Great step for gender justice, Muslim women: Zakia Soman

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], Aug. 26 (ANI): Welcoming the Bombay High Court's verdict to allow women to enter the inner sanctum of the Haji Ali Dargah, petitioner Zakia Soman said on Friday that it is a great step for gender justice and for Muslim women. Soman, who is also the founder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, told ANI that denying entry in the Mazar of Haji Ali Dargah or any other Dargah is unacceptable, it is not acceptable as per the Quran, as per the Sufi Islam, and not accepted as per the Constitution of India. "This is a historic judgment and we welcome this judgment we are overjoyed this judgment is a great step towards gender justice for Muslim women. And also for all women who are Indian citizens and this has been an injustice done to the women since 2012. We welcome the judgment wholeheartedly," she said. "Now that the court has given judgment in our favor we will consult with all our women, we will go through the judgment in detail, we will consult with our lawyers and of course we will go to the Mazar in Haji Ali to offer chadar and we will perform Ziyarat," she added. The Bombay High Court today passed a historic verdict by lifting ban on entry of women into the inner sanctum of the Mumbai Haji Ali Dargah. The court was giving its verdict on a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the ban on the entry of women into the inner sanctum of the city's Haji Ali Dargah. A two-judge division bench of the high court, comprising of Justice V M Kanade AMD and Justice Revati Mohite Dhere pronounced the verdict. Citing some religious traditions as the reason, the ban was imposed in 2012 by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust. The PIL was filed by women activists Noorjehan Niaz and Zakia Soman and the NGO Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan. The Haji Ali Trust, as the respondent in the case, defended the ban saying that the entry of women in close proximity to the tomb of a male saint would be seen as a grievous sin in Islam. The Maharashtra government had in February told the Bombay High Court that unless the Dargah Board is able to prove that the ban is a part of their religious practice with reference to the Quran, women should be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali. The trust had claimed that separate arrangements have been made for women to walk up to a certain point from where they can offer prayers, but are not permitted to touch the tomb of a male saint as it is a sin in Islam. (ANI)