Kerala couple who remarried after 28 years face flak, fatwa

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa • 20 d ago
C Shukkur, Dr Sheena with their daughters
C Shukkur, Dr Sheena with their daughters


New Delhi

The Kerala Muslim couple who remarried under a law that ensures equal rights to the spouse and their children, good 28 years after they had married under the Islamic system, is facing criticism after a fatwa was issued against him.

Police have also heightened security around the couple.

S Shukkur, an advocate who also acts in Malayalam films and his wife Dr Sheena, head of the law faculty of the Kannur University, got married under the provisions of the Special marriages Act, 1954, on March 8.

C Shukkur made a public statement on the facebook about their impending registered marriage at at the Hosdurg sub-registrar’s office in Kasaragod in the presence of the daughters - Khadeeja Jasmine, Fathima Jebin and Fathima Jesa.

He said it was due to his two near fatal road accidents that he though afresh about his life. He said his move was necessitated to enable their daughters to inherit their wealth.

As under the Muslim personal law, the girls can only inherit two-thirds of the property of their father while the rest goes to their uncles.

The move has provoked some elements and inviting bullying and intimidation of the couple on social media. Muslim religious bodies and hardliners criticised Shukkur for apparently breaking the Shariat law.

The Council for Fatwa and Research at the Darul Huda Islamic University in Malappuram issued a fatwa against the actor.

Local media reported that the Police in Kasargod have stepped up surveillance around Shukkur’s home since March 9 as there are apprehensions of the family being targeted.

According to the actor, he isn’t the first Muslim to have remarried under the Special Marriage Act to ensure full inheritance for their daughters. “Two former high court judges, an NRI tycoon and many highly placed civil servants from our community have opted for the legal provision to ensure full inheritance for their daughters. However, they never disclosed the remarriage,” Shukkur said.

Shukkur shared the statement issued by the Council for Fatwa and Research against Shukur Vakil on Facebook. He responded that if he was attacked, the responsibility would be on those who made the call to defend him. 

He said, “I did not disrespect the religious rules or weaken the spirit of the believer.”

“This is not to challenge anyone or defy anything. When a system which is incompatible with the human concept of equality exists in the name of Islam, we can only take refuge in our great constitution for justice. We are only exploring the possibility that Muslim personal law will not affect those who marry through the Special Marriage Act. 

He wrote on the facebook in Malayalam language: “Thanks. May the creator bless. The hope is that the time will come when all people can be seen as equal. Nothing violates religious rules. It is not intended to break the morale of any believer. That's why you don't need a strong defense against me, brothers. If anyone dares to use the word "defence" to attack me sportingly, the sole responsibility of this statement lies solely with those who issued this statement. Hope the law enforcers will take notice,”

Shukkur’s move may reignite the debate in Kerala over a common civil code proposed by the BJP. Islamic bodies have been staunchly resisting it. The debate may only hot up in the days to come since resistance to Shukkur’s remarriage has offered the state BJP a political opportunity.

“Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality and no discrimination based on gender. My daughters were being denied rights and privileges enjoyed by the sons of my siblings or women from other communities. The inequality happens because they follow Islam as a faith or they belong to the parents who follow Islam. My children should get equal rights. The issue of inheritance of assets is secondary,” said Shukkur.

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According to the Muslim law of succession, the entire property can be transferred only if there are sons. As Shukur and Sheena have three daughters, their children will get only two-thirds of the property. The rest of the property belongs to the brothers.