Muslim Personal Law

All the Muslims in India are governed by Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. It deals with marriage, succession, inheritance and charities among Muslims. The Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939 deals with the situations in which Muslim women can take divorce or the rights of the divorced Muslim women. These laws are not applicable in Goa State, where Goa Civil Code is applicable for all, irrespective of their religion. This law isn’t applicable to Muslims who have married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.


During Sher Shah’s regime, powers of the court were restricted and Muslim Law was modified to that extent which can suit the requirements of the time. Ulemas (religious scholars) had considerable influence on legal decisions. During Akbar’s regime, powers of Ulemas were reduced and shattered the dominance of Sunni school. Cutting of noses and ears and death penalty couldn’t be inflicted without Emperor’s permission during Jahangir’s regime. Aurangzeb ordered compilation of code of law. In 1822, Privy Council recognized right of Shia Muslims to their own law.
British Raj passed Shariat Act in 1937 for the matters related to marriage, divorce and succession of Muslims.
Indian society was defined by caste and religious identity, with lack of citizenship under British rule. Individual could be limited based upon caste, religion and economic status, etc.
Points of gender, caste and religion are still determinants of political influence and access to resources.
Current organizations of Muslim Personal Law discriminates against women in three ways:
1. Muslim men is allowed to marry up to four wives at a time.
2. He can divorce his wife without getting into any legal processes.
3. He doesn’t need to provide financial support to his ex wife after three months of divorce whereas men are required to support their ex wife forever after divorce in other religions.
Marriage and Divorce
Muslim marriage is a civil contract between man and a woman. Dissolution of marriage can be done by husband (talaq), wife (khula) or mutual (mubarat).
Talaq allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife by just stating the word talaq three times. On 22 August 2017, Supreme Court of India deemed triple talaq unconstitutional. Muslim Women Act announced triple talaq illegal and void in 2019.
Other Muslim groups follow talaq-i-hasan where husband pronounces talaqs on three separate months. If husband changes his mind after first or second talaq, divorce is nullified.
Husband can pronounce divorce through an agreement known as talaq-e-tafweeh.
A woman can ask for divorce in the following situations:
1. If whereabouts of husband is not known for more than four years.
2. If husband hasn’t provided her maintenance for two years.
3. If husband has been sentenced for imprisonment for seven or more years.
4. If the husband was impotent at the time of marriage and is still impotent.
5. If husband is insane from two years.
6. If husband treats his wife with cruelty.
7. If husband disposes of her property and doesn’t allow her to exercise her legal rights.
Mahr is the total money or property that husband is required to give wife at the time of marriage.
A Muslim can give only one third of the total property through will.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.