New book questions why 'tacit ban' prevents women from entering mosques
The book ‘Women in Masjid - A Quest for Justice’ penned by Ziya Us Salaam asks a fundamental question: Prophet Muhammed clearly permitted women to enter mosques - the norm in mosques across West Asia, Europe and the US. Yet, women are virtually barred from entry in a majority of mosques across India. There's no explicit ban, just a tacit one.
What, then, is the way forward?
Pointing to Kerala, which is emerging as the "flag bearer" of Muslim women's rights in respect to mosques, the author says: "It is time for each mosque to declare that it is un-Islamic to prevent women from coming to the mosques."
Then, more women need to be appointed to mosque committees as there is hardly any female representation, with men deciding issues for both men and women, while, if logistics demanded it, there can be separate entry and exit gates for women.
"Ultimately, women's prayer space has to be restored, just as the Prophet had visualised it: behind men in the last row, in a position where they can see the imam and not an obscure corner from where they can neither see the imam, nor hear the recitation clearly," says the author, a noted literary and social commentator who is the Associate Editor of the "Frontline" news magazine.