Umar Shariff, the President of ‘Mission Possible For Justice & Rights’ and the Program Manager for the ‘All India Da’wah Centres Association’ while talking on the Uniform Civil Code said that such legislation would utterly fail in an immensely diverse nation like India. He began quoting an article from the ‘Muslim Mirror’ mentioning Zafar Sareshwala, a very close associate of Narendra Modi, in which Zafar wonders why the Indian Muslims are getting spontaneously provoked over the Uniform Civil Code, which would be much of harm to the Hindus than to them, as under the HUF – Hindu Undivided Family, the tax benefit that the Hindus get now will be abolished once the UCC gets implemented. Umar Shariff said he further in the article read about Golwalkar, the former leader of extremist right wing ally of BJP, the RSS, who way back in the year 1972 when the concept of Uniform Civil Code was raked up had apprehended from attempting to implement it saying that it would not be practically achievable in India, the land that has multiple diverse cultures across every state and city. Umar Shariff said that the ‘AIMPLB – All India Muslim Personal Law Board’ was also formed in the year 1972 to object the Uniform Civil Code then.
He said that, raking the issue again makes it apparent that the Central government is trying to downplay its failures to answer the questions on actual issues of current concerns such as, its failure to retrieve the ‘Black Money’ from the foreign banks; its incapability to resolve the 3 month long burning crisis of the Kashmiris who were shot by the pellets fired by the security forces; its laxity to deal with the injustice done to the members of the Dalit community who were beaten and paraded in public; its utter silence towards the families of the Muslims killed and humiliated in the pretext of eating or transporting beef; and many such issues to divert the focus of the people, in the course of engaging in the lengthy futile debates on adopting or not the Uniform Civil Code. It’s nothing of a naivety from the government’s part when it has intellectuals who are well knowledgeable of the massive diversity visible in Hinduism, the dominant religion in India, within which we find numerous castes, sub-castes; hindus who are so unimaginably different from the purely vegetarian Hindus; that you find people who believe in being naked without a single cloth on the bodies called as the Nanga Babas; the Aghoris found in the Haridwar, who ritually eat the dead bodies of humans and drink from the human skulls; the Hindus who differ in belief of existence and non-existence of God; their differences in marriage rituals – with some actualizing within few minutes and some taking whole 2 days and so on. And for the government to take a futile step by deliberating on Uniform Civil Code is a clear intended act of diversion by hoodwinking the public from the issues that actually matter. Hence he said that Muslims have nothing to worry about them getting deprived of their religious rights, since it is practically impossible to implement such a code on a heterogenous and pluralistic Indian society.
While answering to the statements made by the Union Minister Venkiah Naidu’s high toned call for bringing in Uniform Civil Code through a veiled gesture against Islam, by saying that such a move is necessary as they find gender inequality in some religions, Umar Shariff questioned Venkiah Naidu as to why don’t we find women Poojaris (priests) leading in Hindu temples! Why not literally bring gender equality there too! He said, “did Venkiah Naidu ever voice out for the justice of the Muslim women when they were raped and killed in 2002 Gujarat riots? Did he speak for justice, when the abdomen of a Muslim woman was slit open and the foetus within was pierced by Trishul during the Gujarat riots? What did he say when all of this was reported by the mainstream media? Did he ever speak for the life of the innocent Muslim lady Ishrat Jahan, when she was killed in a fake encounter in the midst of road on a broad daylight? If he didn’t, then his cry for equality of Muslim women is just a dubious game played to divert Indians from the actual subjects of their concern today.”
Umar Shariff further said that the factual statistics reveal that the instances of divorce are more rampant in other religious communities than the Muslim community. He pointed out that in Shareeah, even the wife can take Khula (women’s choice of marriage termination) comfortably as the husband does, by approaching a Qaazi, the Islamic Judge, who considering the prevailing circumstances can either decree Khula or consult her for reunion if doing so is good for her, given the fact that it’s the woman who gets impregnated and has to take the pains of labour and childcare that accompany her. Hence Islam provides for an easy conduct of Marriage and Talaq/Khula.
On the issue of Polygamy he said that it’s a matter of fact that the Non-Muslim men are found to be more polygamous than the Muslim men, as the survey show. He said that in Islam, Polygamy is permitted only on the grounds of absolute fairness towards all the wives. He also cited instances of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Mr. Karunanidhi, who is known to have two wives, with some saying as three. Further the former Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr. Kumaraswamy having a wife and another one as Radhika. Even if one reads the Hindu scriptures, we find Dasharatha, the father of the Hindu god Rama having three or four wives in the Ramayana epic; Krishna had wives such as Rukmini, Radha and more than 16000 other wives and consorts! All these show that the Hindu Puranas and scriptures are filled with stories of multiple marriages even among the hindu gods.
Despite all this, if some modernist Muslim woman dislike the Shareeah law for divorce, then she has the liberty within the democratic system to go for divorce by an already existing Indian constitutional provision for women called “Indian Muslim Women Marriage Dissolution Act” and can get divorce at ease. Likewise, they can even enter into a Marriage Contract under “Special Marriage Act” of constitution and get married if they are reluctant to follow Shareeah code of marriage. But he said these women cannot become a mouthpiece for the whole of Muslim community, as more than 99% of Muslim women want to get into wedlock or get out of it in the Shareeah way of Marriage and Divorce as ordained by the Glorious Quran and the Noble Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s) while seeking the pleasure of Allah.
Hence as apparent, the women’s rights activists for such so called freethinkers or Modernists amongst Muslim women, who are hateful of Islamic Shareeah, are at liberty to go through the existing provision under the Indian Constitution. Therefore the government has no scope for dictating reforms in Islamic Shareeah; and all this hue and cry happening for adopting Uniform Civil Code is totally uncalled for. What’s the need for the Uniform Civil Code, when the provision to marry and divorce outside of the Islamic Shareeah is already existing in the Indian constitution!
Umar Shariff also said that the AIMPLB need to get more advanced and organized to curb the Talaaq given at one sitting to divorce the wife at once. He said that some Muslims might have given Talaaq in ignorance, while not fully exercising the process under the Islamic Shareeah. The Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet guides the Muslims to wait for a period of three menstrual cycles time to actualize the Talaaq, after the husband pronounces Talaaq; and that the divorce is considered void if the couple reconciles within the three monthly periods time. Therefore the need to monitor and control the Muslim marriages and divorces is incumbent upon the AIMPLB and the Muslim organizations, so that our community need not pay the price for the mistakes done by the ignorant few.
Note: All views mentioned here are personal views that are not necessarily be the official statements of the organizations that Umar Shariff represents.
Reported By Abdul Wahid