Woman qazi conducts marriage for the first time ever

Maya and Shamaun, a couple based in Mumbai, got their nikah solemnised by Qazi Hakima Khatoon in Kolkata on January 5.

Maya and her fiancé came across the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan’s (BMMA) website and saw that the movement had trained women Qazis in Quranic and constitutional rights.

Just like Khatoon, 29 other women across the country underwent training in 2016, of which 15 were certified as qazis by Darul Uloom-e-Niswan, Centre for Islamic learning and Theology. This was the first wedding by the 2016 batch.

“The biggest challenge,” says Noorjehan Safia Niaz, co-founder of the BMMA, “is to get couples to come forward. We need more Mayas and Shamauns – the new age, modern, liberal Muslim men and women.”

Khatoon said she started work a month prior to the date. “We had to decide on mehr (a security amount given by husband to wife at the time of wedding), check identity proofs, ensure the application form was in place and explain the procedure to the couple. We were a little anxious, but the support shown by the couple and their guests made our work easier,” said Khatoon.