Telangana: No rule to rein in errant qazis
Hyderabad: The absence of rules and a monitoring system has been allowing government qazis to grant divorces at the drop of a hat, when they are in fact not even empowered to grant divorces under the Qazis Act, 1880.
According to Muslim scholars, under Islamic rule, a qazi is empowered to perform the duties of a judicial officer, but in India he is just a Quari-un-Nikah (performer of marriages). Yet, qazis also adjudicate matrimonial disputes.
The government qazi system was introduced during the Asif Jahi era and it was limited to solemnising Muslim marriages and issuing marriage certificates.
Ishaque Mansur, convener of the Dawat-e-Zakat movement, said that qazis have been misusing this power and also issuing fake marriage certificates as in the case of noted rowdy-sheeter Ayub Khan who obtained a fake passport by providing a marriage certificate.
He said qazis have been booked for performing muta (temporary) marriages of Hyderabadi girls with sheikhs. Muta marriage is forbidden in Islam.
“There are also instances of qazis obtaining signatures on divorce papers by presenting them as documents of marriage thus duping illiterate people,” Mr Mansur said
Ather Moin, a social activist, says the poor often ask qazis to settle matrimonial disputes. He said though qazis have nothing to do with divorce under Sharia or the 1880 Act, they issue divorce certificates.
Moulana Abdurrahim Khurrum Zamai, a religious scholar of Ahle Hadith, says, “The 1880 Act that appoints qazis, made during the British rule has to be repealed. It is replaced by a new Act as was done in Karnataka.”
He said that a separate, comprehensive legislation is required to cover solemnisation of Muslim marriage, divorce, and annulment of marriages as well as to monitor the functioning of nikah performers. There should also be guidelines for marriage with foreigners to protect the rights of Indian brides, he said.