Stories of courage reverberate amid calls for change

Nilambur Ayesha, Sameera & Ayishumma Thavanur share their struggle to claim rights
Khadeeja Mumtaz and Nilambur Ayesha during the Muslim Women’s Conference in Kozhikode on Saturday | E Gokul 
Khadeeja Mumtaz and Nilambur Ayesha during the Muslim Women’s Conference in Kozhikode on Saturday | E Gokul 

KOZHIKODE: The Muslim Women’s Conference with the theme ‘Equality is Justice’ held in Kozhikode became a platform for an open discussion on property rights issues being faced by women in the Muslim community and other violations of fundamental rights. 

The conference organised by the Centre for Inclusive Islam and Humanism at Nalanda Auditorium on Saturday also witnessed Nilambur Ayesha, Sameera Bukhari and Ayishumma Thavanur sharing the struggle they took up to claim their rights in the community. 

“Women should be treated with respect and love. In Kerala, many women are suffering torture from their husbands and in marriages, they are just focusing on mahr and dowry. After receiving dowry, the women are treated in a pathetic manner,” said Nilambur Ayesha, who also shared how she struggled to overcome the restrictions of conservatives in the community and became the first female film actor from the Muslim community.

Similar is the case of Ayishumma Thavanur who has been fighting for the past five years for her three daughters to inherit their sole property. “Since we don’t have any sons, our sole property, which was registered under my late husband’s name, has to be partitioned and a portion should be given to the husband’s brothers also. As per  Islamic law, my daughters can’t inherit the property fully. But we are facing financial issues and we are fighting for my daughters’ rights. God didn’t make such rules that make human lives difficult, but they are made by the elites and patriarchal society. This should be changed,” Ayishumma said. Meanwhile, Sameera Bukhari shared her painful experiences that she faced in her married life and how she overcame it and became a motivational speaker.

C H Musthafa Moulavi, advisor for the Centre for Inclusive Islam and Humanism, said that Muslim Personal Law is entirely against the teachings of the Quran. The conference had special sessions led by experts on various issues being faced by Muslim women such as inheritance, guardianship of children and permitting divorce in marriages. 

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