In an interesting move the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a petition calling for entry of Muslim Women in Mosque to offer prayers. The apex court on Monday issued a notice asking the centre to respond to the petition filed by a couple from Pune.
The bench headed by Justice SA Bobde clarified the bench has decided to hear the petition only because of its judgment in the Sabarimala case. “The reason we may hear you is because of our judgment in the Sabarimala temple case” the bench noted.
A Pune based couple approached the top court seeking the entry of Muslim women in all the mosques to offer prayers. They stated there were no records of holy Quran or Prophet Mohammed opposing the entry of women.
The petitioners mentioned not allowing Muslim women into mosques amounts to violation of constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights. The couple sought the Supreme Court to declare the practice ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ by invoking Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
To clarify the question of whether state can interfere, the petitioners counsel argued that mosques across the country are enjoying a slew of benefits from the state.
The couple said they have approached the court after many heads of the mosques refused to agree with their case to allow women to enter mosque and offer their prayers.
“Like men, Muslim women also have constitutional right to pray according to their belief. At present Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations allow women to enter mosques but they are barred by the Sunni sect.”
It is also stated that in the mosques that allow Muslim women, there are separate entrances and enclosures for both genders. “As far as worship is concerned there should not be any discrimination based on gender and so Muslim women should also be allowed to offer prayers at the place of worship” the petition submitted. It also highlighted there is no gender discrimination at the holy city Mecca.