The Bombay High Court’s verdict permitting women inside inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah will ensure gender equality says women activists.
Women activists welcomed the Bombay High Court verdict allowing women’s entry inside the inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah. Noorjehan Safia Niaz, founder of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) too is pleased with the High Court order. Earlier BMMA had filed a petition with the Bombay High Court seeking a ruling that ban on women’s entry inside the inner sanctrum as unconstitutional. She also had fought a battle for overturning the ban imposed on menstruating women’s entry inside the shrine.
She said, “This verdict will go a long way in seeking equal rights for women. Henceforth no women will be harassed by trustees while seeking entry inside the shrine.”
Uttar Pradesh’s first woman Qazi Hina Zaheer expressed joy at the judgement, saying that it was “a very good and logical judgement”. “When women can go near the holy Kaaba sanctum, then why restrictions are imposed at other places?
Haji Ali Dargah, petitioner Zakia Soman said, “This is a historic judgement and we welcome this judgement. It is a great step towards gender justice for Muslim women. And also for all women who are Indian citizens and this has been an injustice done to the women since 2012. “
Trupti Desai, Bhumata Brigade chief said, “The Bombay High Court’s verdict is a victory of every woman who had fought a long battle seeking the entry of women inside inner sanctum of Haji Ali Dargah. We will also try to enter the shrine on August 28. Even our outfit had held agitation seeking entry of women in the shrine. Earlier, we had received death threats when our activists tried to enter the sanctrum. Now after the court verdict, we don’t have to fear anyone.”
On the other hand, Muslim Boards across the country are expressing their discontent against what they feel is undue interference with the Sharia law. They are also planning to challenge this verdict in Supreme Court.
Cleric Maulana Sajid Rashidi is not pleased with the High Court verdict. He said, “The court has delivered the verdict but it is unaware about the Sharia law.”
Haji Ali Dargah trustees expressed their displeasure over the court verdict and said that the act of allowing women in the sanctum is considered as a sin.
According to Sohaib Menon, representative of the trust, Islam discourages free mixing between men and women. He had relied on the verses from Quran and Hadith for support.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Haji Rafat Hussain said, “The high court should not have interfered in a religious matter and we will approach the Supreme Court. The court should have thought on it cautiously as Islam does not allow the entry of women in a dargah or a cemetery. This can disturb the environment.”