Banning triple talaq is akin to rewriting Quran, SC told

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told the Supreme Court on Monday that if triple talaq mode of divorce was declared illegal, it would amount to disregarding Allah's directions and rewriting of the Holy Quran to force Muslims into committing sin.

Stressing that personal law provisions enjoyed sanctity under the Article 25 of the Constitution (right to profess and practice a religion of choice), the AIMPLB said, "If such casual denunciation of the verses of the holy book is permitted, then soon Islam would cease to exist. Though triple talaq in one sitting is an unusual mode of divorce in Islam, it cannot be declared to be invalid in the light of the direct verses of Holy Quran and categorical command of the Messenger of Allah."

Insisting that triple talaq was mandated by the Holy Quran, AIMPLB in its written submission three days before the final hearing on the matter said the holy book ordained that "once three pronouncements of talaq are made, the wife becomes unlawful or 'haram' to her former husband, unless the process of 'halala' takes place in its natural course".

"The pronouncement of the third talaq and its irrevocability is explicitly given in Quran. In such circumstances, it is forbidden for the former husband to take the wife back in marriage, unless she marries another person of her choice and such marriage comes to an end owing to death or by divorce ... the objective is to enable a divorcee woman to remarry out of her own free will and choice," the AIMPLB said through advocate Ejaz Maqbool.

Telling the SC that it had no power to scrutinise the legality of personal law provisions, the board said, "Any deviation from such Quranic injunction (validity of triple talaq) would go against the mandate of the Almighty himself and such an act would be going against the very integral practice of Islam and would be disregarding the precise directions of Allah and also his Messenger, which is nothing but a sin and as per the Holy Quran, such an action would show that the believer has strayed away from the religion in manifest error.

"Furthermore, as ordained by the Holy Quran, all Muslims are bound to accept the command of the Messenger and are bound to avoid whatever the Messenger forbids and when the Prophet has categorically directed separation of parties after triple talaq in one go and has ruled that if the former husband takes the woman back into marriage, he will be committing a sin, then no believer has a choice to take the woman back into marriage after pronouncing triple talaq and such an act is nothing but a sin."

Warning of serious consequences of disobeying the Quran, the AIMPLB said, "The consequences of committing such a sin would be far more adverse as children born out of such relationship would be illegitimate and their rights of inheritance in their putative father's estate would be questionable."

"In view of this, if the Supreme Court holds that triple talaq in one sitting is not a valid form of effecting divorce, then that would amount to rewriting of the Holy Quran itself, which is nothing but the ipissima verba (the precise words) of the Almighty himself and is the entire genesis of Islam. Such an alteration of the specific verses of the Holy Quran would actually amount to altering the very essence of the religion of Islam."