Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities of Islam set traditions which the Muslims all over the world are expected to emulate to bring oneness in the Ummah. During Hajj and Umrah, both Muslim men and women devotedly participate in religious obligations together for several days. Taking a cue from what they see in the twin holy towns, several Muslim countries hold prayers in mosques for both men and women, on special occasions like Friday and other sacred days. In Pakistan too there are some mosques where attendance of prayers by women is a regular feature. However, there is no uniform view or practice regarding the attendance of women to perform religious obligation in a mosque. It is said that praying in a mosque gives 70 times more sawwab. Obviously, women would also like to benefit from this provision to earn for them a place in Jannat.

There is a need to announce a clear cut policy, about whether women should perform their religious obligations in a mosque. There should be no ambiguity about this important subject, as we cannot deprive women. I am however, sure that the CII, which is made up of an obscurantist, anti-woman mindset, would definitely oppose women praying in mosques, altogether ignoring the equal gender participation for performance of religious obligations in Mecca and Madina.

SAYED GB SHAH BOKHARI,

Peshawar, October 9.