Britain’s first female Shari’ah court judge, Dr. Amra Bone, believes her trailblazing path shall inspire other women to follow.
“My specialisms include Qur’anic exegesis and ethics with an emphasis on Shari’ah and gender,” Bone, a graduate of Birmingham University where she also completed her MA and PhD, told Huffington Post.
The former head-teacher and university chaplain sits on the panel of judges at the Sharia Council at Birmingham Central Mosque in UK – one of Europe’s biggest mosques.
Her job includes to rule on Islamic divorce hearings – a role reserved for experienced elders who have spent their lives studying the Holy Qur’an. The 45-year-old woman was invited to join the panel because of her expertise in the field of Islamic jurisprudence.
“I’ve always been involved in my local community and I spent five years as a leader at a girls youth club, particularly working with Muslim girls. That got me started in championing women’s rights within my community and eventually lead to me being appointed Shari’ah judge 13 years ago,” Bone explained.
“As far as I know I’m still the only female Shari’ah Court judge in the UK but I’m really hopeful that will soon change,” she expressed.
Muslim Arbitration Tribunals, known as Shari’ah courts, started in UK since 1996 when the Arbitration Act allowed for different religious laws to be applied in cases such as divorce.
Based on the Holy Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah, the two main Islamic texts that deal with how Muslims should lead their lives, Shari’ah covers everything from diet and hygiene to bigger issues such as crime and relationships. (huffingtonpost.co.uk)