Mumbai: The first day of debate in the Supreme Court of India on Thursday saw some interesting points raised by both - those challenging the validity of Triple Talaq and those in defence. During the hearing on the issue Salman Khurshid, who is acting as Amicus Curiae, was also at his best when he explained the process of talaq as described in the Islamic Shariah.
Kapil Sibal, counsel to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), however spoiled the show by his blunders and by referring to the differences within various schools of thought among Sunni Muslims instead of debating the merit of the case.
"It was a view of the Ahle Hadees school of thought among Sunni Muslims and they are a minority in India", Kapil Sibal submitted when senior advocate Anand Grover for the petitioners read out a judgment of Justice Ahmed of the Delhi High court nullifying triple talaq,
Here is why Kapil Sibal is wrong in his submission.
First, Kapil Sibal should note that the stand on Triple talaq taken by Ahle Hadees is not a "view". It is a concrete stand taken based on the strong ground, as can be seen in the Islamic Shariah i.e. Qura'n and Sunnah and which his client is shying away from discussing. Read here for references.
And once, a stand finds its basis in Qura'n and Sunnah, it becomes divine and ceases to be a "view" or "opinion" as Kapil Sibal submitted in the Supreme Court on Thursday.
But, if Kapil Sibal, or his client, feels that the stand on Triple Talaq taken by Ahle Hadees is incorrect and not based on the Islamic Shariah then he should have exposed it in the Supreme Court so as to settle the issue once and for all.
Second, it was a sheer blunder by Kapil Sibal when he said "they are a minority in India" in the later part of his statement.
Yes Ahle Hadees are a minority among the Muslims in India. So what?
Even a student of Islamic studies knows, and one does not need to be a scholar on Islam to know that in Islam a decision stand or judgment is not taken on the basis of "minority" or "majority". You need to have a strong ground in the Islamic Shariah for taking a stand. If a stand is based on Islamic Shariah then numbers become immaterial. The best example is of Prophet Abraham whom Qura'n has referred as "Ummah" (see Qura'n - An Nahl Ayah 120).
So it appeared that since Kapil Sibal could not prove Ahle Hadees wrong and incorrect on the basis of Islamic Shariah, he started talking about their status in India in terms of their numbers.
Third, Kapil Sibal said "triple talaq" and "Nikah Halala" are "matters of faith" for Muslims and hence the judiciary cannot and should not interfere. Sibal however could not present evidence to prove his claim.
Faith in something, if you are a Muslim, again should be clearly substantiated by the authentic sources in the Islamic Shariah. You just can't imagine something and claim that to be a matter of faith. Faith is compulsory, not a matter of choice. In case of triple talaq itself, there are ample evidence in the Islamic Shariah to negate Kapil Sibal. As for "Nikah Halala" Kapil Sibal's client will not be able to provide a single evidence from the Islamic Shariah to prove that the evil practice has anything to do with Islam. Read here for more details.
Footnote: Justice Nariman wanted to know, though humorously, what about a man “who gives talaq after a couple of drinks at night?" Relax as talaq is not counted if pronounced by a person who is intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol.