In a first, 1000-yr old Kerala mosque allows women believers, but conditions apply
New Delhi: At a time when there is a debate whether women can be allowed entry into the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai, the age-old Juma Masjid at Thazhathangadi in Kerala’s Kottayam district, for the first time in its history has opened its doors for women.
The mosque is believed to be among the 11 mosques constructed by Malik bin Dinar, the eighth century religious preacher from Arabia.
According to a pres note issued by the mosque, women from the community can enter the mosque on April 24 and May 8 from 8 am till 12 noon and then from 1 pm till 3.30 pm and later from 4.30 pm till 6 pm. The timings have been regulated so as not to interfere with the religious rites.
"Muslim women in the right attire can enter the mosque only on the two days as decided by the committee," Moulauddeen Sirajjuddeen Hasni, the Chief Imam said.
At Sunni mosques, women are not allowed to perform namaz (prayer) inside the mosque or be part of the rituals inside. Also on these two days, when women are being allowed, this tradition will not be broken, meaning they will not be allowed to perform rituals inside the mosque.
"There are several people who are not happy with the decision. For now, outsiders cannot enter. Only Muslim women can and about women praying inside, we will discuss in future," MP Nawab, chief of the mosque committee said.
One of the oldest mosques in India, the Thazhathangady Juma Masjid, also called as the Taj Juma Masjid, is more than 1000 years old. It is famous for its richness of architecture, wood carvings and the beauty. Southern half of it is demolished and extended with iron pillars, aluminium sheets and minars in 2012. This mosque is situated on the banks of the Meenachil river.