Debates around Muslim Personal Law (MPL), the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act and the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act have tended to focus on the issue of unilateral divorce, a right granted to husbands, as well as on polygamy and other discriminatory provisions in MPL.
Marriage and Its Discontents: Women, Islam and Law in India documents this landmark study and, while giving no quarter to undesirable practices like triple talaq, presents the author’s detailed findings on when, and how, Muslim women resort to legal remedies should their marriages break down.
Her thoughtful—and thought-provoking—analysis is based on ten years of research in Chennai and Hyderabad, during which she consulted family court records and court petitions; conducted extensive interviews with government-appointed qazis in both cities; met and had detailed discussions with the women themselves, as well as with lawyers, judges, counsellors, court staff and advocates. She also examined, for the first time, the
phenomenon of wife-initiated divorces or khula, and made the startling discovery that their number far exceeded court-awarded divorces in any given year.