Jamiat Launches a Law Institute to Defend Muslim Personal Law

Muftis and lawyers come together to run a Muslim Personal Law training course in order “to combat uncalled for interference in purely Muslim law matters”

(Below is the English translation of a front page lead story published by the Urdu daily, Inquilab on Monday):

In order to strongly combat the targeting of Islam and Muslims with uncalled for interference in purely Muslim Personal Law matters, by raking up the issues of triple talaq, bigamy and uniform civil code, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind has set-up a ‘Jamiat Law Institute’ where for the first time muftis and Muslim lawyers will come together on the same platform to run a Muslim Personal Law training course. With the Jamiat’s general secretary, Maulana Mehmood Madni as president, the new institute was inaugurated by former chief justice of the Supreme Court, AM Ahmadi.

The inaugural meeting, organised at the Jamiat’s Madni Hall in Delhi by advocate Shakeel Ahmed Syed, director, Jamiat Law Institute and a board member Maulana Niaz Ahmed Farooqui, was chaired by the president of the Jamiat, Maulana Syed Qari Usman Mansoorpuri.

Prominent muftis and lawyers from UP, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan participated in the conference. The inaugural session was addressed by justice Ahmadi, professor Mohammed Afzal Wani (dean, Faculty of Law, IP University), Zafaryab Jilani (additional advocate general, UP), Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani (chief executive, Darul Uloom Deoband), Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani (general secretary, Islamic Fiqh Academy), professor Akhtarul Wasey (vice-chancellor, Maulana Azad University), Mufti Salman Mansoorpuri (Jamia Qasmiya Shahi, Moradabad), Kamal Farooqui (member, All India Muslim Personal Law Board) and advocate Anoop George Chowdhary.

Announcing the launch of the training course on Muslim Personal Law, justice Ahmadi said that when faced with constitutional issues, instead of getting agitated Muslims should respond calmly and with legal acumen. He said that certain forces use the demand for a uniform civil code as a whip lash merely to incite Muslims and we get all excited. The fact is that a uniform civil code poses a greater threat to the majority community than to us, he added. That is the real reason why no draft exists till date. He said if Muslims were to demand that a draft for a uniform civil code be placed before the public such forces will automatically come to their senses.

'Provision for triple talaq in law is as necessary as a toilet is for any home. A toilet is not a good place to be in but no house is complete without it'

On the issue of triple talaq, justice Ahmadi advised that Muslims should come together and apply their minds collectively to evolve a solution to this problem.  

While admitting that “triple talaq is undoubtedly being misused”, Zafaryab Jilani maintained that it cannot be abolished because that would lead to a lot of harm. Those who talk of gender justice must tell us whether there is gender parity and women have equal participation in the Supreme Court, Parliament, state Assemblies, government, educational institutions and elsewhere, he demanded. He maintained that gender difference is a fact of life that cannot be wished away. He argued that Muslim Personal Law does not operate outside the Constitution but is an act passed by the Parliament.

Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani said that the provision for triple talaq in law is as necessary as a toilet is for any home. A toilet is not a good place to be in but no house is complete without it, he said. There is a need to understand the necessity of triple talaq and explain the same to others, he added. The proposed training course will be very helpful in this regard, he opined.

Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani said that it was the need of the hour to explain the principles underlying Islamic laws to the satisfaction of the judiciary and others and it was the responsibility of muftis to rise to the challenge.
Professor Afzal Wani asked why the need for making provision for divorce was felt necessary while amending the personal laws of Christians and Hindus if it is such a bad thing.

Professor Akhtarul Wasey stated that when even the Prophet of Islam had no authority to introduce changes in Islamic law how anyone else could claim the right to do so. He added that on coming to power after Emergency was ended, even those who were opposed to it did not remove the provision for emergency rule from the Indian constitution. This only means that though emergency is undesirable, such an option must exist for governments. Similarly, triple talaq is not a good thing but it remains an important part of family law, he added.



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