Shah Bano Begum (Shah Bano Case) Wiki, Age, Death, Husband, Family, Biography & More

Shah Bano Begum (1913–1992) was an Indian Muslim woman who chose to fight the atrocities and discriminatory laws of the patriarchal society. In the mid-1980s, the famous Shah Bano case gave voice to many important issues, including triple talaq and the Uniform Civil Code.


Shah Bano Begum was born in 1913 (age 79 years at death) in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Physical Appearance

Height (Approx): 5′ 3″

Hair Color: Black

Eye colour: Hazel green

Shahbano Begum


Shahbano Begum belonged to a Muslim family in Madhya Pradesh, India.

parents and siblings

Not much information is available about Shah Bano’s parents and siblings.

husband and children

Shah Bano Begum married Mohammad Ahmed Khan in 1932. Ahmed Khan was a lawyer in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The couple had five children, three sons and two daughters. His sons’ names are Hameed Khan and Jameel and daughters’ names are Siddiqa and Fatima.

Shah Bano's daughter Siddika

Shah Bano’s daughter Siddika

Shah Bano's son Jameel

Shah Bano’s son Jameel


Shah Bano Begum was a follower of Islam religion.


Shah Bano Begum lived in Khajrana area of ​​Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Mo. Ahmed Khan vs Shah Bano Begum and others

In 1932, Shah Bano married Ahmed Khan and had five children. However, after 14 years of marriage, in 1946, Khan married another woman, Halima Begum. Shahbano and Halima lived together for some time, but eventually, in 1975, Ahmed divorced Shahbano when she was 62 and asked her to leave the house with the children. In April 1978, Ahmed stopped paying him a monthly allowance of Rs 200. Unable to support herself and her children, Shah Bano filed a criminal case against her husband in a local court in Indore under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). , is demanding a maintenance amount of ₹500 for herself and her children; Under Section 125 of CrPC, a man has to maintain his wife during and after marriage if she is unable to maintain herself.

However, in November 1978, following Islamic law, Ahmed divorced Shah Bano irrevocably (talaq-e-bidat), stating that she was no longer his wife and he had no responsibility to support her. There is no responsibility. However, in August 1979, the local court ruled in favor of Shah Bano and ordered Ahmed to pay her Rs 25 per month as maintenance. Shahbano then filed a revision application in the Madhya Pradesh High Court to increase the amount. On 1 July 1979, the Madhya Pradesh High Court ruled in his favor and increased the maintenance amount from Rs 25 to Rs 179 per month.

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Shah Bano during conversation with media

Shah Bano during conversation with media

In 1981, Ahmed Khan filed a petition to appeal before the Supreme Court, claiming that he was no longer responsible for Shah Bano and that according to Muslim personal law (Sharia) in India, she was entitled to marry him only for the Iddat period. It is necessary to provide sustenance. A woman must observe a waiting period before she can remarry after her husband’s death or divorce. The length of the Iddat period is circumstantial, usually three months, or until childbirth if the woman is pregnant).

Logo of All India Muslim Personal Law Board

Logo of All India Muslim Personal Law Board

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board supported Khan’s argument, saying that courts cannot interfere in matters determined under Muslim Personal Law and this would be a violation of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. According to the Act, courts were to base their decisions on divorce, maintenance and other family issues on the basis of Sharia. The bench of 2 judges referred the case to a larger bench of 5 judges; Chief Justice YV Chandrachud, Justice Ranganath Mishra, DA Desai, O. A five-judge bench comprising Chinnappa Reddy and ES Venkataramaiah upheld the High Court judgment which had ordered maintenance to Shah Bano under Section 125 of the CrPC and increased the maintenance amount. ,

Justice YV Chandrachud

Justice YV Chandrachud

Justice YV Chandrachud said in his judgment,

Section 125 was enacted to provide quick and summary remedy to a class of persons who are unable to maintain themselves. Then what difference does it make what religion the neglected wife, children or parents follow? Neglect by a person with sufficient means to maintain them and the inability of these persons to maintain themselves are the objective criteria that determine the applicability of Section 125. Such provisions, which are essentially of a prophylactic nature, remove barriers to religion. The obligation imposed by section 125 to maintain indigent close relatives is based on the individual’s obligation to society to prevent vagrancy and poverty. This is the moral mandate of the law and morality cannot be mixed with religion.”

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Shah Bano case verdict published in a news article in Times of India

Shah Bano case verdict published in a news article in Times of India

The Supreme Court’s statement created panic in the Muslim community.

Protest by Muslims after Shah Bano case verdict

Protest by Muslims after Shah Bano case verdict

Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister after the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi in 1984. Under pressure from Muslim fundamentalists, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi made a law in Parliament to appease Muslims and overturned the Supreme Court’s decision in the Shah Bano case. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act of 1986 weakened the Supreme Court decision and allowed a divorced woman to claim maintenance only during the period of Iddat, i.e. 90 days after the divorce.

In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi called Shah Bano to meet him in Delhi. Recalling that meeting, Shabano’s son Jamil said in an interview,

‘The Prime Minister said, the situation is very serious, serious. We have to find a way. I told him (since I have read the Shariat’s instructions about marriage and maintenance) apart from the money to be paid during Iddat and Mehr (money to be paid at the time of divorce), there is no other way for maintenance. There is no provision. I told him that the law should be amended. In return, they asked us to declare that we were refusing the maintenance.

When Indore DM Ajit Singh went with Shahbanu to tell her about PM Rajiv Gandhi's invitation.

When Indore DM Ajit Singh went with Shahbanu to tell her about PM Rajiv Gandhi’s invitation.

After this meeting, Shah Bano refused to take maintenance money. He organized a conference in Indore and said,

I thought that if we did not step back now, the punishment would be upon us. Since it was a matter of religion, I didn’t want us to be an example.”

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Shah Bano was suffering from high blood pressure and frequent illnesses. He died of a brain hemorrhage in 1992.

Facts/General Knowledge

  • Shah Bano Begum was the cousin of her maternal uncle Mohammad Ahmed Khan.
  • After the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, cases of triple talaq increased manifold between 1986 and 2019. According to the data, 22,801 triple talaq cases were registered in Madhya Pradesh and 51,800 in West Bengal. After triple talaq was declared illegal in 2019, the cases in Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal increased to 29 and 200 respectively.
  • Ahmed Khan’s second wife, Halima Begum, was his cousin from his paternal side.
  • Ahmed Khan had a law degree from the University of Bahrain and practiced in the High Court and the Supreme Court.
  • At the time of divorce, both Shah Bano’s daughters Siddika and Fatima were married.
  • Along with the Shah Bano case, the issue of Uniform Civil Code came into limelight when the apex court ruled that the government should strive to implement Uniform Civil Code which is a desired goal mentioned under Article 44 in the Directive Principles of State Policy. Is. The Supreme Court also raised a similar Civil Code issue in the Sarala Mudgal case (1995) and Paulo Coutinho vs. Maria Luiza Valentina Pereira case (2019).
  • The Uniform Civil Code aims to replace personal laws regarding marriage, divorce, adoption and inheritance based on religion, customs and traditions with a uniform law for all irrespective of religion, caste, creed, sexual orientation and gender .
  • In 2019, the Shah Bano case played a key role in the passing of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, which outlawed triple talaq (talaq-e-bidat).

Categories: Biography

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