Uniform Civil Code’s Impact on Muslim’s Personal Law.

Uniform Civil Code’s Impact on Muslim’s Personal Law.


Presently, the introduction of the Uniform Civil Code is one of the most controversial issues witnessed by the country. The Muslims are opposing the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code to a large degree. On the other hand, there are a lot of Muslim women groups who are in favor of the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code. With the introduction of the Uniform Civil Code, the Muslim personal law would go through a drastic change. Here are some of the things in Indian Muslim laws that would change with the implementation of the UCC.

The Triple Talaq

A primary concern under Muslim law has always been a divorce. There has been quite an uproar and protest by the various religious groups to eradicate the triple talaq which is a customary practice under Muslim personal law. Many Indians believe this practice to be unfair and against equal rights for women.

This practice gives the power all the power to a man to divorce his wife. They can divorce them just by uttering the word talaq three times in a row. Due to this practice, the number of divorce cases among Muslims has risen significantly making this issue quite concerning. This custom is considered to be not in the favour of women’s welfare and therefore various activists and women groups are suggesting that this practice should be abolished. The custom of triple talaq is against legal principles and immoral, and anything against the constitutional value should not be considered lawful or valid practice, no matter if it is a custom or a regular practice.

Uniform Civil Code and the Triple Talaq

If the Uniform Civil Code is introduced, the triple talaq would be eradicated, and the dissolution of every marriage among Muslims would take place through court proceedings. The petitions for separation filed in the court would dissuade Muslim men and women from marrying again, as second marriage is socially considered to be a taboo in India. The abolition of Triple Talaq would alter the Muslim personal law significantly which is why there has been so much defiance by the Muslims against the introduction of the Uniform Civil Code.

Abolition of Polygamy

Polygamy is a very common practice among Muslims. Few celebrities converted to Islam in India to get married to another woman. One of the main changes in Muslim law with the introduction of the Uniform Civil Code is that it would abolish the practice of polygamy. Polygamy is considered to be a social evil in India. Abolishing these practices would prove to be positive for society.

Women are exploited and abused by their husbands under this practice. But Muslims of India are concerned that with the abolition of this practice the Hindu Law would be imposed upon them. However, Atal Bihari Vajpayee has said that the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code does not mean that Hindu law will be imposed on any religion. On the contrary, the Uniform Civil Code would include all the fundamentals of all religions.


With the initiation of the ancient Muslim laws, maintenance has been a matter of main concern for spouses. In Muslim law, Muslim women are entitled to maintenance under the Muslim Women Protection Act 1986. But whether a Muslim woman can claim maintenance under the code of criminal procedure was a matter of concern. The Shah Bano Begum case has been considered the landmark judgment concerning this matter. The court gave a judgment that a Muslim woman who has been divorced from her husband can claim maintenance from her husband under section 125 of the CRPC.  And, she can claim maintenance not only during the iddat period but also after the iddat period is completed. However, in the case of Denial Latifi Vs. Union of India had a different judgment, the court held that the provision concerning maintenance should be just and reasonable and the legal validity of the Muslim Women’s Protection Act, 1986 was upheld in this case.

Uniform Civil Code and Maintenance

The implementation of the Uniform Civil Code will be a positive influence on Muslim personal law. It would give the Muslim woman the right to claim maintenance for her lifetime. However, the uniform civil code is facing strong opposition and upheaval by the Muslims because they fear it would affect their personal law and the Hindu law would be imposed on them if the Uniform civil code becomes effective. However, it has already been proved that the Uniform Civil Code is a secular regulation and it would not affect the personal law of any religious community.


Adoption is one of the major issues to plague the country. The personal law of any other religion except for Hindu law does not allow couples to follow the practice of adoption. The procedure of adoption under Hindu law is overseen by the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. As a constitutional provision, the Muslim personal law does not allow people to adopt. The Muslim couples have no legal claim to being parents of the adoptive child. With the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, the Muslim laws relating to adoption would lead to significant and extreme changes.

One of the important changes which would occur if the Uniform Civil Code becomes effective is that the Guardianship and Wards Act, of 1890 would be eradicated. The major changes in the law of adoption would happen, such as:

·       A Muslim woman would be allowed to adopt.

·       The couples can legally claim the status of the adoptive parents of the child they have adopted.

·       On adoption, the child will be entitled to all the rights of the natural child.

·       After being adopted by the adoptive parents, a child breaks all the bonds from the family in which she was born, and she is entitled to inherit the property of her adoptive parents as that of a natural child.

Succession and Inheritance

Succession and inheritance are a matter of main concern among the issues that come under the law. The provisions concerning succession and inheritance differ from one another. Under Muslim law in a case, there is no will, the sons will be entitled to a share that is equal to the shares of two daughters. The wife would be entitled to one-sixth share in the property of the deceased husband. Under Muslim law, the mother has the full right to claim maintenance from her child if she is unable to take care of herself. Under Muslim law, the illegitimate child is considered legitimate for a share in the property of the father. Under Sunni law, an illegitimate child also has a share in the property from her mother’s side, but, Shia law does not allow a share in the property of any of the parents. Under the Hindu Succession Act, the rules regarding succession are different. The successors are grouped into various classes of heirs, and some changes affect the working of the law to a great extent.

Uniform Civil Code and Succession and Inheritance

If the Uniform Civil Code would come into effect it would lead to drastic changes in Muslim law, like:

·       It would lead to a uniform law enforced in the context of rules of inheritance and succession.

·       A stable structure of sharing would be established to administer the sharing process.

·       Illegitimate children and adoptive children would also be entitled to a share in their father’s property.

Marriage is no more a contractual obligation

Muslim marriages are a contractual obligation for both parties. Under Muslim personal law, marriage is formalized between the two parties, only when a proposal is made by one party and the same is accepted by the other. Under Muslim personal law, marriages take place when both parties enter a contract. The introduction of the Uniform Civil Code would make this practice of contract in marriage invalid.

Registration of marriage is compulsory

One of the significant changes with the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code would be that marriage registration would be compulsory. With the implementation of the Uniform Civil code, it would be a compulsion for the married parties to get their marriage registered in the register. This would further help to legitimize the wedding and it would act as a shred of evidence for the validation of marriage between the parties.

Abolition of the practice of iddat

One of the significant changes that the Muslim personal law would go with, with the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code is the fact that the Uniform Civil Code would abolish the practice of iddat. Iddat under Muslim law is a practice that is performed by Muslim women when they are divorced from their husbands or after the death of their husbands. A uniform code for civil laws would automatically abolish the practice of iddat.

Secularism vs. Religious Conflict

The Uniform Civil Code is considered to be necessary. After India became independent from British rule, the parliament stressed the need for a standard law that will govern secular matters including marriage, divorce, inheritance, and succession to bring national integrity and unity among the diverse religious groups in the country. The implementation of the Uniform Civil Code is facing strong opposition by the Muslims on the ground that it would violate their personal law and also the right of the minorities to practice and preach any religion. The Uniform Civil Code aims at bringing national integrity without violating the rights of the citizens of India. Article 44 of the Constitution of India states that “the state shall endeavor to secure for its citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.” It has been said that under the domain of the Uniform Civil Code, the state will not be able to interfere with the individual rights of the citizens of the country.

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