India's First Woman Qazi Broke Centuries-Old Tradition By Solemnising A Nikah
India's first woman qazi broke centuries-old tradition by solemnising a nikah. In January 2019, Qazi Hakima Khatoon became the first Indian woman to solemnise a nikah, marking another woman reclaiming the space
traditionally reserved for men.
Though women can perform a wedding in Islam, finding a female qazi in India can be a task. The qazi comes in whenever there is a marriage or divorce. And it so happens that all the qazis in the Muslim community are men. The issues get looked at from the prism of male domination. And unfortunately, the religious interpretations are all done by males. Despite the fact that gender justice is a fundamental principle of the Quran, the male qazis end up ruling in the husband's favour.
Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), an 'autonomous, secular, rights-based mass organisation'
started a programme called 'Darul Uloom-e-Niswan' in 2016.
The fight against patriarchy and gender disparity is what inspired Hakima Khatoon to become a qazi.
But for Hakima and 15 other women qazis, the fight for gender equality has just begun. According to Soman, after Hakima conducted a wedding in Kolkata, women qazis are getting more requests.