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October 24, 2018

CII chairman clarifies statement on new marriage document


October 24, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Chairman Council for Islamic Ideology (CII) Qibla Ayaz has once again reiterated that women will be granted the right to seek dissolution of marriage without going to court under the new marriage document being worked out by the council. However, he clarified that inherent right to divorce would remain with the husband but the same would be surrendered to wife at the time of Nikah if both parties agree.

“The women can’t divorce husband under the Shariah Law but there is a provision under which the right of divorce (Talaq-e-Tafweez) is delegated to the wife unconditionally by the husband in the Nikah contract. In that case women will have the right to dissolve marriage which was obtained from the husband through Talaq-e-Tafweez which is provided for in the Shariah,” he said.

The chairman was clarifying a news report published in this newspaper titled “Women soon to be able to divorce husbands”. He re-confirmed content of the story and his statement to this correspondent but disagreed with the wording of description. “Women can’t divorce but can seek right to dissolve marriage under Talaq-e-Tafweez,” Ayaz said referring to his previous interview. If the man surrenders his right to divorce then wife would be empowered to dissolve marriage whenever she wants.

He said the provision of women having right to dissolve marriage was part of old marriage document but the women would rarely get that right as Nikahkhawan would not inform them about their rights. “Under the new proposal Nikhakhawan will be asked to explain entitlements and responsibilities to both bride and bridegroom,” he said.

According to Ayaz there are three ways of divorce in Islam’s Fiqh. First is Khula under which woman goes to court to seek divorce. Second is calls Faskh Nikah, under which the marriage is automatically dissolved if certain conditions are not met by husband. Third is Talaq-e-Tafweez under which husband surrenders his right to divorce to his wife at the time of Nikah. He said for Khula the husband’s consent was necessary but under the dissolution provision consent would not be required as husbands would already surrender their right to their wives.

Sources said the chairman faced pressure from religious circles after the publication of his interview with The News and the CII was forced to issue a clarification of his own chairman’s statement. However chairman insisted he was not under any pressure.

But in a statement issued on Monday, CII spokesman Ikramul Haq said that council was not considering a marriage document that would include a clause allowing women to divorce their husbands.

"However, the council is working on a Nikahnama and a Talaqnama (divorce document) whose language will be simple and easily intelligible," he added. The statement added that the new document will include necessary clauses to strengthen family system in the light of teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

Also being considered are proposals to ensure details of national identity cards are entered in the Nikahnama and the "role of the Nikahkhwan is made effective and documentary". "The scholars will be taken in confidence on the draft for the Nikahnama and Talaqnama, which will be presented for formal approval in a meeting of the council," Haq said.

The council, a constitutional body which recommends changes to Pakistani laws to make them Shariah-compliant. In his previous interview Ayaz had said that the old marriage document drafted in 1960s did not have provisions according to the requirements of 21st century. He said provision for the bride to dissolve the marriage was present in the old document too but it was not elaborate and the brides were often given the document in which the provision was deleted by Nikahkhwans.

“They won’t be able to do that anymore and there would be legal consequences for that and the Nikahkhwan would not able to delete it without consent of the bride-to-be,” Ayaz had told The News.

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