Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology recommends criminalizing Muslim instant divorce

Triple talaq – or instant divorce – "has become a widespread social issue in Pakistan and has been ruining the lives of women and children,” Dr. Qibla Ayaz, chairperson of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), told Arab News on Saturday. (Shutterstock)
Updated 08 September 2019

Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology recommends criminalizing Muslim instant divorce

  • The country’s law ministry says it is ready to legislate if the advisory body sites Islamic references from history to ban the practice
  • ‘Triple talaq’ is prohibited in Egypt, UAE, India and Bangladesh

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Islamic advisory body has requested the government to make “triple talaq” – or instant divorce – among Muslims a punishable offence to address the “widespread social issue” and protect family system, women and children from the menace.
The practice allows a husband to divorce his wife by repeating the word “talaq” – or divorce – three times in any form, including email or text message. Triple talaq is not mentioned in Islamic law or the Quran, even though the practice has existed among Muslims for decades.
“This has become a widespread social issue in Pakistan and has been ruining the lives of women and children,” Dr. Qibla Ayaz, chairperson of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), told Arab News on Saturday. “We want Parliament to make the practice a criminal offence since it will discourage the practice.”
The council is the country’s constitutional body responsible for giving legal advice on Islamic issues to the government, though its recommendations are non-binding.
Last year, it unanimously declared triple talaq a punishable offence, though it is yet to decide an appropriate punishment in such cases and convince the legislature to enact a law on the issue.
In a meeting in the Parliament House on Thursday, Ayaz asked the country’s law minister, Dr. Farogh Naseem, to initiate an awareness campaign against triple talaq and list some of its adverse social effects on the nikah-nama – or Islamic marriage contract – document.
“We are ready to legislate on the issue if you [the Council of Islamic Ideology] can cite any Islamic reference from history to criminalize triple talaq and suggest minimum punishment for it,” the law minister reportedly told the CII chairperson.
Ayaz said if the law ministry “agrees in principle” with his institution on the issue, the matter of punishment could be decided in consultation with lawmakers and Islamic scholars.
“It is a matter of utmost importance and needs to be addressed as early as possible,” he added. “In case of triple talaq, there is no room for reconciliation, and this can result in negative consequences for women and children.”
Islamic scholars belonging to different schools of thought say the Quran clearly spells out how a man should divorce his life partner. The practice has to be spread over three months, allowing a couple some time to reflect and move toward reconciliation.
Some Muslim countries, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh have already banned the practice. India’s Parliament in July approved a law to make the practice a criminal offence.
Men who breach the law can be jailed for up to three years.


Saudi Arabia reiterates full support to Pakistan

Updated 9 min 56 sec ago

Saudi Arabia reiterates full support to Pakistan

  • Shoura Council chief promises greater parliamentary cooperation
  • President Alvi appreciated Saudi investment in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Shoura Council chairman Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh met with President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Friday to discuss bilateral ties.
President Alvi lauded economic and investment cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, including negotiations over Saudi investment in the oil refinery and mineral resources sectors, his office said in a statement.
“He commended the expected flow of $20 billion Saudi investments, following the signing of agreements in the fields of refinery, mining and renewable energy,” the statement reads.
With regard to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan earlier this year, the president said it “had left a deep imprint on the hearts and minds of Pakistani people.”
He also said that Pakistan took pride in its 2.3-million law-abiding diaspora in Saudi Arabia that had contributed to the socio-economic development of the Kingdom.
Al-Sheikh informed the president that “efforts are being made to further enhance parliamentary cooperation between the two countries,” and reiterated Saudi Arabia’s support for Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir amid Indian lockdown, the statement said.
The Saudi delegation arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday for a three-day working visit, and has already met with National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani and Pakistani parliamentarians.