Farhat Hashmi

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Farhat Hashmi (Urdu: فرحت ہاشمی‎) (born December 22, 1957) is an Islamic scholar from Pakistan, with a masters degree in Arabic and a PhD in Islamic Studies.[1][2] She was formerly a lecturer and assistant professor at the Faculty of Usul-al-Din at International Islamic University, Islamabad.[3] Hashmi has founded a school near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as an extension of Al-Huda

Early life

Hashmi was born in Sargodha, Punjab, and is the daughter of Abdur Rehman Hashmi, another Muslim scholar.[3] She received her masters degree in Arabic at the Punjab University, Lahore, and was married shortly afterwards to Dr. Idrees Zubair. She received her PhD from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.[citation needed] She taught at the International Islamic University Islamabad,[4] while also conducting informal religious study circles for women in Islamabad.

Views

Hashmi considers taqlid in regards to Islamic jurisprudence to be permitted for those, who have no other choice, but discourages the blind taqlid that shuns the verses of the Qur'an, the sunnah of the prophet, the sayings of the companions and the taqlid that prevents people from searching for evidence.[5]
During a sermon when asked by a woman, what a wife should do if her husband was unwilling to help her destitute parents, Hashmi promptly quoted An-Nisa, 34 (Chapter Al Nisa, verse 34) of the Quran, arguing that the wife should comply with her husband's wishes, "no matter what, as he was her divinely appointed imam."[1]
Hashmi has preached that Muslim women should let their husbands marry a second time so “other sisters can also benefit”. This saves men from having a non-marital relationship, which is forbidden according to the Quran.[1]
According to Hashmi, women can touch and recite the Quran during their menstrual periods, wearing gloves (either when learning Quran from a teacher or teaching Quran to others), traditionally considered prohibited.[6][7]
Hashmi encourages her followers, mostly well-to-do Pakistani women, to interpret the Qur'an for themselves, but her critics argue that "Hashmi's talks center around personal and family development, rather than community service," instead of using their knowledge to improve their social conditions.[8]

Media reception

One Canadian newspaper criticized her for being elitist and observed that the "moderate Muslims of Canada call her Wahhabi because of her unbending doctrines."[2] Raheel Raza, writing in American Thinker on 8 November 2008, stated that she "is known for promoting a very conservative Islamic ideology that is based on Wahhabism. She, like other Islamists is in favor of Sharia in Canada."[9]International, which she had founded in Pakistan in 1994.

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