Reply To: The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939

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Quran states: ‘you are raiment for her and she is raiment for you’

Islam lays great emphasis on the stability of family. According to the Holy Quran(1) “God did create you from dust” then from sperm drop, then he made you in pairs [Surah (Chapter) XXXV Verse 11]. God’s declaration that men and women are created in pairs is repeatedly stated in several verses to acknowledge the spirit of marriage. They are made as a mate to find comfort and purify their inner soul. It is also stated that male and female together make a single self, which 1 In the judgment, translation of Quaranic verses are from The Meaning of The Glorious Qur’an – An explanatory translation by Marmaduke Pickthall  symbolises raiment. Chapter II Verse 187 Quran states: ‘you are raiment for her and she is raiment for you’, which highlights the closeness of a mate, like cloth; for protection and comfort etc. The spirit of marriage lies in the closeness and bonding between the partners.

Chapter IV Verse 28 Quran states that man was created weak, to mean that his decisions are vulnerable. The very concept of institutionalizing marriage in Islam through a contract is to remind that the parties to the marriage may error in their decision and they may fall apart in conflict to remain as united. Marriage as a contract guarantees both parties permanent rights and obligations. The Holy Quran, therefore, recognizes the right to divorce equally for both men and women. However, the dilemma of Muslim women, particularly in the State of Kerala, came into the fore when a learned Single Judge of Kerala Court in K.C.Moyin v. Nafeesa & Others [1972 KLT 785] negated the right of Muslim women to invoke extra-judicial divorce in light of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, (in short ‘Act”). It is held that under no circumstances, a muslim marriage cannot be dissolved at the instance of wife, except in accordance with the provisions of the Act.