The High Court has ruled that women cannot become Nikah (Muslim marriage) registrar due to certain "physical conditions" and social as well as practical situations of the country.
"It has to be borne in mind that due to certain physical conditions a lady cannot enter the mosque during a certain time of the month. She is even excused from performing the mandatory daily prayers during this particular time. This disqualification does not allow her to conduct the religious task. We are mindful of the fact that Muslim marriage is a religious ceremony and has to be guided by the terms and dictates of Islam," the HC bench of Justice Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury and Kazi Zinat Hoque observed.
The judges came up with the observation in a full text of a verdict which was released after they signed it recently.
Earlier on February 26 last year, the HC bench delivered the verdict after rejecting a writ petition filed by a marriage registrar candidate, Ayesha Siddiqua, from Dinajpur challenging a government decision not to recruit her as a Nikah register.
The HC in the verdict upheld the decision of the law ministry that in 2014 said that women cannot be marriage registrar due to the social and practical conditions in Bangladesh.
In the full text of the verdict, the HC said the primary role and duty of a Nikah register is to solemnize the marriage between a Muslim bride and groom, which is essentially a religious ceremony.
On account of rapid urbanisation coupled with lack of open space, a recent trend has been to have the Nikah ceremony solemnized at local masjid (mosque), it said.
The HC said in the full text verdict that a marriage ceremony is not only merely a family or social event, it is essentially a religious ceremony which entails certain religious functions.
The marriage ceremony is usually conducted either by the nikah registrar himself or by an imam of the masjid where the marriage ceremony takes place.