Muslim women can offer namaz in Masjid but no intermixing in common areas: AIMPLB tells SC
One Farha Anwar Hussain Shaikh has filed a petition in the top court and has sought a direction that the alleged practices of prohibition of entry of Muslim women into mosques in India are illegal.
Published: 09th February 2023 09:49 AM | Last Updated: 09th February 2023 12:44 PM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has told Supreme Court that women according to religious texts, doctrines, and religious beliefs are permitted to enter mosques to offer namaz provided that there is no free intermixing of men and women in common areas of Masjid.
“There is no religious text authorizing free intermingling of genders in any Masjid. When it comes to performing Namaz around the Kaaba in Mecca, there are temporary arrangements putting barricades to provide separation between men and women worshippers during the prayer. The etiquettes of prayer, particularly no free intermixing of both sexes, are adhered to willingly, strictly, and sincerely by all worshippers whether men or women. In fact, in Mecca, there are scores of Masajid besides Masjid Al-Haram where, since the time of the Prophet (PBUH) no intermingling of the sexes is allowed. It is pertinent to mention that almost every Masjid has a separate entrance to the Masjid for men and women; the area for ablution and for washroom also being separate,” the affidavit states.
The affidavit has been filed in a plea preferred by Farha Anwar Hussain Shaikh wherein she has alleged that practices of prohibition of entry of Muslim women in Mosque in India are illegal and unconstitutional. Shaikh in her plea has further sought “a life of dignity” for Muslim women and has also relied on Islamic principles.
AIMLPB has also said that Islam has not made it obligatory for Muslim women to join daily five times prayers in congregation nor is it obligatory for women to offer weekly Friday Namaz in congregation though it is so for Muslim men.
“Though permission was given to women to pray in the mosque; but the congregation is not obligatory upon them like men; that's why women didn't attend the congregation of mosque generally in the time of the Prophet,” the affidavit states.
The affidavit also states, “There are certain Islamic etiquettes and principles that are followed as a manifestation of the Islamic faith, to maintain decorum in the social and private spheres and in the present case, to protect the spiritual essence of the prayer i.e. Namaz for both men and women. Furthermore, the separation between chambers of men and women in many mosques is available to provide a comfortable and safe space for Muslim women who can pray in peace and unwind themselves during the most intimate spiritual activity ie Namaz.”