Muslim Women Led Wedding Creates Uproar

A Muslim marriage in northern India has sparked an uproar because the ceremony was officiated by women and has resulted in an angry debate with one of the most influential Islamic seminaries in south Asia calling it an affront to religion. Ordinarily, a Muslim wedding is officiated by a man who is ordinarily a local leader and the signing of the wedding contract is witnessed by four Muslim m ales, two each for the bride and groom. But, the wedding last week of Naish Hasan, the 28 year-old bride and woman activist, and Imran Ali, was probably the first in south Asia in which women played prominent roles in all aspects of the ceremony.

Muslim women activists hailed the marriage as a symbolic first step forward for women of their faith, but it has resulted in a storm of criticism from conservative Islamic institutions, especially from the Dar-ul-Uloom seminary in nothern India. Ahmad Khizar Shah Masud, speaking for the seminary, termed the wedding a “cruel joke on (Islamic) laws.” The Lucknow Idgah Committee said the marriage is invalid under Islamic law. However, Ms. Hadan, brushed off criticism by insisting “I do not care. Islam says there cannot be anyone b etween Allah and his disciple. How come these clergymen are interfering in our matter?”

The bride represents a small group of liberal Muslims who are raising questions about their religion and challenging the authority of conservative leaders. In 2005, a group of Muslim women established the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board to help them fight for reform. They are fighting to recast their religion as one which can fit into modern life.

  • journeyer58

    Isn’t it amazing what strength and power a woman has without realizing it?
    To think that a wedding officiated by a group of women, could this much uproar in an essentially all male society?
    I for one, applaud the women who have taken into their own hands the reform of a religion that is male-centric and does not care how a women feels or who a women is. This much I do know, a women brought me into this world, and cared for me when I could not care for myself.
    If Islam, is truly the way of peace, then they must reform and recognize the rights of their equal partners, WOMEN!
    Too long, tribal thinking has held sway over the Islamic religion, to see this, is to give hope that some where, some time, the faith of Islam, will be reformed and fit into the 21st century, and not live their lives in medieval times as they are doing right now.

  • Fred Stopsky

    I agree with your views.

  • samia abdul

    how can we change islam and muslim people to live right and love life. How can them become sophosticated and have profound understanding. Until now I do not believe woman should cover their head, only in the pray as man put his shose on after the pray. We must and make sure that people who are handle the fatua; they have license . God hate stupid.

  • Fred Stopsky

    good luck