The post of a Qazi has been a male exclusive right in South Asia for a very long time. However, now, two women have received their Qaziyat certificate and have started to change the lives of hundreds of Muslim women.
Jahan Ara and Afroz Begum received their Qaziyat certificate in April this year after completion of two years’ training course at the Darul Uloom-i-Niswan in Mumbai, an institute established by the social organization Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan. They were a part of 13 female Qazis who went to work in different states across the nation like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha.
Both the ladies took this bold step after ending their abusive marriages where the husbands did not perform the rights nor did the Qazi come to help the women. Now, these two women help several Muslim women in distress and their office at Iqra is never empty.
Zakia Soman, one of the BMMA’s founding members, explained,
The role of a qazi is marriage, divorce and intervention against injustice. Male qazishave a certain world view–they want us to believe the husband has more rights. But the Quran doesn’t say so. Women becoming qazis will change that patriarchal mindset.
Soman also revealed that the triple talaq had ruined many lives and that it is unconstitutional. She further explained that it is not valid as per Quran and has asked several advocates of triple talaq if they had, in fact, read the Quran.
These two women now have taken it upon themselves to do an extensive background check, bride and groom’s qualifications, proof of income, medical record and divorce papers before pronouncing them, man and wife.