talaq as a “right” that should not be taken away from them simply because some “uneducated women” had moved the apex court against it.
It may be mentioned here that the rally was held in the backdrop of the recent Supreme Court judgement which had annulled instant Triple Talaq known as Talaq-e-Biddat. This programme was organised after AIMPLB’s Executive Committee meeting was held here on Sunday. The Board has decided to hold such Islamic Shariah rallies to create awareness in Muslim men and women all over the country to shun Talaq-e-Biddat and other anomalies which have crept in.
A resolution was passed and signed by thousands of Muslim women present on the occasion. The resolution said: “We respect the Supreme Court judgement but would like to state that we believe in Islamic Shariat and instant Triple Talaq is part of it. Any restraint on this Triple Talaq will be infringement on our rights to practice Muslim personal law which the Constitution of India has given us. The signed resolutions were handed over to AIMPLB president Maulana Mohammad Rabey Hasani Nadwi and Secretary Maulana Mohammad Wali Rahmani. The duo will submit this resolution to the President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, Union Law Minister ad Law Commission of India.
Islam empowered women 1400 yrs. ago
Dr. Asma Zehra, the convenor of AIMPLB’s Women Wing, who was the key speaker on the occasion, emphasised that Islam had empowered Muslim women 1400 years back. The issue of Triple Talaq is being used by the media to paint a picture as if the Muslim women are in deep distress and misery. But we all want to say that ‘Hum Pareshan Nahi Hain…’. We don’t want any changes in Shariat. If we have any social problems, we will solve them ourselves. We do not need the help of any government or courts”, she reiterated.
Attacking the NDA government at the Centre, AIMPLB executive committee member Asma Zehra wondered why the central government was trying to interfere only with the law governing Muslims when “women face atrocities and domestic violence in all religions”.
She said that the real empowerment is education. We can’t be empowered unless we are educated. But nowadays a new concept of empowerment is being peddled by the media. She appealed to Muslim women to follow Shariat in letter and spirit. “If we will live within the confines of Shariat, we will get success in life,” she exhorted.
Dr. Zehra said that these days Muslims are being targeted in media. Issues like marriage, divorce, polygamy, large number of children etc are highlighted in print and electronic media to defame Muslims. She claimed that 97 percent of the Muslim marriages are successful and Muslim women are secured and protected due to Muslim personal law.
Muslim women’s rights well protected under 1986 Act of Constitution
Dr. Zehra further maintained that Muslim women’s rights are well protected under 1986 Act of the Indian Constitution. There is also Section 1939 for marriage law. There is no need to make amendment in this law. Muslim women are secured through this act. Muslim women oppose amendment in Muslim Personal Law or enforcement of Uniform Civil Code as they are very much protected by Muslim Personal Law and there is no need for amendment, she added.
Later talking to media persons on the issue of Triple Talaq she revealed: “We run a toll free helpline for women in seven languages from 10 am to 5 pm. We get about 80 calls daily and up till now; we have received 40,000 calls from women complaining of disputes with husbands and in-laws. Our counsellors counsel them. We have passed a resolution at the executive committee of the Board saying that we will try to solve the problem of Triple Talaq cases and help women get their rights.”
Dr. Zehra also added, “The women wing of AIMPLB is also running a campaign to create awareness among Muslim women regarding their roles and responsibilities.”
Maulana Khalil-ur-Rahman Sajjad Nomani, a member of the Executive Committee of AIMPLB, addressing the assemblage on the occasion said that no one has the right and power to change the Shariat. “We respect the decision of the Supreme Court but we disagree with some parts of it. The court also says Triple Talaq is un-Islamic but not unconstitutional. In the coming days we will also demand a referendum to find out what Muslim women actually want? he asserted.
On the attitude of Central government on Triple Talaq, Maulana Nomani said: “It is the government of RSS. And they want to bring in Uniform Civil Code. They have even said that they will get the Muslim Personal Law Board disbanded”.
Dr. Soofiya Fatima Husaini, convenor of the AIMPLB’s Madhya Pradesh Unit Women Wing, who compeered the programme with aplomb while putting forth her views said: “We feel empowered due to Shariah and Triple Talaq is the best way to end relationship between husband and wife if they are at loggerheads continuously. “We can ourselves bring about any required change by educating people about Triple Talaq, but we will not allow anybody to change our law,” she affirmed.
Mamduha Majid ofDelhi said: “Not just women, men also need to be educated. Simply wearing a topi (skull cap) and having a beard does not make a person an expert in Islamic law. There are a lot of misconceptions and illiteracy that have impacted women’s rights. All this needs to be addressed and AIMPLB is working towards it.”
More than 5000 Muslim women, ranging from teenagers to the elderly, attended the convention. They included women from other parts of the state also. Many had skipped their classes to attend the meeting and others had chosen not to do their household chores. The venue was so crowded that some of the women had to sit on the floor and though the meet was scheduled to start at 11 am but women had started trickling in since 9. Two LED screens were installed for the benefit of those who could not find place inside.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Maulana Mohammad Rabey Hasani Nadwi, AIMPLB executive member Maulana Khalil-ur-Rahman Sajjad Nomani, Bhopal Shahar Qazi Maulana Syed Mushtaq Ali Nadwi, AIMPLB executive member Arif Masood, Ms Sabiha Sahiba etc.