New Delhi: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that entry of women into the Mosque for offering prayer/Namaz is permitted in Islam.
AIMPLB, which filed an affidavit on a plea seeking direction to allow women to enter the mosque to offer Namaz stated that the entry of women in mosque is allowed and Islam permits entry of women in the mosque.
However, the board said it is not mandatory for women to join group prayers or congregational prayers.
“The present respondent (AIMPL) has taken a stand, as per Islamic texts, that entry of woman into Mosque for Namaz is permitted. Any other fatwa to this effect may be ignored,” the affidavit said.
In the affidavit, AIMPL submitted that its reply is purely in the light of religious doctrine/tenets/belief in Islam.
“Considering the said 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. 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,” it said.
“Islam has not made it obligatory on Muslim women to join congregational prayer nor is it obligatory for a woman to offer Friday Namaz in congregation though it is so on Muslim men. The Muslim woman is differently placed because as per doctrines of Islam she is entitled to the same religious reward (Sawab) for praying as per her option either in Masjid or at home,” it stated.
The Apex Court had earlier asked the AIMPLB to reply on the petition.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court said that nine-judge Constitution bench would wrap up within 10 days proceedings in the matter relating to discrimination against women in various religions and at religious places including Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple.
Constitutional validity of religious practices
Last year, a five-judge Constitution bench had referred to a larger bench the issues relating to the constitutional validity of religious practices like the bar on entry of women and girls into a place of worship.
It had said the larger bench will re-examine entry of women in Sabarimala temple and other religious issues, including the entry of women into mosques, the practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community and also Parsi women married to non-Parsi men being barred from the holy fire temple.