Hana Khatib is the first woman not only for the Muslim sharia courts but for all the religious courts in Israel, as no women serve as judges in the Jewish or Druze courts. (via Israel’s Justice Ministry)
Israel has appointed its first female judge in its Muslim sharia court system on Tuesday, officials said, a move hailed as historic.
Although the role of qadi has traditionally been restricted to men, women now serve as qadis in many countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Malaysia, Palestine, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates. In 2009, two women were appointed as qadis by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. In 2010, Malaysia appointed two women as qadis as well. However, it was decided that as women they may only rule over custody, alimony, and common property issues, not over criminal or divorce cases, which usually make up most of a qadi’s work. In Indonesia, there are nearly 100 female qadis.
There is disagreement among Islamic scholars as to whether women are qualified to act as qadis or not.