Muslim women seek entry into Mumbai’s Haji Ali Dargah


Muslim women in Mumbai have staged a demonstration to enter Haji Ali Dargah, following protests by other women activists to make their way inside Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra.

The group of Muslim women has been engaged in a legal battle with the trustees of the dargah (shrine) which barred women from entering the mosque’s mausoleum during 2011.

The dargah was of the view that it was a grievous sin, according to Islam, if women are in close proximity of a Muslim saint’s grave.

But according to a professor of Islamic studies, Zeenat Shaukat Ali, the restriction related to “male patriarchy”, and not religion.

“I am an Islamic scholar and nowhere in Islam is it said that women cannot go to graveyards. This is the dictum of the Prophet (pbuh). When Islam has not excluded women, then why should male patriarchy dominate. Male patriarchy is dominating the Hindus, male patriarchy is dominating the Muslims,” Zeenat said.

The scholar went on to say that discrimination against women was against the tenets of Islam. ”This is against what Islam has taught. The constitution [of the country] has given you equal rights [and] Islam supports the constitution.”

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) approached Bombay High Court to seek a verdict that the ban in place is unconstitutional.