History is in the making in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, today on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. For the first time, Muslim women will be allowed to offer namaz at the historic Idgah grounds in Lucknow on Eid. The decision was dearly welcomed by Muslim clerics as well as the common people. The imam (priest) of the Idgah, Maualana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali said special arrangements have been made for women inside the Idgah grounds to enable them to offer special Eid prayers.
“’It will be ensured that the women who will be offering prayers on Eid for the first time do not face any difficulty and are not trapped in the heavy crowd of devotees,” the maulana said, reported Deccan Herald. He said that around 500 women would be able to offer prayers at the Idgah ground. “If we fall short of space this time, we will try to accommodate more women next year,” Firangimahali, also a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said. Shaista Amber, chairperson of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board, hailed the decision to allow women to offer prayers at Idgah. “Though it has come late, it is a welcome step,” Amber said.
Amber said that the decision would not only enable a large number of Muslims to offer prayers, but also provide them an opportunity to listen to ‘khutbah’ (sermons delivered by religious scholars). The imam’s decision comes amid the controversy over attempts by women activists to force their entry into Hindu temples.