ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Wednesday proposed that the practice of making divorce an act of three vocalised sentences be made an offence.
The CII proposed numerous resolutions on Wednesday, the final day of its convention which was chaired by Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani.
Religious experts, clerics, researchers and the 11 members of the council were present at the meeting in which 14 issues were conferred upon.
Under many interpretations of Islamic law, men easily can obtain a divorce known as “talaq” by simply declaring their intention three times. A woman, however, usually needs the pronouncement of a Muslim judge who is a scholar in the field of Islamic jurisprudence.
Earlier, the CII had suggested that the divorce sought by a woman would go into effect if the husband fails to respond within three months. It also recommended registering the first declaration of divorce by the husband, following which the second and third declaration would terminate the marriage.
The recommendations sparked a row as religious scholars and political parties criticised the Council for Islamic Ideology for misinterpreting the Islamic Shariat laws. Critics were of the view that the Council has no right to suggest reforms against the basic spirit of Shariah Laws.
Chairman of the CII Maulana Sherani proposed that the pronouncement of three divorces at once be recognised as a punishable offense. He declared on behalf of the council that pronouncing divorce thrice simultaneously is un-Islamic and against Shariah.
Read more: The right to divorce
In response to the council’s decision on multiple divorces, religious cleric Mufti Naeem told DawnNews, “To declare giving three divorces at once a crime, I think is inappropriate.” He maintained that while declaring a divorce there consecutive times has been strongly disliked by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), it is not a crime per say.
The council earlier stirred controversy when it stated that a Muslim woman could not object to the second or subsequent marriages of her husband.
Maulana Sherani declared that the nature of punishment for the pronouncement of three divorces should be left to respective courts where particular cases are handled.
Obligation of niqab for female judges
Speaking on behalf of the CCI, Maulana Sherani proposed that female judges should be obligated to cover or observe niqab (face veil). He added that the veil should be observed according to principles of Shariah Law.
In the convention, the council rejected a bill regarding juvenile punishments, declaring punishments for minors un-Islamic and inappropriate. It has advised the government to reassess and draft a new bill in this regard.
Independence day holiday
The council, which has been holding sessions for the past two days, has proposed for Aug 14 to be rendered a public holiday owing to the day’s paramount national significance.
During his address, Maulana Sherani presented the council members’ consensus that 'Black Days' or days of mourning should not be observed in Pakistan regardless of adversity faced by the nation.
Denouncing instances of sectarian violence rife in the country, CCI proposed in the final session of its meeting that a Code of Conduct be formulated by the government to curb sectarian hostility.
The members of the council also discussed measures to promote interfaith harmony among the Pakistani people