NEW DELHI: A Pune-based Muslim couple has approached the Supreme Court seeking its direction to allow entry of women in all mosques to offer prayers saying that are no records the holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad had opposed women entering mosques and offering prayers.
The petitioners pleaded the court to declare the present practice of prohibiting women’s entry in mosques as illegal, unconstitutional for being violative of their fundamental rights. The couple said they filed a petition in the apex court after various religious heads of mosques refused their plea to permit women to offer their prayers.
“Like men, women also have the constitutional rights to offer worship according to their belief. At present, women are allowed to offer prayers at mosques under Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations, while they are barred from mosques under the predominant Sunni faction. It is submitted that even in the mosques where women are allowed to worship, there are separate entrances and enclosures for men and women. There should not be any gender discrimination and Muslim women should also be allowed to pray in all mosques, cutting across denominations. It is submitted that there is no such gender discrimination in Mecca, the holy city,” the petition said.
“The Quran does not differentiate between man and woman. It speaks only about the faithfulness. Today, Islam has become a religion in which women are being oppressed. It is submitted that women are never allowed to pray inside Sunni mosques. Women were allowed to enter mosques even during the time of the Prophet. It is submitted that Muslim women are being discriminated as they are not allowed to enter and pray in the main prayer hall of mosques,” the petition said.
Referring to SC verdict on Sabrimala temple by which entry of women of all age group was allowed, the petition said the religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women and it is also against human dignity. Pleading the court to adjudicate the issue, the petition said, “The legislature has failed to ensure the basic dignity and equality of women in general and Muslim women in particular when it concerns matters related to entry in the mosque, wearing the burqa, etc.”