AIMPLB says that it is for the follower of Islam, who seeks fatwa, either to accept the same or not.
New Delhi: The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that there was no prohibition on the entry of women in the mosques for offering namaz but it is not “obligatory” for them to join weekly Friday congregation at the mosque.
The “entry of women in the Mosque for offering prayer/Namaz, inside the mosque, is permitted. Thus, a Muslim woman is free to enter masjid for prayers. It is her option to exercise her right to avail such facilities as available for prayers in Masjid”, the AIMPLB have stated in its reply to PIL petitioner Yasmeen Zuber Ahmed Peerzada seeking the quashing of a fatwa prohibiting the entry of women in mosques.
The reply by the AIMPLB is rooted in a hearing by the nine-judge bench of the top court on the larger issue of legality and essentially of religious belief and practices discriminatory to women.
The hearing is likely to commence from February 3, 2020.
Refusing to comment on any contrary religious opinion to this effect, the AIMPLB has said, “Islam has not made it obligatory on Muslim women to join congregational prayer nor is it obligatory for woman to offer Friday namaz in congregation though it is so on Muslim men.”
The Muslim woman, AIMPLB has said, is differently placed because as per doctrines of Islam she is entitled to the “same religious reward (Sawab)” for praying as per her option either in Masjid or at home.
Referring to views of different religious scholars within Islam, the AIMPLB says that though “Friday prayer is obligatory for every adult except four: child, slave, woman, and patient.”
On the prayer of the PIL petitioner seeking the quashing of Fatwa restraining the Muslim women to enter into Mosque, AIMPLB has said that the relief sought by PIL petitioner becomes “irrelevant” in view of no bar on the entry of women in mosques
AIMPLB says in its reply that the stand taken by it is “as per Islamic texts, that entry of woman into Mosque for Namaz is permitted. Any other fatwa to this effect may be ignored.”
Further dwelling on the sanctity of fatwa, the Board has said, “it is an opinion based upon religious texts, doctrine and their interpretation and has no statutory force.”
However, Boards says that the top court by its order cannot restrain the issuance of fatwa or opinion based on religious texts and their interpretations as same “shall directly hit the right and freedom of religious belief of an individual.”
Upon having received the opinion, AIMPLB says that it is for the follower of Islam, who seeks fatwa, either to accept the same or not.