The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, an advocacy group that campaigns for shariah law among Muslims, will set up arbitration centres called Darul Qazas in every district of the country, Zafaryab Jilani, a senior member of the board, told HT Sunday.
Darul Qaza centres traditionally deal with matters allowed under The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. Individuals could bring matrimonial and property disputes before such centres.
Shariah refers to Islamic law based on the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Mohammed, known as Ahadith.
“These centres would also advise couple against instant triple talaq as it is both bad in Islam and also now banned by the law,” Jilani said.
Triple talaq is the Muslim practice of divorce put into effect by uttering the Arabic word for divorce, talaq, three times at one go.
Many cities, such as Lucknow, Guwahai, Patna and Hyderabad, already have such arbitration centres, whose main function is to advise, counsel and administer shariah laws.
Jilani said, according to a past Supreme Court judgement, these centres were legally permissible and did not amount to a “parallel legal system” that contravened the Constitution. “These are not courts, but centres of Islamic jurisprudence. That’s what the SC had ruled,” he said.
According to Jilani, one Vishwa Madan Lochan in 2010 had petitioned the Supreme Court to quash these centres on the grounds that they clashed with the judiciary.
“We explained the Darul Qaza system before the court. The court order was that these were not courts.”
The influential Muslim seminary Darul Uloom in Deoband was one of the parties, along with the personal law board, in that case.
“Essentially, they (Darul Qazas) counsel parties on what shariah says on a particular matter,” said Noor Qazi, a New Delhi based Islamic scholar. Around 50 Darul Qaza centres are functioning currently in various states.
(With inputs from Brijendra Parashar in Lucknow)
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