In a first in the state and breaking the stereotype, two females have officially become Qazis in Rajasthan.
Qazi Jahan Ara and Qazi Afroz Begum, who both hail from Jaipur, completd their two-year training from Mumbai-based Darul Uloom-i-Nisawan and were given certificates for their Qaziyat.
“I completed the course in the light of Quran, Hadith and Indian Constitution. I learned about the rights of women, which Quran bestowed to them some 1,500 years ago. It was a challenging task for me but I passed with 69% marks,” said Jahan Ara.
However Ara says that Qazi’s duty is not restricted to solemnizing nikaah.
“A Qazi has to speak about truthfulness and rights. In Ayats of Quran, rights are clearly mentioned. We will put our efforts to ensure women get the rights related to marriages, talaq and mehar along with other issues.”
Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, who sent them for training, says that they will check the background of the couple who wish to get married so that it doesn’t end up in talak.
“If a family wants to solemnise nikaah, it will have to inform us a month before. We will find out details of both the girl and the boy – like their age, identity, salary, medical condition, level of education and job. We will do this to ensure that a nikaah solemnised by a woman Qazi does not end with a talak,” said Nishat Hussain, Rajasthan convener of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan.
In 2003, Shabnam Ara Begum became India’s first woman Qazi in Nandigram village in West Bengal.
She was accepted in the position which have been reserved for male till then. By 2005, she had conducted over 770 marriages.
In 2008, Dr Syeda Hameed, a noted Islamic expert and member of defunct Planning Commission, solemnized marriage of a couple.
The move was able to pave way for Muslim women in the field.