Divided over women entering mosques

While Ahl-e-Hadith encourages women to enter mosques, other sects oppose

While two groups of a community are embroiled in a dispute over allowing women to perform namaz at mosques in Hassan, the issue threatens the harmonious existence among these communities in Mysore.

According to sources, an altercation occurred between two sects over the proposed construction of a mosque near Udayagiri in the city on Sunday. The proposed mosque belonged to a sect which allowed women to enter mosques, which was opposed by another sect, which does not allow the practice.

The groups were soon pacified, and a decision was made to take up the issue, following Ramzan.

Though differences, such as the one witnessed in the city had occasionally threatened to offset the relationship, the sects have so far continued to thrive with their distinct sub-cultures in the city.

According to the district Wakf Board, there are 184 registered mosques in the district. In addition to these, there are mosques that have not been registered and are operating across the district.

One for women

Wakf Officer, Sayyad Roufhan Munavvar said that of the 184 registered mosques in the district, only one mosque located in the city allowed women to perform prayers at the
mosque.

This is attributed to the fact that the community, Ahl-e-Hadith, allowing women to enter the mosques established their first mosque in the city, a few decades ago. Today, women are allowed to perform prayers at six different mosques of Ahl-e-Hadith community in Mysore.

Difference of opinion

A majority of the mosques belong to Ahl-e-Sunnath-Jamaath community, proponents of which claim that they practice the true teachings of Islam. Ahl-e-Hadith community, however accuse them of keeping Muslim women in dark, by not allowing them to enter mosques.

Vice-president of Masjid-E-Azam in Ashokanagar, Ahmed Khan, one of the oldest mosques in the city speaking to Deccan Herald, recalled that the diverse groups of the community have thrived and co-existed in Mysore.

Stating that the proponents of Ahl-e-Hadith have made convenient changes to the teachings of Islam, he said that women going to the mosque were forbidden since the days when Islam was founded. “If women and men are present together in a mosque, then there will be lax concentration towards the almighty at his abode.
Other communities may follow what they feel. There is freedom for that too in our religion,” he added.

Mohammed Umar, secretary of Masjide Ahl-e-Hadith Salfiya maintains that the teachings of Islam allowed women to enter the mosque. “Women prohibited from entering the mosque is an example of orthodox clergy dominating affairs in these communities. When women from these communities are allowed to go to bazaar and shop, why should they be prevented from entering the mosque. There is no scripture that prohibits women from doing so,” he contended.

‘Stop women from entering mosques’

Hassan: A team opposing women performing namaz at K R Puram mosque in the city, met Deputy Commissioner and demanded that the practice be stopped immediately.

“All religious leaders and people of the community are against the practice  But, K R Puram mosque committee has gone against the tradition and allowed women to perform namaz. All prayer rituals at the mosque should be conducted as per Shariah law. All heretic activities at the mosque must be stopped,” they demanded.

If no action is taken against this, there might be law and order problems in the city, they warned.

Following assault on a person in relation to the same at K R Puram mosque on Sunday, security has been beefed at the mosque.

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