Haji Ali Dargah's argument: Women may show their breasts while bending to pray

muslim-women-afp Representative image | AFP

In a historic verdict, the Bombay High Court on Friday permitted the entry of women right up to the restricted grave area of the famous Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai.

The 56-page ruling by a division bench came on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) and its office-bearer activists Noorjehan Niaz and Zakia Somani.

The petitioners had argued in the court that the ban on women was a recent development and that they were allowed to enter the Dargah till 2011-2012.

According to a Firstpost report, the Trust had raised mainly three arguments in the court to justify the ban.

♦ Women wearing blouses with wide necks bend on the mazaar thus showing their breasts

♦ Safety and security of women. The trust members cited complaints they had received from women, of belongings being stolen and of eve-teasing.

♦ Earlier they were not aware of the provisions of the Shariat, hence the trust members saw the ban as more of an amendment.

The Trust has said that it will challenge the high court order in the supreme court.

Several Muslim scholars have already come against the court order saying the ruling goes against Islam.

"In Islam, though it's not a sin, but it is also not considered good for women to enter a Dargah or graveyard," said a cleric from Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband.

"The high court is perhaps unaware of Sharia law. We respect the court but this is against Islam,” said Sajid Rashidi, another scholar from Delhi.

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