[Women offering Namaz inside a mosque. (File for representation purpose]
Jaipur: Amid rising demands by Muslim women to allow them to enter and offer prayers in mosques across the country, the Jama Masjid in Jaipur has made special arrangements for the fairer sex to offer 'individual Namaz' at a separate section in the Mosque.
The Joint Secretary said arrangements have been made for women, but in a bizarre restriction, he said the women worshippers cannot offer Namaz, led by Imam, along with their male counterparts.
"As far as women offering Namaz is concerned, they cannot offer Namaz along with the Imam. They can offer individual Namaz in the Mosque. There are two kinds of Namaz, one that is read along with an Imam can be read only by males," Joint Secretary of the Jama Masjid, Jaipur, Mohammed Tahir Azaad, told ANI.
He said such an arrangement has been made so that Muslim women do not miss out on Namaz because they are outdoors or busy in work.
"Now, when women are outside, doing some work, and there is a risk of Namaz being missed, then they can offer prayers here after the males finish their prayer. A place has been designated for it where they can come and pray individually," he added.
He further said Namaz is a right of every follower of Islam, whether male or female.
Earlier, a group of Muslim women moved the Supreme Court demanding entry into all mosques in the country.
The petition by the Muslim women reportedly asks that every mosque that receives monetary aid from the government be prohibited from discriminating against women.
According to the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) women are allowed to enter mosques that have a separate space for them. Following this tradition, there are mosques in every part of India that have special arrangements for women.
In these mosques, especially those governed by Ahle Hadees and Shafai sects, women worshippers offer prayers led by the same Imam who leads prayers for males.
A majority of mosques, especially governed by Hanafi sects living in India, do not allow women to entre and offer Namaz in mosques.
Interestingly, when Muslims go for Hajj, men and women worshippers participate in prayers led by the same Imam in Makkah, Madinah and all mosques across Saudi Arbia. Moreover, Hanafis in Iraq, US and other places also do not have the kind of descrimination that Indian Hanafis show towards women.