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As India debates triple talaq, here are 9 Islamic countries that have regulated divorce

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Many Islamic countries have outlawed the concept of ‘instant’ triple talaq. ThePrint takes a look at few of these countries.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced that the triple talaq bill, which is currently being debated, will be put to vote Thursday itself.

The bill, which seeks to criminalise the practice of triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat is aggressively being pushed by the BJP in Parliament. The government had sent a note to all MPs explaining its position on why the bill needs to be passed.

In the second part of its note, the government had listed nine Islamic countries that legislated divorce methods.

“Islamic countries like Eqypt, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have regulated triple talaq. They have said you can’t say talaq in one sitting… India is a secular country. If women are facing abuse, we need to take a decision,” said Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the Lok Sabha Thursday.

These nine Islamic countries were also referred to by the Supreme Court in its August judgment which called triple talaq unconstitutional. 

Pakistan and Bangladesh

Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961

Legislation passed in undivided Pakistan applies to both these modern-day countries. It requires the man who wishes to divorce his wife to give the ‘arbitration council’ a written notice of his having done so, and supply a copy of the same to his wife.

Contravention of this rule “shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or both”.


Code of Personal Status, 1956

Divorce can only be granted with the mutual consent of both parties, and no divorce can be decreed until the court has made an overall inquiry into the causes of rift and failed to effect a reconciliation.


Law of Personal Status, 1929

In Egypt, the concept of ‘instant’ triple talaq does not exist. A compulsory waiting period exists between the pronouncement of each ‘talaq’. This is usually three months. The first ‘talaq’ is considered only a single and revocable divorce pronouncement.


Law of Marriage, 1974

If attempts at reconciliation have failed, then a married couple can get divorced but only in court, not any religious body. “Breakdown of marriage” is an important pre-condition for divorce.


Code of Personal Status, 2004

In order for a man to divorce his wife through talaq, he must seek permission from the court after registering it with a public notary. Multiple expressions of divorce, oral or written, will have the effect of a single divorce only.


Articles 161-165 of Turkish Civil Law

Turkey does not recognise extra-judicial divorce or ‘talaq-e-biddat’. Divorce proceedings in the country can only be initiated if the marriage has been registered with the Vital Statistics Office. The process of divorce takes place in the civil court.


Sections 145 of the Civil Law of 4 January 1977, Afghanistan

Divorce, where three pronouncements are made in only one sitting, is considered to be invalid in Afghanistan.


Article 1134 of Iranian Family Law

Divorce can be granted by a Qazi and/or court only after reconciliation efforts have failed. It must be in the presence of at least two ‘just’ men who hear the actual form of divorce.

For most Islamic countries three pronouncements of the word ‘talaq’ in one session equals only one talaq. There is a mandatory waiting period after each such pronouncement, with the divorce only granted at the third one.

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