After Sabrimala, a plea to allow entry of women into mosques

Muslim woman from Lucknow divorced twice under Nikah Halala, forced to sleep with husband’s father and brother
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The Hush Post | 9:50 pm | Two-minute read  |

Close to the heels of Sabrimala judgment, a Muslim couple has moved the Supreme Court seeking entry of Muslim women into mosques. The couple has asked the apex court to allow Muslim women to offer prayer/Namaz in mosques.

The couple wants a declaration that the prohibition on entry of Muslim women into mosques in India is illegal and unconstitutional. It is violative of Articles 14, 15, 21, 25 and 29 of the Constitution, reported Bar & Bench.

“…such practices are not only repugnant to the basic dignity of a woman as an individual but also violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution,” said the petitioners.

Ashutosh Dubey, the counsel for the petitioners, has pleaded that there is nothing in the Quran and the Hadith that requires gender segregation.  Dubey submitted that there are no records stating that the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad had opposed women entering mosques and offering prayers.

The petition clarified that women are allowed to offer prayers at mosques under Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations. It however emphasized that the women are barred from mosques under the predominant Sunni faction, the petition notes.

Notably, even in the mosques where women are allowed, there are separate entrances and enclosures for worship for men and women.

“…women are allowed to enter mosques that have a separate space for them, but most mosques in India do not. Socially, Indian women are not encouraged to regularly pray at mosques even if they do have separate enclosures. Most women visiting the Jama Masjid, for instance, would be Muslim tourists in Delhi rather than residents of the capital,” the petition said.

The petition seeks entry of all women into all mosques, cutting across denominations.

The petitioners have also placed reliance on the Sabarimala judgment.

“..this Hon’ble Court in the case of Sabraimala held that “Religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women and it is also 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 petition read.

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