Quickie divorce banned, Muslim women empowered
New rules on talaq framed, spell out wife's rights in a marriage.
Lucknow: The All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board on Sunday came out with a nikahnama, which explicitly bars men from declaring talaq (divorce) in anger, intoxication or partial sleep or even by phone, SMS or Internet.
The model nikahnama (divorce declaration) aimed at providing Muslim women protection from undue oppression by their husbands, spells out the wife's legitimate rights, granted under the Shariat, as also the duties of both husband and wife. It emphasises the importance of marriage and discourages divorce.
"We have framed the new nikahnama strictly in accordance with the tenets of Islam, which clearly prohibits any kind of harassment or oppression of a married woman by her husband or any member of his family," the women's board chief Shaista Amber told a press conference in Lucknow on Sunday.
It also lays down how a Muslim woman is legally entitled to separation from a promiscuous husband. Besides, it also spells out that a wife can seek separation if the husband abandons her for more than four years or if he forces her to indulge in unnatural sex.
According to Amber, "The Shariat entitles a woman to take separation on grounds of incompatibility, even if the husband refuses to divorce her".
"All that the woman is required to do is to tell the husband to leave her alone and pay him either the 'mehr' amount or something else in lieu of the 'mehr'," she said.
Enumerating the other grounds on which a Muslim woman was empowered to divorce her husband, Amber said: "Islam allows a woman to seek divorce if the husband does not have physical relationship with the wife for more than a year, or suffers from AIDS, or has illicit relationship with other women or tortures her in any manner."
The new nikahnama also lays down that a husband is expected to provide "cooked food" and "stitched clothes" to his wife.