Muslim population
Kashmiri Muslim women offer prayers during the festival of Eid-e-Milad at Hazratbal shrine on a cold winter morning in Srinagar January 4, 2015. [Representational Image]Reuters file [Representational Image]

A Pune-based Muslim couple has filed public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking permission for the entry of women to offer prayers at all mosques in the country.

The joint petition was filed by Zuber Ahmad Nazir Ahmad Peerzade and his wife Yasmeen Zuber Ahmad Peerzade. "The act of prohibition of females from entering mosque is void and unconstitutional as such practices are not only repugnant to the basic dignity of a woman as an individual but also violate the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution", states the appeal.

The Supreme Court will review and consider the petition on Tuesday. The SC bench comprising of Justice S A Bobde and Justice S Abdul Nazeer said that the appeal will be heard in view of the Sabarimala temple judgement.

The couple stated that the Quran or the Hadith has not opposed women's entry to the mosque and there is no requirement for gender segregation in Islam. They pleaded that the present ban on woman entering the mosque is a violation of the fundamental rights and is unconstitutional as there cannot be any discrimination based on caste, sex and religion according to the Indian constitution.

At present, women are allowed to offer prayers at mosques under Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations, while they are barred from mosques under the predominant Sunni faction, they contended... There should not be any gender discrimination and Muslim women should also be allowed to pray in all mosques, cutting across denominations. It is submitted that there is no such gender discrimination in Mecca, the holy city", states the petition.

According to the filed petition, Islam is a religion of faithfulness but today, Islam has become a religion that oppresses women. The appeal says that women are never allowed to offer prayers inside the Sunni mosques, whereas women were not restricted from entering the mosques during the time of the prophet Muhammad.

However, the SC has issued a notice to the Centre, National Commission for Women, Central Waqf Council and All India Muslim Personal Law Board on a plea seeking a direction that Muslim women be allowed to enter mosques and offer prayers, reports IANS.

Citing the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala temple issue, which stated that women of all age groups can enter the temple. "religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women and it is against human dignity.

The petition said that the legislature has failed to ensure that basic dignity and equality are given to the woman, particularly Muslim women when it comes to matters like these.