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Petition in Apex Court to let women offer namaz inside mosques

This is the second petition in recent past in the Aprex Court seeking entry of Muslim women in mosques

Monday April 15, 2019 6:39 PM, ummid.com & Agencies

Woman Praying in Mosque

New Delhi: A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday pleading that Muslim women be allowed to enter and offer namaz inside mosques.

Moving the plea, a Muslim couple asked the apex court to declare the prohibition on entry of women inside mosques in the country as "illegal and unconstitutional" as it violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

Pointing out that there was no mention of any gender segregation in either Quran or Hadith, the couple's counsel Ashutosh Dubey said: "....such practices are not only repugnant to the basic dignity of a woman as an individual, but also violative of their fundamental rights..."

The petition has arraigned the Union government, the Ministry of Minority Affairs, the Central Wakf Council, the Maharashtra State Board of Wakfs and All India Muslim Personal Law Board as parties to the case.

The petitioners said that there were no records stating that the Quran and Prophet Muhammad opposed women entering mosques and offering prayers, and in fact men and women have equal constitutional rights to worship, according to their beliefs.

The petition also mentioned that in mosques where women are allowed, there are separate entrances and enclosures for worship for the two genders.

The petition said that there should not be any gender discrimination at all, and that all Muslim women should be allowed to pray in all mosques, cutting across denominations.

Women are allowed, as per the tradition of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), to pray in mosques almost everywhere including Makkah, Madinah and Al-Aqsa - three most holy places for Muslims. But, clerics in countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh do not allow women to pray in mosques.

To support their arguement, the petitioners cited the recent Supreme Court judgement allowing the entry of women in Kerala's Sabarimala Temple.

"The hon'ble court in the case of Sabraimala held that 'religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women as it is against human dignity'. Prohibition on women is due to non-religious reasons and it is a grim shadow of discrimination going on for centuries," the petitioners said.

This is the second petition in recent past in the Aprex Court seeking entry of Muslim women in mosques. In October 2018, In NISA - a forum of Muslim women in Kerala, has announced to approach the Supreme Court seeking its intervention for permission to pray in mosques across India.

"Even during the times of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), and their are hadith to prove this, that women who are in their menstruating age were allowed to pray in the mosques. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself advocated such things, why are women in India suffering?" asked VP Zuhra, Social Activist and President of NISA.

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