More Hindus than Muslims have two wives in India
Apr 10, 2010
The Shoaib-Ayesha-Sania drama, played out live on TV for days, has enhanced the image of Ayesha and her family. The same cannot be said of the former Pakistan captain who sold himself short by denying his first marriage.
Indians and Pakistanis alike can now heave a sigh of relief the controversy is settled. But the entire saga offers important lessons. First, although Muslim Personal Law allows a man to take a second wife during the lifetime of the first, it cannot be a license to commit injustice. Under Islamic tenets, a man is allowed to take a second wife only if he is in a position to provide equal partnership and amenities to both.
However, if you were to carry out an honest survey across the country, you would find that more Hindu men than Muslims have more than one wife. In such cases, the second wife is neither recognized by society nor given the legal status of ‘wife’.
It’s interesting to note that throughout the controversy — and despite Sania’s wholehearted support for Shoaib — the Muslim community in particular and Indian society at large was solidly behind Ayesha, who was seen as the victim in the whole saga.
Perhaps that’s why Shoaib did not succeed in his attempt to cover up his first marriage.
Also, Ayesha’s acceptance of a divorce without preconditions sends out a strong signal to the Pakistani people — the people of India are forgiving if you make amends.
But I am still intrigued about the most important aspect of this drama — the basis of the divorce. Under Islamic law, a husband has to give a reason for divorcing his wife and if she is not satisfied with it, she can ask for divorce under the khula rights. What reason did Shoaib give for divorcing Ayesha? That is still not clear.