‘Islam against divorce at whim’

In a landmark judgment, the J&K High Court has ruled that the power to divorce in Islam "isn't absolute, unqualified and unbridled" and it can't be "used arbitrarily at the whim and caprice" of the husband.

Quoting from the Quran and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, Justice Hasnain Masoodi said the husband has to fulfil certain conditions to make talaq valid. "It emerges that a husband has not merely to prove he has pronounced talaq to divorce his wife. He has to compulsorily prove that... he had a valid reason and genuine cause to pronounce divorce; that talaq was pronounced in presence of two witnesses endued with justice and that talaq was pronounced during tuhr (the time between menstrual cycles) without indulging in sexual intercourse with the divorcee during the said tuhr," Justice Masoodi said.

Justice Masoodi added: "The Quran uses the expression zawj for both husband and wife. It means either of the pair. Wherever Quran makes mention of ideal partners in a marriage, it refers to them as zawj and not husband or wife. This makes it clear that husband and wife in Islam are equal partners and have equal status."

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