27th. Aug.2016: Mumbai: Women’s equality in religious rituals is considered being important in the balanced growth of humanity and its culture.The religious Pandits those who have in their subjective theory debarred the women from the religious rituals on the ground of age-old precedent are put to frustration in view of a momentous change pioneered in a verdict /ruling issued by Bombay H.C.As a matter of fact,the Bombay High Court on Friday allowed women to enter the inner precincts (mazaar) of the famous Haji Ali Dargah. Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) had challenged the decision of the Haji Ali Dargah Trust to bar women from stepping inside the inner sanctum though they could enter the main premises of the Dargah in the Arabian Sea along the shoreline. A two-judge bench of the high court, comprising Justice V. M. Kanade and Justice Revati Mohite Dhere passed a historical verdict by lifting the impugned ban on women and allowed six weeks to the Haji Ali Trust to appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court.
The Trust had imposed a ban on the entry of women into the inner sanctum of the Dargah in June 2012 on the grounds that the Sharia law did not permit women to be near the grave of a male Muslim saint. A resolution unanimously passed by the Trust in August 2015 said “entry of women in close proximity to the grave of a male Muslim saint is a grievous sin as per Islam.” The BMMA, a Mumbai-based non-profit organization that works for the rights of the economically backward Muslim women and gender equality in Islam, filed a public interest litigation in November 2014 challenging the Trust’s decision.
Noorjehan Safi Naaz of the BMMA argued that the Trust’s decision was a violation of the women’s right to pray and gender equality. The BMMA also pointed out that the ban on women’s entry was imposed between March 2012 and June 2012 which clearly meant that women were allowed access to the mazaar before that. In February, the government of Maharashtra, through the advocate general, told the high court that it was in favour of women entering the inner sanctum unless the Trust was able to prove that women’s entry was against the religious practices of Islam.
Earlier in April, the Bombay high court had passed a similar ruling lifting ban on women’s entry to the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The ban imposed by the Shani Shingnapur Trust was based on a 400-year-old tradition which proclaimed against women entering the inner sanctum of Lord Shani temple. Women’s organization Bhumata Brigade had challenged the ban in the Bombay high court. Within a week of the HC order lifting the ban, the Shani Shingnapur Trust allowed women to enter the temple.