Sharia courts in India support divorce for drug addiction


Sharia courts in the northern Indian city of Srinagar have attracted media attention after allowing local women to divorce their drug-addicted husbands.

Srinagar is the capital of the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, which borders Pakistan and China.

Nasirul Islam, meanwhile, is the Grand Mufti (senior scholar of religious law) for Kashmir. Speaking to the Indian network NDTV (New Delhi Television), he confirmed that Sharia (Islamic law) courts in Srinagar had granted as many as 40 divorces to women with drug addicted husbands in the last month alone, despite traditional religious and social disapproval of divorce. On each occasion, said the Mufti, the courts granted the wives’ requests after reviewing medical reports on the errant husbands.

He told the station:

“Under these circumstances a woman can ask for divorce.”

NDTV interviewed two women who had recently divorced husbands with drug problems in the city. Rifat, 27, claimed her ex-husband would beat under the influence of drugs and she was forced to turn to her parents for help.

She said:

“I don’t know why men have this notion that a woman can’t divorce her husband. They think only man has a right to divorce his wife.”

Meanwhile, Shazia has noticed people gossiping since her divorce but she remains defiant.

“People comment… I say let them talk whatever they want to. I don’t care about them. I think I have taken a right decision”

Photo of the Hazratbal Shrine, Srinagar, by Laportechicago under a GNU Free Documentation Licence via Wikipedia

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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