NEW DELHI - Hundreds of Indian Muslim scholars have unanimously granted women the right to dissolve marriage in case of serious breach of agreement between the couple, Daily News & Analysis news agency reported on Saturday, March 24.
If Shiqaaq (bitterness or acrimony) arises between a couple and wife is completely unwilling to live with her husband, then utmost effort should be made by the judge to reconcile, said the ruling, adopted last week at an international Islamic jurisprudence seminar organized by Islamic Fiqh Academy (India).
In case of non-reconciliation, the marriage should be dissolved.
Gathering at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh, the ruling was unanimously approved by 300 Muslim scholars who attended the seminar.
It conditioned occurrence of Shiqaaq or disagreement that leads to unwillingness to live as husband and wife.
Following mediation and reconciliation, the dissolution of marriage can occur to avoid grave disagreement.
It is the duty of the relatives and guardians of the couple to attempt reconciliation and try to keep the couple within the limits set by Allah, the ruling added.
In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that brings together a man and a woman by virtue of the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other properly and with respect.
Divorce is not at all viewed favorably in Islam and is discouraged unless warranted by valid reasons.
Divorce is one of the rights that Islam grants to husbands. In most cases, a husband can claim that right.
However, there are also some cases in which a wife can terminate marriage; for example, by means of khul` (wife's right to obtain divorce under certain conditions).
Muslims account for 160 million of India's 1.1 billion people, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.
In India, divorce and marriage issues are dominated by All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the single largest religious body consisting of scholars of different schools of thought.
The AIMPLB was formed in 1973 to protect and apply Muslim Personal Law in marriage, divorce, succession and inheritance.
In 2005, Shiites and women seceded to form their own separate Boards, the All India Shiite Personal Law Board & the All India Muslim Women's Personal Law Board.