This Article is From Jul 06, 2016

Lucknow's Idgah Opens Its Doors To Women On Eid

A separate enclosure was built at Lucknow's Idgah for women on Eid.

Lucknow: Lucknow's biggest namaz site, the Idgah, is just a few steps from her home. Still, 25-year-old Quraisha has never been to the mosque on Eid. This time, she thinks she would go.

Women are not allowed to enter the mosque on Eid -- a concept activists have been at loggerheads with. They point out that there's nothing in Quran that prohibits women from entering a mosque or offering namaz on Eid.

This time, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli, the Imam of Idgah, says it is something he has recognised too.

The move comes after months of controversy elsewhere in the country over the entry of women in religious places. Recently, activists have been demanding that women be allowed to enter the sanctum of Mumbai's famous Haji Ali Dargah too.

"There is a perception that the Ulema does not want women to progress. That's why we are making special arrangements," the Maulana said.

But there is a caveat. The men and women will not offer namaz together. A separate enclosure is being readied to accommodate more than 500 women if they do turn up.

"It is a good thing. We also want to go and participate in the festivities and religious fervour," says Quraisha.

Not everyone in Lucknow is convinced, though. "It is not about women or men. It about the issue that anyone's character can slip. And such situations should be avoided inside the Idgah," said noted Muslim cleric Maulana Abul Irfan.