Islamic Family Expert At Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth Discusses Impact Of Judgment In The UK
India’s top court has ruled that ‘instant divorces’ under the ‘triple talaq’ practice are now outlawed, which will have an effect on how Muslim divorces in India are recognised in the UK.
The ruling also marks a larger step towards equality between Muslim men and women, with India joining Pakistan and Bangladesh in banning the ‘triple talaq’ practice. According to the latest census results from India, there are 127 million Muslims living in the country and that for every divorced Muslim man, there are four divorced Muslim women.
The cases were brought by five Muslim women who had been divorced. The ‘triple talaq’ practice previously meant that a Muslim man could divorce his wife in minutes by saying the word ‘talaq’ three times. With communication becoming easier, cases arose with Muslim men divorcing their wives by texting, over the phone or on Skype.
The ruling will have a significant impact going forward for Muslim men and women living in the UK who may have been married and divorced in India. Despite this, experts at Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth warn that there are some strides still to be taken when it comes to equality between Muslim men and women. Divorced Muslim women are often stigmatised for being abandoned by their husbands and can find it more difficult to remarry another Muslim man.
Expert Opinion“The Indian Supreme Court’s judgment will begin to alleviate stigmas in the country for Muslim women who have been divorced using the triple talaq. It is pleasing to see that India has taken this step, which has the third-largest Muslim population in the world.
“It is important to note that Sharia law carried out in the UK has no impact or binding effect on the English courts. However, Sharia establishments in the UK still exist and many Muslim women are unaware of the difference, therefore never trying to pursue an English divorce upon which financial claims can be made. It will therefore be interesting to see if UK Sharia establishments outlaw the triple talaq practice following India’s decision.
“As it stands, these women are missing out on valid financial claims that will help to support them after their divorce. While the judgment is a welcome one, a change in attitude towards Muslim women will not happen overnight and will require key members inside and outside of the Muslim community to support a greater drive towards equality.” Mark Hands - Partner