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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Kerala’s Communist ‘atheist’ govt. to confirm the legitimacy of Sharia law since it is ‘the true expression of Prophet’

Sharia laws, which serve as the foundation for Muslim personal law, are ‘constitutionally valid’, according to the Kerala government. The Supreme Court (SC) will shortly receive an affidavit from the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Marxist administration outlining Sharia Law’s ‘constitutional legality’. The Kerala government believes that the law should be regarded as ‘the true expression of the Prophet’ and its importance should be upheld in all aspects of Muslim personal law.

The state will soon submit an affidavit to the SC stating that the law of inheritance and all other branches of law relating to Muhammadan personal law contained in Sharia law ‘follow the constitution’s provisions’. The affidavit is to be filed in response to a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed in SC by the Khuran (Quran) Sunnath Society, VP Zuhra, and others challenging a Kerala HC order. 

Zuhra is the president of NISA, a Kozhikode-based progressive Muslim women’s forum. In 2018, she petitioned the SC demanding equal property rights for Muslim women and another demanding a revision of Muslim marriage laws. She insisted that Muslim men consider women on par with men, women be allowed to offer prayers in all mosques in the country, and permitted to become Imams.

Another matter is that she drew ‘inspiration’ from the SC verdict permitting women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple. Zuhra was also one of the petitioners in the landmark triple talaq judgment.

The SLP petitioners argue that the Muslim Personal Law based on sharia discriminates against women and violates their Constitutional rights for equality before the law, prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste and sex, and freedom of speech and expression.

The Kerala High Court had washed its hands off the issue, holding that it cannot adjudicate on the petition, and left it for the Kerala legislature to consider the issues and frame a law. The SLP was filed against this in SC.

The state government decided not to legislate after a high-level meeting of religious leaders and other ‘stakeholders’. All those who participated unanimously requested that the existing customs and procedures continue as per Sharia laws. The state government will argue in the Supreme Court that a person belonging to the Muslim community cannot complain of discrimination against the principles ‘accepted by Islam’! Incidentally, they are the same Marxists who ‘fight’ for progressiveness and never-ending ‘reform’ of Hindu Dharma.

If the petitioners feel that the principles of succession conflict with their understanding of Islamic law, they are free to act according to their ‘conscience’; but they cannot enforce their views through the courts – is reportedly going to be the govt. position.

Critics wonder if the same logic can be extended to other issues? Would we need laws if everyone acted as per their ‘conscience’?

Under Muhammadan law, there is no distinction between ancestral and self-acquired property. A Muslim woman governed by the Muslim Personal Law is entitled to get 1/8th share of her husband’s property if the couple had children, else she gets 1/4th share. Though a daughter also becomes a legal heir when her parents die, the quantum of a female heir’s inheritance is half that of a male heir. 

The justification available for this discrimination under Muslim law is that the female shall receive Mehr (dower, payment for nikah contract) and maintenance from her husband upon marriage, whereas men will have only the ancestors’ property for inheritance.

A Hindu woman has the same property right to her deceased parents’ property as a Hindu male. A wife gets an equal share of the assets of a deceased husband along with their children. A woman, being the mother, is also entitled to an equal share as the wife and children of her son who has died. This is, however, not the case with the father, as the father is not entitled to get any share in his son’s property during the lifetime of his son’s wife, mother, and children.

It is also important to note that the inheritance rights of a married Hindu daughter are precisely the same as that of an unmarried one. Both are entitled to the same part of inheritance as their male siblings. The SC has also recognized women as equal inheritors or joint legal heirs for the partition of ancestral property.

Some legal experts, including educated Muslim women, argue that such steps prove that the green communist government is fast moving towards the Talibanization of Kerala. The secrecy maintained behind such decision-making is suspicious. They have requested the central government to speed up the Uniform Civil Code and prevent such discrimination in personal laws, which has been allowed to fester since independence. 

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