One of the things I really like about the events at Impact Hub is that they always introduce me to new ideas or new ways of thinking about things.
I’d heard about the three-times divorce (triple talaq) in Islam and hadn’t really given it much thought, mainly because I knew I didn’t understand enough about the context. The screening of Shazia Javed’s 3 Seconds Divorce was, in some senses, what I thought might be what the three-times divorce might be if I was being pessimistic about it. It was undeniably an emotional film and the story of the women who fought for what they believed in and for the protection of women in their country, a minority group within a minority group, showed a level of resilience that few would be hard pushed to be anything but impressed by. Watching the documentary in a room that was mainly full of Muslim women and hearing their reactions to it felt like a real privilege at getting an instinctual reaction to the message of the film. But that was only the beginning.
The follow up panel was one of the most invigorating and educational I have been to in a while, and I don’t think I need to tell you how many talks I go to. It was a shame Shazia had to dash off to get her train, but needs must, however I appreciated her input and it was great to hear more about the ideas and inspiration behind the documentary. But the conversation between Dr Amra Bone and Dr Sabena Jameel was just superb. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went away with some much new information presented in such an accessible way. Lots of the topics covered, and there were so many, were things I’d heard lots about over the years but have never quite felt like I knew where to look for more information or unsure what was appropriate to ask. Dr Jameel’s explanation of what she does as part of the Sharia Council, the system of Sharia rulings in general, the role of women in Islam, Islamic marriage and divorce, the cultural and religious understandings of triple talaq and probably a whole lot of other things I’ve forgotten to list was just phenomenal. As someone that grew up in an Irish Catholic community, it was fascinating to compare and contrast the attitudes towards marriage and divorce, and hear not only from Dr Jameel as an academic and religious leader, but also some of the audience were kind enough to share their understandings of it, and answer some of the questions that I wasn’t brave enough to ask myself.
I guess my feedback is just a really big congratulations, well done and heartfelt thank you for putting on an event that has given me so much more understanding than I thought possible from a few hours. I feel very honoured to have been welcomed into that space, able to watch the documentary, but also hearing from the speakers and members of the audience. A truly mentally stimulated evening which I gained a lot from.