BHOPAL: Family of Shah Bano, the Muslim woman from Indore whose case that proved to be a milestone in the fight for rights of Muslim women has expressed mixed feelings over the apex court’s judgment on triple talaq on Tuesday.
Siddiqua Begum, the 78-year-old daughter of Shah Bano said the apex court judgment was not in line with the Shariat and the Quaran-e-Sharif. “The verdict, though not in the spirit of Shariat and Quran-e-Sharif, is certainly befitting for jahil (uneducated and illiterate), who have misused the provisions of talaq against their wives. It will certainly benefit women having modern thinking and those who are very poor and have been victimised by their uneducated husbands by flawed interpretation of the Quran,” Siddiqua Begum told journalists at her house in Indore’s Khajrana locality.
Her tax consultant son Zuber Ahmad Khan said the apex court has not held talaq as illegal, but has only passed the order on its misinterpretation and misuse. The apex court has given the Central government six months to enact a law which lays the rightful procedure for Triple Talaq in line with the provisions of the Shariat and the Quran-e-Sharif.
He added that the verdict in the triple talaq case should in no way be equated with the Supreme Court judgment of 1985 on the suit filed by his maternal grandmother Shah Bano for claiming maintenance from her advocate husband Mohammad Ahmad Khan.
“My naani never filed a suit in the Supreme Court challenging her divorce by my naanaa, but she filed the suit to get alimony and the apex court ruled in her favour in 1985, However, Centre overturned the verdict,” Zuber told Express.
Shah Bano’s daughter Siddiqua Begum recounted how her mother contested the court battle against her advocate husband in the Supreme Court. “My father had studied law from Baharain and was a prominent lawyer of Madhya Pradesh. My mother found it very difficult to find a lawyer to contest her case in the SC,” she remembered.
Siddiqua Begum was already married and had children, when her mother Shah Bano filed the civil suit in the SC for alimony to take care of her three sons. “My mother faced a lot of opposition, especially those by religious leaders, against her decision to go court against my father,” said Siddiqua.
“My mother once told me that while the suit was pending before the SC, someone from Saudi Arabia contacted her and promised her free Haj pilgrimage for entire family, besides money as per the family’s wishes. The message was sent to my mother through the eldest of three brothers—Hamid. However, my mother refused to withdraw the suit,” claimed Siddiqua Begum.
Shah Bano, the 62-year-old mother of five children from Indore was divorced by advocate husband in 1978. She filed a suit in the SC, in which she won the right to alimony in 1985. However, she was subsequently denied the alimony, when the parliament reversed the apex court’s judgment under pressure of Islamic orthodoxy.