- Madrassa Jamiatul Mominath in Moghalpura is imparting education to women on a course on fatwa.
- It is Hyderabad’s first and only institute that trains women to become muftias.
- Instruction is imparted in the Darul Ifta, or fatwa department.
Over a dozen students, all clad in burqas, are in a small classroom.Their teacher, dressed identically, keeps a close watch.Everyone is on the floor while books on Hadith (traditions of the Prophet), commentaries on the Quran and tomes on fatwas line the walls.
This is the Madrassa Jamiatul Mominath in Moghalpura, which is the city’s first and only institute that trains women to become muftias. Instruction is imparted in the Darul Ifta, or fatwa department.
Fatwa is an opinion that Muslims seek on a range of subjects, including marriage, menstruation, divorce, adoption, property issues, and rituals like namaz and roza.Countless madrassas in the country–such as UP’s Darul Uloom Deoband–run training courses, but most of them are for men.
“There are several questions that women hesitate to ask muftis. We thought women would be more comfortable discussing their issues with muftias. That’s why we introduced this one-year course 12 years ago,” said Hafiz Mastan Ali, Jamiatul Mominath’s founder.
Set up in 1991, the madrassa has 2,500 students today , of whom 400 are hostellers. The muftia course began with only five girls, but this year, the department is training 15.So far, the madrassa has produced 318 muftias.
The fatwa department’s head, Nazima Aziz, said making girls muftias is empowerment. “Once an alima (female graduate) completes fazila (post-graduation), she is eligible for the fatwa course.”
Aziz explained that the course is divided into five segments: prayers, women’s personal issues, limitations (what women can and can’t do), property issues and current issues. ” A fatwa is given in the light of Quran commandments and the Prophet’s traditions. Muftis try their best to be neutral while giving judgments on disputes. If someone is not satisfied with the decision, he or she can consult another mufti or muftia,” she said.
The girls share Aziz’s opinion on the importance of their role. A muftia in the making, Suraiya Shakeel Khan wants to help women. “I can guide people on religion.” Khadeeja Fatima feels she would get more respect in the community once she becomes a muftia. Most of them, like Aziz, are in favour of setting up more Darul Iftas for women across the country .
Interestingly, Aziz and her students backed the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB)’s stand on triple talaq. “Talaq in one sitting should be discouraged, but it cannot be banned as that will be tantamount to interference in sharia laws,” said Mohammed Hasnuddin, head of Mominath’s fatwa department for men. “We don’t agree that talaq is a sword dangling over the heads of women. It’s an option to end an oppressive marriage and should be used as last resort.”
Courtesy: Times of India