Maulana Maulanas maintain men more mature, master minds
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Maulanas maintain, “Men more mature, master minds”

The Maulanas of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) have a simple answer to explain why they believe men are more equal than women and hence the current practices need to continue.The Maulanas opine that men are more judicious, have better control over their mental and emotional faculties and thereby are more mature. Whether any of the  Maulanas referred to is qualified to understand or comment on mental health and abilities, we are not sure of. But the women members of the AIMPLB also seem to concur.

The Maulanas have made the above statements in an affidavit before the Supreme Court of India. The affidavit was in response to a petition filed by some Muslim Women Groups. They were challenging the one sided interpretation of triple talaaq as in the Shariah. The abuse by some Muslim men of a provision in the Shariah to divorce their wives. Divorcing the wife by merely uttering the word talaaq thrice to her.

 Behind The Successful Man

Status-quoists in some cases are stuck in their religious dogmas. They may find it convenient to disregard the circumstances that led to the founding of Islam and its Laws. But they would surely accept that Mohammed, the Holy Prophet (may Peace be upon Him and His) himself respected his first wife. She had been an influential person in society in her own right. She had also been a great guide and supporter of The Prophet’s efforts.  In all humility the Holy Prophet himself might have been amongst the first to acknowledge these contributions.

Science/Logic behind the Shariah

The Holy Prophet lived in times when Arabia and the Middle East was torn between warring groups. (People Like Us vs People Like Them). Many young and able bodied men would have been either away in battle or would have been killed. The resulting skewed gender ratio would have been of concern for the Society elders. This would have compelled The Prophet to suggest the mechanism of Polygamy in the overall interest of the community.  A man may also have needed the consent of his previous wives before entering into another marital contract. Also the Shariah itself mentions best practices. Paying bride-money to the woman’s family before marriage (proof of the groom’s stable finances). Also, openness to widow remarriage. Unlike ancient India, widow re-marriage was not much of an anathema across many cultures.

 Blending Tradition With Modern Needs in the Interest of All

The NewsTikka team hopes that all traditions keep in mind the evolving needs of society. This may entail revisiting of certain established practices. Especially if these (even unwittingly) confine a person or persons in an unilateral manner.  Any Law whether personal or the State’s would wish to treat all women (and men) equally. One sister cannot live a lifetime under the threat of her husband possibly divorcing her. Or for that matter walking through the door with another wife.    

So Easy to Forget our Better Halves

 Cool Chilli is reminded of National Poet, Subramania Bharathi’s meeting with Sister Nivedita. Though born a Brahmin, Bharathi was egalitarian in nature. This angered the others in his community who went to the extent of ‘ex-communicating’ him. Despite all his good intentions, Bharathi  himself was guilty of not respecting  his wife adequately. When he discussed the freedom movement with Sister Nivedita, she is said to have retorted, ”How do you expect freedom for your nation without giving freedom to one half?”

Additional Reading

View of Women members of the AIMPLB