Minorities Commission Chief questions Bombay HC for intervening in religious matters

August 27, 2016 02:22 PM

HYDERABAD: On a day the Bombay high court lifted a ban imposed on women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah, chairman of the minorities commission Abid Rasool Khan on Monday said that this matter was not up to the courts to decide as the religious scriptures are more than specific on this matter.

"Its more of religious obligation where something has been told that it should not be done; after that it's the choice of the person to do it and face Allah on the day of judgment," Khan said.

Speaking in the context of a significant judgment, Khan maintained that Islam says it is not desirable for women to visit graveyard but stressed that there is no ban as such.

"The Quran is more than specific on this matter. However, we have never barred any woman from entering the graves or shrines. But there must be certain decorum that they must maintain, during their visit," he said.

He further added that there was no need for any judicial intervention as the religious scriptures have been more than clear on the do's and dont's of visiting such places.

"If women still want to go and do it, then it's their choice and they should be allowed to do it. We should not stop them from doing so," Khan said. He saw women being allowed to go into the sanctum sanctorum of dargah as also being part of "evolutionary" process, noting that earlier it was desirable that women should not go to mosque to pray.

 "But later on, women are going to mosques and praying along with men in separate sections, including most of the mosques in Hyderabad and Saudi Arabia. So, this is evolution and how mankind changes evolutionary things".

"Women were earlier only at home and never used to go out, but today they are coming out and want to go to dargah, so let them go and pray," he said. But Khan stressed that when women go to dargah, where a pious and revered saint is buried, they should maintain decorum and dignity.

"This is not just for religious purposes, usually, dargahs are places of piety, which is thronged by hundreds of people everyday. If a woman wants to go visit such a place they must dress appropriately and take care of their modesty. We do not want any complaints from women on their safety. And instead of approaching the courts, the women petitioners in Mumbai should have approached a religious head to air out their grievances," he added.

He also said that if religion has barred women from entering such Sufi shrines, they can always approach muftis. "There is no need for a court to intervene in such matters, because their competency in such cases is doubtful," he said.


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