Responding to a petition seeking entry of women in mosques, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said that it supports the entry of women in mosques. The board also said that Islam neither restricts women from entering mosques nor praying there. Though the board supports the entry of women in mosques, it said that women are not necessarily required to attend the Friday congregations. And concerning this, the board cannot impose any rules on the mosques.
- A PIL seeking entry of women in mosques was filed in the Supreme Court by Yasmeen Zuber Ahmad Peerzade who put forth that denying women’s entry in mosques is a violation of the fundamental rights.
- The All India Muslim Personal Law Board responded to the plea on Wednesday and said that it supports the entry of women in mosques. If there are any fatwas against this, it has to be ignored.
- The board, however, also made it clear that it is not necessary for women to attend the Friday congregations and that it cannot impose a rule on the mosques for the same.
“Considering… religious texts, doctrine and religious belief of the followers of Islam, it is submitted that entry of women in the mosque for offering prayer/namaz, inside the mosque, is permitted,”- AIMPLB
Women Are Completely Free To Enter Mosques And Pray
The Board made it clear in its response to the petition that women are completely free to enter mosques and pray. “Considering… religious texts, doctrine and religious belief of the followers of Islam, it is submitted that entry of women in the mosque for offering prayer/namaz, inside the mosque, is permitted,” it has stated, The Print reported. “Thus, a Muslim woman is free to enter masjid for prayers. It is her option to exercise her right to avail such facilities as available for prayers in masjid.” The board, however, also made it clear that it is not necessary for women to attend the Friday congregations and that it cannot impose a rule on the mosques for the same.
Board Can Only Issue Advisory
The board said that it is only a body of experts that works in accordance with the laws of Islam. It can, however, not impose its decisions on mosques and it can only rule out advisories. “We being a body of experts, without any state powers, can only issue an advisory opinion, based on Islam. Neither we nor the Hon’ble Court for that matter, cannot enter into the arena of detailed arrangements of a religious place, which is a completely privately managed entity for religious practices of believers in a particular religion,” says the board.
What Was The Petition?
According to Yasmeen Zeber Ahmad Peerzade, who filed the PIL in Supreme Court, denying women entry in mosques is unconstitutional since it is a straightaway violation of the fundamental rights. The petition read, “Permit Muslim women to enter through the main door of mosques and have an Islamic right to visual and auditory access to the musalla (main sanctuary).” It also added that any fatwa restraining women from entering mosques should be now kept aside. Furthermore, the custom is “unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14 (right to equality), 15 (gender justice) and 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Constitution,” according to the petitioner. The bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi also observed that back in April, it had issued notices to parties including the union ministries of Women and Child Welfare and Law and Justice and Minority Affairs and the National Commission for Women, when another such plea was filed.
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