Aug 13, 2008

India - Woman Qazi creates history

Lucknow: A Planning Commission member and an expert on Islamic studies on Tuesday night created history by becoming the first woman to act as a ‘qazi’ and solemnise a ‘nikah’ ceremony here.
Sayeda Hamid flew in from New Delhi to perform the nikah (Islamic marriage ceremony) of Imran Naeem, Ph.D. scholar from AMU, and Naesh Hasan, founder member of a social organisation, Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan in the presence of eminent citizens at a city hotel.
The introduction as well as the vows were read in English giving the function a different hue than traditional rituals. Four women stood up as witnesses.
Although there has been no precedent of women conducting a nikah in recent Muslim history, they are known to have attained the position of qazi and mufti in times of the Prophet.
“The response from our families and local religious leaders has been positive,” said Ms. Hasan.
“We speak of progress but leave all the important jobs to menfolk. Religious duties have nearly solely been a male premise, not only in Islam but also in other religions.”
The nikah took place according to the tenets of Islam, her family members said. — PTI

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