Prof. Nuzhat Parveen Khan
Muslim Woman KScholar
Program Helps More 30 Thousand Afghan Women Facing Economic Challenges
Empowerment in India Needs More Teeth, Says Scholar
Talaq Bill Not Silver Bullet for Aggrieved Women
Namaz Row: Private Firm Offers Space To Muslim Women Employees For Friday
Was Forced To Accept Islam, Beaten When Refused: Rajasthan Woman Alleges Forced
Shafi Says He Opposes Coeducation, Not Women’s Education
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Women’s Role In Islam: Scholar
empowerment is not possible only through arguing for gender equality, and this
is where feminism goes wrong, said Varsha Basheer, Islamophobia Research and Documentation
Project (IRDP) scholar from the University of California, Berkeley.
feminism as “anti-woman”, Dr. Basheer said those leading a religious life had
the responsibility to make constructive interventions in matters affecting
society at large. She was inaugurating a session on ‘Women and renaissance’ at
an international colloquium on reform organised by the Academy for
Study and Research at Kottakkal on Saturday.
Basheer called upon the Muslim leadership to recognise the multifaceted roles
of women in Islam. “The leadership has the responsibility to ascertain if there
is any truth in criticisms being raised against Islam and Muslims,” she said.
Dr. Basheer called upon the community to introspect if its attitudes and deeds
were partly responsible for the challenges posed by Islamophobia.
freedom granted to women in Islam, including the freedom to pray in mosques,
should be restored, she said.
Girls’ and Women’s Movement (MGM) president Khadeeja Nargis presided over the function.
Scholars Salma Anvaria, Muhsina Pathanapuram, Khadeeja Mangad, Noorjahan K.,
Abida Farooqui, Fasna Mian, Afifa Punur, Taslina Kuzhipuram, and Rafida
a session on ‘Kerala Muslim renaissance’, E.T. Mohammed Basheer, MP, said
selfishness should not get in the way of any reform movement. He added that the
Muslim community looked poised to undergo a major transformation if perceived
from modernity’s standpoint. U.P. Yahya Khan presided over the session.
Panchayat President A.P. Unnikrishnan inaugurated a session on ‘Renaissance and
cultural exchanges’. Historian V. Kunhali presided. C.M. Moulavi inaugurated a
session on ‘Art and creativity’.
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock of Afghanistan (MAIL) has
assisted more than 30 thousand Afghan women who were facing economic challenges
through its 1397 fiscal year upliftment program by creating green houses,
domestic gardens, vegetable process centers and distribution of working kits.
spokesman Akbar Rustami said around 30,305 women have benefited from the
program during the 1397 fiscal year.
said the ministry has created domestic gardens for 30,305 women, distributed
800 goats to 400 women in Kabul, Uruzgan, Paktia, and Kunar provinces, 600
honey bee boxes were distributed to 300 women, 110 cows were distributed to 110
women, and 21 food processing kits were distributed to 800 women.
further added that the ministry has also created 1,030 small green houses for
the women during the same year and 14 food processing centers have became operational.
to MAIL, around 154 seasonal jobs in Saffron sector have been created with the
women forming around 80 percent of the recruitments.
Ministry has also completed the construction work of dairy products in Kabul
and Balkh provinces which have a capacity of producing 46 thousand liters of
milk per day while another processing center for honey has been established in
Khost province, MAIL added.
— Even though India has taken giant strides in women empowerment, a lot more
needs to be done in this regard, a leading female scholar and legal luminary
of our Constitution in their great wisdom realized the need to uplift the
womenfolk and thus they ensured equal rights for women through Article 14.
Subsequently, they also realized that in the medieval period women were
suppressed a lot under the then prevalent patriarchal system. According to
their considered opinion, merely granting equality to women would not have
served the purpose. To really achieve the objective, they then framed Article
15, which ensured that there is no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed,
color, religion and gender. Then in Article 15 Clause 3 they ensured equal
opportunities for women,” said Prof. Nuzhat Parveen Khan, dean of the law
faculty in the prestigious New Delhi-based Jamia Millia Islamia University.
Khan, who has to her credit several books, notably “Women and the Law” and
“Child Rights and the Law,” was in the Kingdom recently on a private visit.
exclusively to Saudi Gazette, Khan said Indian society consists of people
belonging to almost all kinds of religious beliefs. “In every religion women
are given a special place and every religion teaches us to treat women with
respect and dignity. But somehow society has so developed that various types of
ill practices, both physical and mental, against women have become a norm for
ages. For instance, female infanticide, wife burning, sexual violence, sexual
harassment at work place, domestic violence and other varied kinds of
discriminatory practices; all such acts consist of a physical as well as mental
element,” she said.
discriminatory practices continue to dominate our society and as such we see
honor killings, dowry killings, female infanticide, domestic violence, sexual
harassment, rape, illegal trafficking, exploitation (pimping), gender
discrimination, sex ratio issues, etc.,” she said.
women participate actively in economic activities and are able to take
independent decisions, it would greatly contribute toward the overall economic
empowerment of women would result in overall development of society both at
micro and macro levels,” she said. “Empowering women will help restore balance
in our society where women constitute almost half the population. This
empowerment would take the nation on a path of greater development,” she said.
said it was heartening to see that more and more female students are enrolling
in professional courses in different universities of the country. “At the time
I was pursuing masters in law (from Aligarh Muslim University) there were only
three girls in a class of 68. The earlier perception of discouraging girls from
pursuing higher studies has been done away with. Now more and more girl
students can be found in almost all professional courses and they are being
meticulously groomed to shoulder the responsibility of nation-building,” she
on the contentious government-sponsored “Triple Talaq” bill recently passed by
the Lok Sabha (the lower house of parliament), the scholar said the aim of the
bill is undoubtedly to remove the practice of pronouncing triple talaq in one
go among Muslims. “But the issue is a social one and it is not prudent to put
the practice in the criminal law bracket. The government should have started a
consultation process with the Muslim community ensuring their support in
creating awareness among the masses against the abhorrent practice. Ultimately
it is the woman who suffers; she gets the divorce (the Supreme Court does not
recognize it as such) and the husband goes to jail for three years. Now who
will take care of her alimony?”
bill is yet to be passed by the Rajya Sabha (the upper house) before it becomes
a law. “There are certain loopholes in the bill which may not pass judicial
scrutiny,” she said.
ostensible reform Bill doesn’t serve its purpose as putting husband behind bars
would lead to unwanted separation between the couple sans a ‘legal’ divorce
Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, which makes the
practice of instantaneous triple talaq criminal offence with three years jail
was passed in the Lok Sabha but is currently pending in the Rajya Sabha due to
vehement protest by the Opposition which has demanded amendments.
the highly politicised discourse surrounding this practice, it is important to
examine whether the Bill which makes all declaration of talaq, including in
written or electronic form, to be void (ie not enforceable in law) and illegal,
addresses the concern of gender justice.
Bill loses sight of the issue at the core of triple talaq debate: protecting
the interests of women. Ensuring that the deserter husband gets jail does not
resolve the daunting task that lies ahead of a divorced woman of finding
economic, social and emotional support for herself and her children.
provision of sustenance allowance in the Bill does not seem necessary because
Muslim women are already entitled to full lump sum maintenance to be provided
within the iddat period that is 90 days after divorce under the Muslim Women
idea of sustenance allowance leaves Muslim women on the mercy of deserter husbands,
thus undermining the progress made in Muslim women’s economic rights on divorce
through the 1986 Act.
is not clear whether the sustenance allowance would be subtracted from the
maintenance amount or will be in addition to it. Putting the husband behind
bars for three years just postpones the divorce which the husband is sure to
obtain once he is out of jail. It penalises the already aggrieved wife and
children by keeping them in limbo and stuck in an unwanted marriage for three
years depending on the not-yet-defined sustenance allowance.
Government could instead promote awareness that under the Muslim Women Act,
1986 to address the issues a Muslim woman faces in the case of instant triple
major challenge in protecting the rights of Muslim women is the implementation
of laws. There are laws already existing in India which can be used by Muslim
women such as the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the Muslim Women Act, 1986, and
the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939.
problem is that women are not provided with adequate support in pursuing long
legal battles. A criminal or civil suit costs time, money and begets social
stigma. Marginalised Muslim women need access to free legal aid to pursue any
civil or criminal suit. The Domestic Violence Act provides for a
State-appointed protection officer for providing free legal aid to women.
However, the majority of victims report their cases through private lawyers
than protection officers due to lack of awareness and availability of protection
Triple Talaq Bill has no provision of providing free legal aid to the victims
of instantaneous triple talaq.
Bill does not address the ambiguities left unanswered in the Shayara Bano
judgment. While the judgment and the Bill declare instantaneous triple talaq
invalid, both are silent on the legally valid form of divorce.
State could make people aware of the more gender just practices of divorce in
Islam such as the right of women to initiate divorce that is khula and faskh,
talaq-e-sunna (divorce over a period of 90 days with attempts at
reconciliation) and mubaraat (divorce through mutual consent). The State could
also spread awareness about the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, which
gives Muslim women the right to dissolve marriage on various grounds.
the nikahnama or marriage contract, women can stipulate the terms and
conditions of marriage. The Government could push for certain mandatory
provisions to be included in the nikahnama such as prohibition of instantaneous
triple talaq and polygamy.
can be a wide gap between legal validity and societal validity due to the
continued legitimacy of religio-cultural practices in the social structure. If
we penalise a religio-cultural practice, the result may be that women who are
situated in these diverse practices are not able to approach official legal
actors for help. Upholding women’s agency to exercise rights derived from
multiple sources of law may be a more effective strategy in reforming gender
unjust religious practices.
After the recent controversy over offering Friday namaz at Sector 58 public
park in Noida, a private firm in Sector 64 provided space to its women
employees to do the prayer on Friday, January 11. More than 60 Muslim women
workers of the garment factory offered namaz on the terrace of the office.
garment factory has been providing space to its women employees to do the
prayers since the last 10 years, according to a report in Hindustan Times (HT).
The workers get an hour's break every Friday from 1 pm to 2 pm to offer their
weekly prayers and have lunch.
women employee who wished to remain anonymous told HT that the rooftop of the
factory is divided into two parts every Friday, one for men and the other for
women to perform their weekly prayers. The firm has also arranged for mats,
mattresses and an Imam to assist the devotees.
the company also organises Bhajans during the Navratras for its Hindu
employees. The company's employees find that the work culture accepts people
from different walks of life making its atmosphere a positive one.
Read: 'Akhada beyond sexuality': transgender to enter Kumbh 2019
Qari Mohammad Abbas (42) who has been visiting the company every Friday since
the last decade to hold the prayers said that he has seen people from different
faiths show equal compassion and harmony to others. He found the company’s
gesture to give its Muslim employees a space to pray as commendable. The owner
of the company had decided to provide space to his employees after realising
that they had to go out every Friday for prayers.
18-year-old woman hailing from Barmer district in Rajasthan has alleged that
she was blackmailed by a man and forced to accept Islam after she was taken to
Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara region nine months ago, reported news agency ANI.
her complaint, it was mentioned that she was forced to sign fake marriage
documents and forced to accept Islam; the man also threatened to send her to
Dubai. Certain media reports also indicated that she was forced to eat beef and
has also come to light that the girl had earlier went missing from Barmer on
March 16, 2018, when she was on her way to Vadodara. She was earlier
blackmailed by a man using her edited photos.
was made to sign a blank paper, which later became marriage document. I was
forced to accept Islam and beaten up when refused. They planned to send me to
Dubai. When I got chance, I booked a ticket to home, she said.
on the case, Barmer’s Superintendent of Police, Rashi Dogra said that officers
have gone to Jammu and Kashmir to investigate the issue. He said that the woman
will get justice in due course.
the victim suggested that the police are yet to record her statement under
Section 164 of the CrPC and also demanded protection.
yet to record my statement under Sec 164 of CrPC. I demand protection, she
want women in the country to be educated because a child cannot be properly
educated if the mother is not,” he said in a statement on Saturday, where he
said that the co-education system ‘violates the Pardah.’
he urged the creation of a separate education system for women which would
allow them to maintain ‘Pardah’ through segregation.
all the officials will be women. We will urge our women to receive education in
that kind of system,” he said.
the director of Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Madrasa in
Chattogram’s Hathazari urged Muslim devotees to make four-point promise during
the 118th annual congregation of the madrasa on Friday, according to media
reports stated that Shafi had urged devotees to promise they would not send
their daughters to school and college and not allow them to study above grade
five if they do.
drew flak from several quarters after the reports were published. Deputy
Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Nowfel told journalists on Saturday morning
that the statement was Shafi’s ‘personal opinion’ and was unacceptable and
‘discriminatory and inconsistent’ with the country’s policy.
of his statement has been ‘presented incorrectly’ by some media sources, which
has created confusion, Shafi said in a statement.
media have been spreading news on me being ‘misogynist’ which is really
unfortunate. They have been disseminating an incorrect interpretation of my
I mainly wanted to say is that women should not study in such institutions
where the basic law of Islam ‘Pardah’ or female seclusion is violated. We must
remember that Islam is a full lifestyle. All aspects of life are mentioned in
it, including the education and the running of the the country. Islam promotes
the education for women. Everyone knows that Ummul Mumenin Hazrat Ayesha (Ra)
had been a notable Muhaddis. The Muslim Ummah would have missed many Hadiths if
she had not been educated,” Shafi explained his statement.
there is a basic law of Pardah in Islam. In my statement, I wanted to ensure
that the Pardah is not violated during education. Most of the general education
institutes in the country provide co-education; meaning men and women receive
education together. I wanted to warn the people against that.”
Ahmed Shafi mentioned his role as the chairman of Al Haiyatul Ulya Lil
Jamiyatil Kawmiayah, an organisation coordinating the six Qawmi madrasa boards
to show that he was in favour of women’s education.
of women have received the higher education certificates from the institute, he
said. “The prime minister has announced our Dawraye Hadith is equal to a
Masters degree, allowing millions of our students to get the Masters
qualification,” he said.
don’t understand how I became someone against women’s education when the board
I head is allowing thousands to women to receive higher education.”
Hefazat-e-Islam amir said he wants to run women’s education institutes in a
are not against women education, but we’re promoting safe education institution
for women. We want our women to have higher education but in a safe environment
that does not violate the law of Islam. It is important to have education but
we can’t send our daughters to unsafe places for such education,” he said.
way we are providing the highest education for women in a safe environment
should be followed.”
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