New Delhi: Jama Masjid Shahi Imam, Syed Ahmad Bukhari, doesn’t agree with the Supreme Court verdict of Tuesday. Instead, he blames this turn of events on the Muslim Personal Law Board. Bhukhari, in an interview with Tanushree Pandey of CNN-News18, says the Board could have avoided this embarrassment of losing out to the Supreme Court, had they issued an advisory to the Muslim community, speaking against the practice of instant triple talaq.
Q: Instant triple talaq has been struck down by the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment, calling it unIslamic. Do you think that the SC has the right to determine what is Islamic and what is unIslamic?
A: I would hold the Muslim Personal Law Board responsible for this verdict. Had they unanimously issued an advisory regarding the practice when instances came to light, then there would have been no need for the SC to intervene.
They kept on saying that SC has no right to intervene into the Muslim personal law but never came up with an advisory to stop it. Now that the court has passed an order, they will have to issue an advisory saying they'll socially boycott men who still practice instant triple talaq and ask masjids to preach that the practice is wrong.
Had they acted on it earlier, the Board would have saved themselves this embarrassment in the eyes of the Muslim community. It was not a matter of ego but a social issue of an entire community which demands to be taken up firmly."
Q: Now that the SC has come up with a verdict, do you think it will be properly implemented on the ground level?
A: The Supreme Court has not interfered with the Sharia law, triple talaq is still untouched, instant triple talaq has been banned. As far as the implementation is concerned, Muslim Personal Law Board has to ensure that it is properly implemented on the ground. If instances of triple talaq continue to happen, the law will take its course as everyone is equal before the law.
Q: The government might come up with a law against triple talaq in six months' time. Do you think that will be justified?
A: I don't think that a law is needed. And if two of the five judges are against it, then I don't think that a law can be made.
Q: After a judgment on triple talaq, do you think the other two practices followed by the Muslim community, Nikah Halala and Nikah Halala, should also be challenged in the court?
A: I don't think the SC will go to that extent to interfere with the Muslim personal laws, as that will certainly lead to conflict. Some restrictions under the Sharia laws are mandatory for Muslims. But there are people who misuse them under the garb of Islamic practices.
Q: Government is also mulling a Uniform Civil Code, do you think the Muslim community will accept it?
A: Why are only Muslims being questioned on the Uniform Civil Code? India is a diverse country with different religions, castes, beliefs and in such a country, it is not possible to bring a Uniform Civil Code.
It is not possible to alter practices which have been followed by a particular community for years. No religion including Hinduism will ever agree to Uniform Civil Code.