The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has recommended that the act of triple talaq (instant divorce) should be made a punishable crime.
Replying to a question by Member of National Assembly (MNA) Bashir Virk, CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz informed the NA Standing Committee on Law and Justice that divorce takes place when the word for it, talaq, is uttered thrice in one breath – even if it has been done in jest.
Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem said that there was precedence in Islamic history of such an act being punished by the state, saying that the second caliph of Islam, Hazrat Umar (RA), had punished those who performed the act of instant divorce.
“Therefore, the NA can make laws to make this action a punishable crime,” he said.
Endorsing the law minister’s stance, Dr Ayaz said triple talaq should be made punishable in Fiqah Hanafi.
When inquired about the punishment, Ayaz said that the CII had not determined that as yet. “If the Law Ministry agrees to our suggestion to make it a punishable offence, the punishment can also be determined.”
The law minister warned that making triple talaq a punishable crime would become another mean through which the police would demand bribes.
“If divorce is not a crime, then such legislation should be avoided,” he said. “But if there is precedence of the righteous caliph, then we are bound to follow it as well,” he added.
The committee deferred the discussion on the bill about divorce as well as that on inheritance till the next meeting.