Mumbai: Continuing the rebellion against the restricted participation of females in the religious domain, a Muslim women's group today protested against the norm of barring entry for women into the Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai. Following in the footsteps of women activists who wanted to gain access to the Shani temple in Ahmednagar, this group too tried entering into the premises of the holy place.
“It was ‘male patriarchy', not religion, which was imposing restrictions on women,” Zeenat Shukat Ali, professor of Islamic studies, said expressing her resentment.
“I am an Islamic Scholar and nowhere in Islam is it said that women cannot go to graveyards. This is the dictum of the prophet. When Islam has not excluded women, then why should male patriarchy dominate? Male patriarchy is dominating the Hindus, Male patriarchy is dominating the Muslims,” she added further.
In an unpleasant battle with the trustees of the Haji Ali Dargah for barring women's entry in 2011, a Muslim women's group displayed intensified protests against the officials.
Taking a firm stand, Zeenat said, “This is against what Islam has taught. The Constitution has given you equal rights, Islam is supporting the Constitution.”
However, the trust has defended its decision of ban on women saying that it was a “grievous sin” as per Islam for women to be in close proximity of the grave of a male Muslim saint.
The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) has petitioned the Bombay High Court seeking a ruling that the ban is unconstitutional.