WHAT IS THE SINGAPORE LEGAL POSITION ON MUSLIM DIVORCE BY TALAQ

Several countries, including India, have banned it.  What is the Singapore position?

muslim divorce

An Islamic practice permitting men to instantly divorce their wives has been declared unconstitutional by India’s supreme court in August 2017 after decades of campaigning by women’s groups and victims.

The “triple talaq” has allowed Muslim men to dissolve marriages by pronouncing the word “divorce” three times.

It has been banned in more than 20 Muslim countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh.

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The Singapore position on talaq

What is the position in Singapore on Muslim divorce law?

Last month, Parliament amended the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) to include a clause saying men can apply for divorce without having to first say talaq.   This change does not ban the practice. It merely puts in place a statutory provision for what has been practised since 1968, when AMLA came into operation. In an interview with the Straits Times, a Syariah Court spokesman confirmed that a Muslim man can still continue with the  practice of uttering talaq if he chooses to do divorce his wife.

What then is the use of the amendment?

What it does is to “to prevent frivolous pronouncements of talaq for a quick and convenient solution to marital challenges”, said the spokesman.

Therefore, in Singapore, Muslim men can still divorce their wives by pronouncing “talaq” or they can file for divorce in the Syariah Court.

It is not known how many Muslim men divorce their wives by “talaq” out of the roughly 1,600 to 1.700 Muslim divorces each year.Ultimately, it is the Syariah Court who decides if a talaq is valid.  It does this by determining if the husband really does not intend to reconcile with his wife.

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