Dr Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission, recently became probably the first woman in India to conduct a nikaah (Muslim marriage ceremony).
In a first-person account, distributed by the Women’s Feature Service, Dr Hameed says by solemnising the marriage - ubiquitously conducted by male clerics - she wanted to show the true spirit of Islam, a faith often maligned as being anti-women.
According to her, around 1,400 years ago women were empowered enough to ask the Prophet what Islam entailed for them. Women scholars and muftis were also common during that era. The Prophet's granddaughter, Hazrat Zainab, was, in fact, one of the greatest interpreters of Islam.
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