[The board did not respond to Mushawarat appeal but reaffirmed its stand on triple talaq and other related matters during its Kolkata session held in November. (File photo)]
Mumbai: In a first sign of dissent within the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Nikhath Fathima resigned as member of the influential body of Indian Muslims citing what she termed the board’s "rigidity on triple talaq" and its reluctance on the proposed reform the current scenario has necessitated.
Nikhath Fathima, a well-known activist in Chennai, and is a former co-chair of the AHI Academy for Women and president of the alumni association of the Sacred Heart Church Park School, was made a member of the All India Muslim Personal Board (AIMPLB) in 2013.
"Fathima resigned as a result of differences with the board on triple talaq – whereby a husband can unilaterally divorce his wife just by pronouncing the word talaq thrice", a media report said.
“The board represents various sections of Muslims, including the Ahle Hadees and Shias, both of which do not recognise instant triple talaq. Why are their views not being accepted?", the report by scroll.in quoted Nikhath Fathema as saying.
“If you endorse the validity of instant triple talaq on the basis of what Caliph Umar said, why are you not endorsing the punishment he gave too? I’m not comfortable with this attitude. My conscience does not allow me to continue in the board", she added.
The board feels that opening the door to reform would mean facilitating a BJP-imposed Uniform Civil Code – a common set of laws governing marriage, divorce, succession and adoption that would replace the various religious personal laws, according to Fathima.
“But should the fear of a Uniform Civil Code mean there should be no reform? Even if some practices are being carried on in the name of tradition, it’s time to change them", Fathima, who herself is opposed to the Common Civil Code, said.
Repeated attempts by ummid.com to contact Nikhath Fathima did not yield any result.
Dissent on triple talaq within the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) existed since its inception. But it is the first time that it came to public so forcefully in the wake of Nikhath Fathima's resignation.
Insiders say, besides some male members, there are other women members too, who are aggrieved by the Muslim panel's refusal to reform, even in the framework of the Islamic Shariah especially its stand on triple talaq and halala.
Recently Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat had also sent a communiqué to the All India Muslim personal Law Board (AIMPLB) suggesting it to take a corrective measure to solve the two issues in larger interest of the community. The board did not respond to Mushawarat appeal but reaffirmed its stand on triple talaq and other related matters during its Kolkata session held in November.