Cheer­ing the triple rip­ple

Ule­mas, join us or be left be­hind, says Mus­lim body salut­ing triple ta­laq ver­dict


THE In­dian Mus­lims for Sec­u­lar Democ­racy (IMSD) a re­formist, lib­eral or­ga­ni­za­tion, held a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day to ap­plaud the Supreme Court’s ver­dict declar­ing in­stant triple ta­laq in­valid. The aim of the meet at Mum­bai's Press Club was multi-pronged.

Javed Anand IMSD co­founder said, “Our aim is to ap­plaud a ver­dict that is against the pa­tri­ar­chal Ulema. It salutes Mus­lim women for their grit. Most sig­nif­i­cantly, it breaches the dam of male supremacy.”

Don’t in­cite, maulana

Firoze Mithi­bor­wala, co­founder, IMSD spoke for all when he said, “We ac­cuse Maulana Mehmood Madani of invit­ing con­tempt of court.” The Jamiat gen­eral sec­re­tary Maulana Mehmood Madani in a state­ment to the me­dia had said that, “in­stant triple ta­laq was still valid as per the Is­lamic code.”

The IMSD ac­cused Madani of in­cit­ing Mus­lims and at the same time, fu­elling Hin­dutva, be­cause his state­ment feeds into the stereo­type that Mus­lims have no re­gard for the law. The panel of speak­ers, which in­cluded the vic­to­ri­ous women, in­vited Ule­mas, “to be­come part­ners and al­lies in change.”

The IMSD warned at the same time, “against any at­tempt to com­mu­nalise or politi­cise what is a ‘sec­u­lar’ ver­dict.”

Rous­ing and re­forms

IMSD’s Hasan Ka­maal added, “When a de­ci­sion of this mag­ni­tude is taken, there may be a few hic­cups, but we are happy that in­stant triple ta­laq is fin­ished.”

Ka­maal added on a rous­ing note, “It is time for young, ed­u­cated, mid­dle-class Mus­lims to come for­ward and take the reins from these re­li­gious lead­ers. The Mus­lim Per­sonal Law Board has lost all cred­i­bil­ity, it should be dis­solved; we do not want them. Madani’s opin­ion is a per­sonal one, if the SC takes ac­tion for con­tempt, we have no prob­lem with that.”

Su­raiya Shaikh of the Bharatiya Mus­lim Mahila An­dolan (BMMA) said, “Re­al­ity is yet to sink in. We think Au­gust is a lucky month. Even the ver­dict giv­ing women equal ac­cess to the Haji Ali sanc­tum sanc­to­rum had come in Au­gust.”

Mixed re­ac­tions

Fur­ther into the dis­cus­sion, Kausar An­sari of Awaaz-eNizwan, il­lus­trated how the ver­dict has had mixed re­ac­tions, man­i­fest in ground re­al­ity in “pock­ets like Mum­bra, where I hail from.” An­sari added, “When this ver­dict came in, the at­mos­phere in Mum­bra turned cur­few-like. No peo­ple on the roads, a heavy po­lice pres­ence.” Yet, Kausar said, “talk to some women and it was ev­i­dent that they were happy with the ver­dict. When the im­pli­ca­tions of the ver­dict were spelt out, they were elated.”

For Mum­bai non-profit Be­baak Col­lec­tive’s Haseena Khan, “For years, Mus­lim women have been op­pressed and tricked by the de­cep­tive drum­beat of, ‘our re­li­gion is in dan­ger’. The triple ta­laq ver­dict is his­tor­i­cal and hu­mon­gous. It is the legacy of Shah Bano and many who fought even be­fore her.”

A new dawn

As af­ter­noon turned to early evening, Mithi­bor­wala signed off, “We are on our way to huge re­forms within the com­mu­nity. The tide of time can no longer be halted, es­pe­cially not for the Ule­mas who do not be­lieve in re­form.” Over­all, con­grat­u­la­tions flew around like con­fetti at a birth­day party. As the sun streamed in, its bright­ness was sym­bolic of the wa­ter­shed mo­ment, brought about by the tenac­ity of the ‘women war­riors’ at this meet.


Hasan Ka­maal, Javed Anand and Firoze Mithi­bor­wala at the con­fer­ence at the Press Club yes­ter­day.

Kauser An­sari

Su­raiya Shaikh

Haseena Khan

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