Lucknow, March 7: The Akhilesh Yadav government on Monday appointed its first woman qazi in Uttar Pradesh which boast a sizeable Muslim population. Dr Hina Zaheer Naqvi is among the first woman appointed as a qazi by the UP government in Shia sect. Earlier the government had made an announcement to appoint to female qazi, one from Sunni sect and other from Shia sect in the most populas state of the country.Also Read - 'Say No to Bloodshed': Muslim Man Observes 72-Hour Fast to Protest Against Animal Sacrifice on Eid
As soon as the report over female qazi’s appointment were made public, clerics from both the sects had refused to recognise them saying there is no room for women “to sit in judgement over men” in the Islamic faith. Also Read - ATS Nabs 2 Clerics From Delhi's Jamia Nagar For Converting Over 1,000 People to Islam in UP
According to Islam, qazis literally means a judge who sorts out disputes among individual in the light of Sharia or Islamic law. Qazi have a power to give their verdict similarly like judges but the minority community members are not bound to the verdict and are free to approach any court in India. Also Read - 'DJ Bandh Karwao': Cleric Refuses to Solemnise Weddings After Grooms Dance to Loud Music Atop Car
The formal announcement of appointment of Dr Hina Zaheer Naqvi, a PhD and Maria Fazal who has been appointed as qazi for Sunni sect was announced at a function organised in Kanpur by All India Muslim Women’s Board. Maria Fazal is an aalim (Islamic scholar) and a resident of Lucknow. After the appointment of duo there are huge criticism from all over India by Islamic clerics. Read Also: (Jahan Ara and Afroz Begum – first ever women Qazis in India)
Both qazi’s belive that since they are female they can easily understand the plight of women and can help them in a much better way. Both woman assert that Islam does not differentiate between man and woman when it comes to social justice, education and knowledge.
Sunni clerics have a different view over the appointment as they believe that a qazi is to attend service with purity for 30 days a month. Whereas Shia clerics belive that in any case a women can never be appointed as qazis and Islam does not allow this.
However Darul Uloom Deoband, the most renowned Islamic institution recently gave a statement that, “a women can become qazis as it is a matter of knowledge and expertise”.
Last month Rajasthan has become the first ever state to have women qazis. Jahan Ara and Afroz Begum have become women qazis in Rajasthan after they completed a two-year training course in the state sponsored institution.