Resolution on Model Nikahnama

31 May, 2005  
This convention, organized by the AIWC, AIDWA, CWDS, JWP, Muslim Women's Forum, NFIW and YWCA to discuss the "Model" nikahnama of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, while welcoming the fact that for the first time the Board has had to address the problems of Muslim women especially with regard to marriage, divorce, etc., feels that the nikahnama falls far short of the demands of justice.
As far as the nikahnama is concerned, this convention resolves:
  • for the first time, the Board itself has discouraged the practice of 'triple talaq' in one sitting. It should now heed the many voices of Muslim women and others in all parts of the country to promote the complete end of this practice;
  • the practice of polygamy which cannot be sanctioned or condoned in anyway must be ended;
  • womens' right to talaq and to the insertion of the clause on 'deferred' talaq or talaq-e-tafweez must be included in the nikahnama;
  • the rights of divorced women and their children must be clearly stated;
  • the payment of meher must be ensured and should not be restricted to payment in gold or silver;
  • demands for dowry, ostentatious marriages and feasts must all be banned.
This Convention welcomes the resolution passed by the AIMPLB demanding an end to all State laws that deprive Muslim women of their right to inheritance of agricultural land. It must now agitate for this in every way possible. We, on our part, should also launch movements and agitations around this demand.
This Convention resolves that the space for reform that has been created by the AIMPLB having been pressurized into discussing this very important issue and by the tremendous discussion and debate that this has generated must be used for carrying forward our movement for complete gender justice. Ultimately, gender-just personal laws for Muslims have to be codified so that their interpretation is not left to individuals or groups who insist on denying Muslim women their rights and equality. We assure all those fighting for justice for Muslim women of our co-operation and unstinted support.
This Convention demands that the Government of India also frame policies and laws that ensure social, economic and gender justice to Muslim women. The neglect that Muslim women suffer in the fields of education, health, sanitation and economic activity has also to be remedied by Governments both at the State and Central levels. The security of Muslim women has also to be a State responsibility. Whenever and wherever communal violence breaks out, Governments must intervene to protect them and also to mete out strict punishment to the perpetrators of violence.