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Rajasthan’s ‘women qazis’ face resistance from clerics

Rajasthan’s chief qazi Khalid Usmani said: 'As per Quran, a woman can never be a man’s hakim (ruler/judge). Hence, a woman can never be a qazi.'

Written by Hamza Khan | Jaipur | Published: February 9, 2016 3:54 am

Two women claiming to be the first qazis in Rajasthan have run into trouble with the clerics, almost all of whom have outrightly rejected their new designation or stated that they cannot perform certain religious rituals which male qazis can.

Jaipur residents Afroz Begum and Jahan Ara claimed that they recently completed their two-year training from Darul uloom Niswa in Mumbai and are now the first women qazis in the state, which enable them to solemnise a nikaah and judge the issues of talaaq (divorce) or meher in Islam. (Meher is the amount presented by the groom to the bride at the time of marriage.)

“We wanted to bring justice to women and hence we pursued a two-year course in Mumbai to become qazis. The rights and equality conferred by Allah on humanity 1,500 years ago have still not been granted to women,” said Jahan Ara, 40.

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However, Rajasthan’s chief qazi Khalid Usmani said: “As per Quran, a woman can never be a man’s hakim (ruler/judge). Hence, a woman can never be a qazi. In Islamic history, there is no evidence whatsoever to say that a woman can be a qazi. And if anyone deserved to be a qazi, it was Prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatima, who is considered a role model, but even she was not a qazi,” he said.

Jahan Ara, however, said there have been women qazis before and one Shabnam from Patna had solemnised over 700 marriages. Afroz Begum, the other qazi, 40, said: “People are opposing us but nowhere in Quran it is said that a woman can’t be a qazi. True, women can’t be Imams (one who lead prayers in a mosque), but they can be qazis and help women.”

All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali said: “At the most, a woman can assist a male qazi in solemnising a marriage, but cannot be the sole qazi solemnising a marriage. It is not Islamically possible.”

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  1. R
    Feb 9, 2016 at 6:55 am
    Says the mullahs of religion of peace and humanity. See all of a certain fake commentators have disappeared when it comes to comments on their own mullah activities. if it would have been an article of on BJP, they would have swarmed and spammed like Bees.
    1. अशोक.गोविंद.शहा
      Feb 9, 2016 at 3:27 am
      vande mataram-Discrimination among male and female regarding the religious postings and specialy when talaq matters almost decided by male kazi in favour of male, the appointment of female kazi is most justified male kazis making hue and cry is out of supiriority complex If quran has given equal rights to women why not female kazis ? to change male domonance sisters and mothers have to fight relentlessly jagate raho
      1. K
        Feb 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm
        The Koran cannot be interpreted by anyone else than men, it is about time to let be in public domain and find out what the women's opinions are. After all the women are the ones who are producing the babies.
        1. T
          Feb 9, 2016 at 11:53 pm
          Trupti Desai should take up this issue
          1. Love Others
            Feb 9, 2016 at 7:46 pm
            These people are sick. Some men like suppress women so they can feel superior. Hindu religion is the only religion who have goddess and have some good hope for women. I am not Hindu by the way. But I know about Shiva. Shivalingam is representation of male and female power. People wrote Q**an. Mah***ad was married his first wife on her purposeful not his. Good to woman in power at least there will be some good in this world. Men have created utter chaos.
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