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Mumbai durgah bans women's entry

Posted on Nov 06, 11:00AM | IBNS

Huji Ali durgah here has barred the entry of women to its sanctum sanctorum.

Trustees of the iconic Sufi shrine, which is visited by thousands every year, said it was "un-Islamic" under Sharia law for women to visit graves. The durgah houses the grave of 15th century Sufi saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari.

"They can read their prayers, do namaaz and offer shawls and flowers. We are only requesting our sisters not to enter inside the dargah," NDTV quoted Rizwan Merchant, a trustee and noted criminal lawyer, as saying.

A number of people have protested against the move.

"They are patriarchal and conservative in their mindset. The name of Shariah is only to give credence to what they want to believe," said Asghar Ali Engineer, a scholar on Islamic studies told DNA.

"Women are allowed to visit the mosque which has the grave of Prophet Mohammed. Even the holy Kaaba which is the holiest place has both sexes visiting together there. How can they say it is different here?" said Engineer.