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Muslim women condemn Deoband fatwa
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, May 13
Muslim women have been offered a mixed bag. If there is a regressive fatwa from Darul Uloom, Deoband declaring working of Muslim women in the government or private jobs as unlawful, there is a progressive decision of the Allahabad High Court prohibiting Muslim men to marry more than once if he can not do justice to all their wives.

Condemning the fatwa as misleading, member of the executive of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board Rukhsana Lari said even in the time of the Prophet Mohammad there were instances of women working and being appreciated by the Prophet. She said Hazrat Zainab one of the Prophet’s wives was herself in the leather business and spent her earning on charity.

Lari quoted another incident that had happened during the time of the Prophet. Another contemporary of the Prophet Zainab wife of Abdullah bin Masood worked and spent her earnings over her husband and several orphans who were under her care. When she asked the Prophet if it was right to work and spend the money in the manner that she was the Prophet had reportedly told her that by doing so she was earning double blessings.

Similarly, Lari welcomed the Allahabad High Court judgment that has prohibited a husband to go for a second marriage after abandoning his first wife and children. The significant judgment passed by a double bench of Justices Vinod Prasad and Rajesh Chandra in the case of Dilbar Habib Siddiqui whose marriage to Khushboo in December 2009 had been challenged by her family on the grounds that she had been lured into marriage and was not even a Muslim. Lari saw no reason why the Muslim community or clerics should not welcome the judgment. This is in true spirit of Islam, she stated.

President All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board Shaista Amber also welcomed the judgment and condemned the fatwa. After years of struggle women have earned favorable laws in the workplace and are about to earn 33 per cent reservation in Parliament and assemblies. There is also a talk of reservation of jobs for Muslims. Obviously this fatwa is a conspiracy on the part of men to deprive Muslim women from availing the benefits of these welcome changes, observed Amber.





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