Good Move From Pakistan's Islamic Ideology Council
Daily Times, November 16, 2008
The Council for Islamic Ideology (CII) under the chairmanship of one of Pakistan’s top scholars of Islam, Dr Khalid Masud, has recommended that divorce laws in the country be brought in line with the edicts of the Quran by giving the right of divorce to wives too. It says that a woman has the right to demand divorce and such a divorce would be deemed to go into effect 90 days after “a woman has filed for separation, even if the man does not respond by that time”.
Next, the CII has recommended the registration of divorce proceeding the same way as nikah on a new form that would safeguard the right of the woman under Quran. It wants the nikahnama amended too in order to describe in it the right of the wife to ask for divorce without being bequeathed the right to do so by the husband. The CII report says the husband must be made to register the “first divorce” too instead of the current practice of sending the woman a notice of three simultaneous talaqs. Only after the registration of the first talaq would the later talaqs become valid.
Another drawback for women has been addressed by the CII. A woman demanding divorce has to surrender assets given to her by the husband but not her dowry. The bridegroom should declare his assets at the time of his first marriage and give full details about his first wife and children in the nikahnama in case of a second wedlock. The practice today is that a woman approaching the court for khula (asking for divorce) is accused of possessing assets that were not given to her. Some husbands force wives to surrender their dowries too.
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