In India, the law of ṭalāq as a means of dissolving a marriage is one of the most significant aspects of Muslim personal law. The Supreme Court of India declared triple ṭalāq unlawful in 2017. Subsequently, the Indian Parliament passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019, declaring ṭalāq al-bidda or any other type of ṭalāq with the impact of an immediate and irrevocable divorce to be null and void, as well as a penal offense. Some regard this legislation as a landmark for gender equality for Muslim women, while others decry its repercussions.
The presentation traces the legal history of ṭalāq from pre-Islamic Arabian customs through the formative years of Islam. It also provides a glimpse of the colonial administration of personal laws. It focuses specifically on the most recent development of the law of ṭalāq in India and its complications.