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Fiqhi Seminar deliberates on Islamic view on women, parents, jobs

The 20th Fiqhi (jurisprudence) Seminar of the Islami Fiqh Academy deliberates on vital issues

Rampur:  The three-day 20th Fiqhi seminar of the Delhi-based Islami Fiqh Academy (IFA) concluded here on 7 March 2011. It was attended by nearly 300 scholars, muftis and ulama from across the country and abroad.

The inaugural session of the seminar started with an introductory speech by Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, the general secretary of IFA. Speakers of the session included Maulana Kaka Saeed Umri, vice president of AIMPLB, Maulana Yusuf Islahi, director of Jamiatus Salihat Rampur, Maulana Abdullah Mughisi, president of AIMC and Maulana Sayed Ahmad Ali, Qazi of Rampur city.

Maulana Mohammad Rabey Nadwi, president of AIMPLB sent a message which was read out during the inaugural session. On the occasion eight books published by the local host (Madrasa Jamiul Uloom, Rampur) were also released.

International participants of this event included Qari Abdullah Salim, Muzammil Husain Siddiqi and Mufti Zafar Ali Anjum (all from the US) and Mufti Yaqoob Ismail Munshi from UK. Maulana Atiq Ahmad Bastwi, secretary of academic affairs of IFA, offered vote of thanks.

The seminar came out with some relevant conclusions on a number of burning issues including water issues, joint family system, parents’ rights, hijab in a joint family, issue of female instructors and teachers in universities and colleges who do not observe hijab, work by women in hotels and other workplaces, treatment of women by male doctors, working of a Muslim in the judiciary, army and banks etc.

The majority opinion which emerged during the seminar said that in Islam separate family system is the best but joint family system can also be adopted if it is suitable to the local environment, provided that rights of parents and father- and mother-in-law and other relatives are observed according to the parameters laid down by the Sharia. Parents must not be sent to old homes as is the case in the West. Likewise, in the joint family system, a woman can uncover her face according to a group of ulama provided that she maintains her dignity and avoids privacy with non-mahrams. Work by women outside their homes provided they observe hijab is permissible. Women may work in offices, banks, hotels and other places within the limits of Islam. As far as women’s medical treatment by a male doctor is concerned,  it is desirable that it be done by female doctors but it could be allowed in compelling situations by male doctors, the ulama said.

About an enterprise where general business is lawful but a portion of it is unlawful, the majority opinion in the seminar was that it is allowed to work in such enterprises. Working with interest-based banks is unlawful but if a Muslim is working with such a bank, he is advised by ulama not to give up his job until he finds another lawful job.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2011 on page no. 18

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