Indus Scrolls speaks to redoubtable Muslim woman reformer
When there was a question of entry of young women to Sabarimala in Kerala – it must be noted that the temple prohibits only women in the age group of 10-50 years — our bra-burning, loud-mouthed Leftist feminists made sleazy comments about the presiding deity Sri Ayyappan, thereby hurting the sentiments of crores of Hindus. One woman LDF leader who contested unsuccessfully in the last Assembly election asked: “Will Ayyappan lose his self-control if he sees young women? Another one asked: “Why is Ayyappan interested in what is there in between my legs?” Interestingly, some of the Muslim feminists who protested against the age-old tradition had showed up with veils on their heads. ‘CITU journalists’ in Kerala held panel discussions in TV channels. Still, no one who made these outrageous comments received any threat of physical assault or death.
Jamida Teacher, the first woman Imam of India, doesn’t fit into the Left-liberal type feminism. The ‘Leftist types’ show virility only when Hindu issues are concerned. That’s why none of the feminists were found standing by Jamida Teacher, general secretary of the Quran Sunnath Society, when Islamic fundamentalists were baying for her blood. Notwithstanding death threats, she stood by her decision and led the Juma prayers in Vandoor, Malappuram district. The print and electronic media in the state played down the historic event, though Pakistani daily Dawn gave descent coverage. More than 30 believers participated in the prayers on January 26.
By doing this, Jamida was, in fact, making history. Only two similar incidents have taken place in the past with women at the helm; both were in New York. First woman Imam was Gasla Anwar in 1999 and the second was Ameena Varood in 2005.
The Quran Sunnath Society has been claiming that Quran does not stipulate for male imam for juma prayers. Its office-bearers said similar woman-led namaz will be spread to other parts of the state soon.
Jamida has been facing death threats, thanks to her progressive, logical and pragmatic views on Islam. She receives thousands of threat messages. Her house was attacked for supporting Love Jihad victim Akhila-Hadiya’s parents. While some so-called ‘Rightwing’ personalities succumbed to the lure of lucre, she tore apart the foreign-funded conversion mafia thriving in the state without any hindrance from the Left Front government.
Now, threats have spread through social media also. She receives hundreds of calls from both within and abroad. Some callers warned her that she would face the fate of Chekannur Moulavi, the founder-chairman of the Quran Sunath Society.
PK Mohammed Abdul Hassan alias Chekannur Moulavi (57) of Malappuram district disappeared under mysterious circumstances on July 29, 1993 after he left home to deliver a religious sermon. Moulavi had invited the wrath of the Islamic orthodoxy for his unconventional interpretation of Islamic affairs and Quran. It is believed that Moulavi was killed by the fundamentalists. This assumption is justified by the threats Jamida has been getting round-the-clock.
But, Jamida will be the last person to deviate from her chosen path. She has her task cut out: To ensure equality among men and women in rituals and practices. She is ready to take whatever it takes to achieve that. She believes women are kept aloof because the real ideas of Quran are not conveyed to the people. “They can kill me but I will stick to my path till my death,” says Jamida.
On her beliefs
Jamida said now all religious matters are controlled by Hadis, not Quran. Hadis insist on namaz five times a day whereas Quran is for three times – in the morning, before sunset and in the night.
Hadis brought purdah. Jamida is for Shariat amendment ensuring equal rights for boys and girls on parents’ assets. She spoke against vaank prayers using speakers. This stand has upset the Islamic fundamentalists. She said, Quran is the fundamental text for Muslims. Quran did not encourage clergy and so-called religious scholars. It said scholars and clergy eat the assets of the people. Quran says man and woman should get equal reward for their efforts. But Hadis consider women as the second class citizens.
Jamida said that Hadis insist on five inhuman rules:
- Husband can beat the wife if she does not come to him when he calls her.
- He can beat her if she goes out without his permission.
- He can beat her if she does not take bath after the sexual intercourse.
- He can beat her if she does not show her beauty to him.
- He can beat her if she does not perform namaz five times.
Jamida added that according to Hadis if the wife falls sick the husband can leave her at her relative’s place; no need of spending money for her treatment. “Hadis rules are always anti-woman. Even though they got a text like Quran, they still formulated Hadis, because, they wanted to rule the women. Triple Talaq is inhuman,” she says.
Jamida explained that Quran says women do have equal rights like men. It does not address ‘Dear man’ or ‘Dear woman,’ but as ‘Dear believers.’ It is the text for the Muslims. But, when Hadis got the prominence, it created enmity, division, etc. That is how ISIS, etc. are coming up. Hadis no: 2256 says if one leaves Islam he should be killed!
On attempts on Jamid’s life
Jamida survived two attempts on her life in December 2017 since she came out vehemently against Love Jihad and Triple Talaq. She opposed the Muslim bodies’ stand towards Akhila case. Now, she goes out covering the face and taking all precautions. Chekannur Moulavi used to travel the whole country to propagate the real Quran. He had even been to Pakistan once and some dailies there had carried his articles. But, his death has created fear psychosis among people hence several units of the Society are not functioning now as it used to be.
Jamida divorced her husband
According to Hadis, man can divorce woman wherever he likes. But, the clergy teach the people that if a woman divorces her husband the throne of Allah will shiver and shake! She wonders if Allah is so inept and rude to get upset when a woman wants to save herself from a miserable married life! According to Quran, a woman can divorce (fasakh) her husband. Jamida divorced her husband, as he was not capable of running a family or leading a satisfactory life. She remembers that she had approached her mosque on the third day of her marriage seeking fasakh, but the clergymen tried to convince her about the plight she would cast upon Allah. But, she had to opt it after having two kids. Now, she is called the Lady Chakennur.
Jamida Teacher taught Arabic in two prestigious schools in Thiruvananthapuram. But, now, due to heavy social and organizational duties, she does not work anywhere. Her two kids are school goers. She regrets, even her parents do not keep any rapport with her since she took a revolutionary stand against the clergy. Now, her children and the progressive people in Kerala form her family.