An advocate and actor from Kerala remarried his wife in order to pass on his inheritance to his daughters. However, the couple got immense backlash from religious authorities who claimed their act was against their religion.
C Shukkur is an advocate and an actor and his wife Sheena is Mahatma Gandhi University’s ex-Pro Vice-Chancellor. The Kerala-based couple has been married for 29 years as per the Muslim Personal Law and has three daughters together. However, recently the couple decided to get remarried and this time under the Special Marriage Act of 1954 of the Indian Constitution.
The decision was taken by the couple to ensure the full inheritance of their property by their daughters. As per Muslim law, if a couple does not have a male heir, only two-thirds of the father’s property is inherited by his daughters while the rest goes to his brothers. The Kerala couple did not want this to happen, hence they got remarried under a different law.
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Kerala Muslim Couple Remarries
Such a move by the couple was bound to have mixed reactions from the public. The Muslim religious authorities were upset with the couple’s decision to abandon their religion just for the sake of wealth. A fatwa was issued against the couple by The Council for Fatwa and Research of Darul Huda Islamic University which condemned such decisions and questioned the faith of the couple in God. However, C Shukkur said that such a strong opposition such as the fatwa was not needed as the couple had no intention of hurting any religious sentiments.
On the other hand, the couple was praised by some people for deciding to not confine by religious laws and thinking about the future of their daughters. The decision was indeed commendable as the couple ensured a secure future for their daughter. Their decision is breaking stereotypes of the society that often targets women when it comes to wealth and inheritance.
Though these ideas are not applicable to male heirs and are downright misogynistic, the couple did not hurt any religious sentiments and made a personal decision instead of campaigning against the rules of Muslim law. The remarriage decision was a personal choice and is legal as per the Constitution and if anything, the communities should appreciate this move as they are trying to secure their daughter’s inheritance without targeting their religion.
Changing times call for certain modifications in traditions and religious practices to make them more accommodating and equal in practical life. In times when men and women are having equal opportunities to do things, it is important that religion does not discriminate between genders to set a good example.
Views expressed by author are their own