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Muslims hail BMMA draft law that aims to improve lives of Muslim women
A Muslim women rights group namely Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) has come out with a draft law that aims to improve the lives of Muslim women across India. The draft law which calls for the abolishment of oral divorce system and triple talaq i.e. divorce given by Mulsim men just by repeating the term Talaq three times.
The draft law called as Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act also opposes the permission of four marriages given to the Muslim males by the Shariyat, the Islamic law that governs the personal lives of Muslims in India.

Muslim activists and scholars have hailed the draft law by the BMMA while saying that it will bring revolutionary changes in the lives of Muslim women.

Renowned social activist Shabnam Hashmi appreciated the initiative of BMMA while expressing confidence that if the draft law is approved by the government the Muslim women will get their own identity.

"It is a very good step. It shows that women from Muslim community are getting together for their rights. If certain things aren't acceptable according to them (Muslim women) then those things meant to be changed. Each law needs an upgradation from time to time. And the method of Talaq-e-Ahsan has already been abolished in many Islamic country's (like Pakistan). But I don't know why Indian Muslim groups are not avoiding it. I think BMMA is taking a very good and a progressive step."

Dr. Noorjehan Safia Niaz, co-founder member of BMMA is expecting a swift approval from the government to this draft law. She said, "It is govt's prerogative to approve it. Until the draft law gets approved, we wish to get supported by other organizations also."

Professor at New Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia university Dr. Md. Badrul Alam said that the draft law would give more liberty to Muslim women. "Women are actually looking into existence of women empowerment especially in Muslim community. This initiative of BMMA would fetch a word 'liberalism' to Muslim women," said Dr. Alam.

Spokesperson of the All India Shia Personal Law Board Maulana Yasoob Abbas said that what BMMA's draft law is aiming for is already there in Shia Personal Law. He said, "The Shia Personal Law Board has drawn a new Nikah-Nama according to which the right to divorce is provided to women only, so that the women could enjoy their liberty in such a patriarchal society where they are always sentenced to the physical mental and emotional torture of men. We respect our constitution and just because of this only right to divorce has been given to women only."

The BMMA was working on the draft law since last seven years, in which for the first time Islamic laws pertaining to marriage, divorce and maintenance have been codified. The draft law says that at the time of marriage the Muslim bride's age should be at least 18 years, while the bridegroom should be at least 21 years of age.

To ensure that the polygamy is stopped the draft law also says that neither the bride nor the bridegroom should have a living spouse at the time of marriage.

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