Mumbai :  Haji Ali verdict: The Bombay High Court ruled Friday that women must be allowed entry into the inner sanctum of the shrine. Photo by BL SONI
Mumbai : Haji Ali verdict: The Bombay High Court ruled Friday that women must be allowed entry into the inner sanctum of the shrine. Photo by BL SONI

Haji Ali management to consult Islamic scholars before challenging the HC verdict in Apex Court

Mumbai : The High Court order lifting ban preventing women from entering Mumbai’s iconic Haji Ali mausoleum has sparked a debate within the Muslim community, as many feel that the court should not have intervened in the religious matter. Others have welcomed the verdict that has been stayed for six weeks after the trust management sought time to approach the apex court.

The Haji Ali management will now consult the Islamic scholars before challenging the High Court verdict in Supreme Court, said Suhail Khandwani, a trustee. “We will have to discuss with our religious scholars. Once we get their opinion on the matter, we will decide what to do,” Khandwani said.

“The Board members will sit together to decide what is the exact reasoning given the order. On what reason this order was given. We, as responsible members of the Haji Ali Trust, will have to consider the law of the land, we will have to take into account Sharia Law and also have to consider the emotions of the people. Then we will decide further line of action,” Khandwani said.

“It is a sub-judice matter as there is stay on this order for six weeks. If I say anything it will be like influencing the people. So we will have to wait and watch but there is provision of appeal, as the matter is on stay,” he added.

“Like constitution, Islam also preaches equality. We are not contradicting on that. There are certain rules and regulations laid down by Islamic laws. So we will have to see on those fronts too. So as a member of Haji Ali Trust I just cannot give my own opinion on the matter, as I need to get opinions of religious leaders also,” said Khandwani.

General secretary of the Raza Academy, Mohammad Saeed Noori said, “If court keeps on lifting such bans then there will be a big chaos within the Islamic law, as tomorrow the Muslim women will also stand up to say that they can offer nawaz in Masjid like men.” “Though there is stay on the High Court order but the Muslim community does not welcome this verdict. It will now be challenged in Supreme Court,” said Noori.

General secretary of Ulema Council Maulana Mehmood Dariyabadi said the court should not have intervened into the religious matter. “It is a religious matter, so the court should not have intervened in it. Islam has banned women going inside Mazars. How can court allow women to go there. It is violation of Islam if they go there,” said Dariyabadi.

AIMIM leader Waris Pathan preferred to remain neutral saying, “It is between the trustees and the court that has passed the order. And the trustees are appealing in the Supreme Court. Let the Supreme Court decide and everybody must obey it. Let the cleric and court decide the matter.”

However, the director of Centre for Study of Society and Secularism Irfan Engineer welcomed the high court verdict and suggested the Trustee not to appeal the order in Supreme Court.

“I welcome the judgement in accordance to the secular constitution of India. Islam has nowhere excluded women from any place of worship,” said Engineer, adding that men and women together go to masjid-e-nabvi in Madina to perform Hajj.

“Till 2011 you were allowing women to enter Sanctum Sanctorum of Haji Ali Dargah, but what happened suddenly. You changed the tradition and then you claim it be according to Islam.

“I would appeal to Dargah management not to go to Supreme Court. And even if they go they will lose the case in apex court,” he concluded.

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Like constitution, Islam also preaches equality. We are not contradicting on that. There are certain rules and regulations laid down by Islamic laws. So we will have to see on those fronts too. So as a member of Haji Ali Trust I just cannot give my own opinion on the matter, as I need to get opinions of religious leaders also

Suhail Khandwani,  — Member, Haji Ali Trust

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