Reforms in Triple Talaq in the Personal Laws of Muslim States and the Pakistani Legal System: Continuity Versus Change
Department of Law, International Islamic University, Pakistan
April 15, 2011
International Review of Law 2013:2
This work analyses the reforms carried out in some of the Muslim states regarding the issue of triple divorce in one session. According to a majority of Sunni jurists, pronouncing the word 'talaq' three times in succession, equates with three 'talaqs'. On the contrary, according to Ibn Taimiyah, Ibn al-Qiyam, and the Shi'a Imamiyah, three pronouncements of the word talaq in one session equals only one talaq. Most Arab, as well as many Muslim states such as Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Sudan, Morocco, Kuwait, Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, have, while formulating their own laws, followed Ibn Taimiyah's and Ibn al-Qiyam's positions on this issue. In this regard, Sri Lanka's Marriage and Divorce (Muslim) Act, 1951, as amended up to 2006, seems to be the most ideal legislation on triple talaq. In Pakistan, the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961, has abolished triple talaq, as the procedure laid down in section 7 is largely applicable to one or two pronouncements only and excludes three pronouncements. Furthermore, some portions of section 7 are in clear contravention of the dictates of Islamic law, which adds to this precarious section's peculiarity. The superior courts in Pakistan and Bangladesh have not been consistent in interpreting the law on this important subject, while on the other hand, some Indian High Courts have treated triple talaq as invalid.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: triple talaq, divorce in Islamic law, classical Islamic law on divorce, modern legislation on divorce, reforms in divorce law, Arab states, Muslim states, changes in divorce lawAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 22, 2011 ; Last revised: June 28, 2013
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