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Incident in Pune triggers SC petition for entry of women in mosques

The petition, which came up for hearing on Tuesday, was filed by Yasmin Zuber Ahmad Peerzade, 42, and her husband Zuber Ahmad Nazir Ahmad Peerzade, 48, residents of Pathan chawl, Bopodi

pune Updated: Apr 17, 2019 14:21 IST
Shrinivas Deshpande and Nadeem Inamdar
Shrinivas Deshpande and Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,SC,mosques
Yasmin Peerzade and Zuber Peerzade at their residence in Bopodi, on Tuesday.(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)

The denial of permission by a local mosque to allow a Muslim women’s congregation meet (Ijtema) on its premises was the trigger that led to a petition in the Supreme Court demanding that Muslim women be allowed to enter and offer prayer in mosques.

The petition, which came up for hearing on Tuesday, was filed by Yasmin Zuber Ahmad Peerzade, 42, and her husband Zuber Ahmad Nazir Ahmad Peerzade, 48, residents of Pathan chawl, Bopodi.

Zuber is a real estate developer while Yasmin is a homemaker. The Peerzade family has been fighting this issue since 2014.

Zuber recalled that it all began when he had approached a mosque in Bopodi for a small place to organise a Muslim women’s awareness programme. He was denied permission on grounds that women were not allowed entry in mosques.

“That was the incident which changed my life and I decided to fight against it. I know each and every holy book in our religion and not a single book has such kind of references. In fact, the Quran never says anything about women’s entry into mosques,” Zuber said.

His wife, Yasmin added, “In Bukhari Sharif, it is clearly mentioned that women can be allowed in mosques for prayers. It is with this reference that we have filed our petition in the Supreme Court.”

Zuber said he had approached many religious leaders in the Muslim community to allow women to enter mosques, but no one took him seriously.

In January 2019, the Peerzade family approached the Khadki police station demanding police protection as the family had decided to enter a mosque. However, the police also refused permission on grounds of law and order.

Finally, the Peerzade family discussed the constitutional validity of the entire issue with their advocates and decided to approach the Supreme Court directly.

“The Constitution does not allow discrimination on the grounds of sex and religion and it is on this ground that we have approached the Supreme Court, which on Tuesday issued notices to the central government and Muslim personal board, seeking more information,” Zuber said.

The Peerzades, who have two children, have been facing much criticism from their community members. They have, however, decided to pursue their cause for justice passionately.

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 14:20 IST