Triple talaq being given un-islamic interpretation: Heptulla

New Delhi: The practice of ‘triple talaq’ is being given an “un-Islamic” interpretation by certain quarters, Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla said today.

Asserting that Islam was “not a religion of inequality”, she told PTI that the practice of ‘triple talaq’ was being “wrongly interpreted”, as the concept of one-time ‘triple talaq’ does not exist.

Refraining from commenting on the stand taken by the Narendra Modi government urging the Supreme Court to abolish the custom, she said “this is not an issue where I can answer in affirmative or negative that I agree with the Centre’s stand or not. I can only give my views on the issue and what I feel about it.”

Heptulla, who was the Union Minister of Minority Affairs before being appointed to the gubernatorial post, was responding to questions on her views about the Centre’s stand in the Supreme Court opposing the practices of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims and favouring a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.

Regarding abolishing of the practice of polygamy in Islam as has been done in Hinduism, Heptulla said people should think about it and any injustice done to women in the name of Islam was “not correct”.

Observing that most of the Islamic countries have “correctly interpreted Islam”, she said the Quran and the Prophet have said that those who did injustice to humans are not following the religion correctly.

“Those who are misusing Islam and not treating women equally are wrong. I believe in what I say. Even a woman, on certain conditions of cruelty, injustice and other reasons, can seek dissolution of marriage but nobody speaks about it.

“Triple talaq cannot be given in one sitting. It has to be done in three sittings over three months and after following an arbitration process. The way they are interpreting it, is not Islamic and is not true. Most of the Muslim countries, including our neighbour Pakistan, have accepted this,” she said.

Commenting on the contentious issue, Heptulla further said that those who say ‘talaq, talaq, talaq’ were wrongly interpreting Islam and “they have no right to bring a bad name to the religion as they are giving it an un-Islamic interpretation”.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Law and Justice had filed an affidavit, saying the issue of validity of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy “needs to be considered in the light of principles of gender justice and the overriding principle of non-discrimination, dignity and equality.