Alvi questions ban on women offering prayers in Faisal Masjid main hall

President Alvi Kashmir
Zubair Qureshi

President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday expressed reservations over restrictions imposed on women from entering and offering prayers in the Faisal Mosque’s main hall and asked how we could stop women from offering prayers in the mosques when all over the world they are free to do so.

Alvi, according to a statement issued by the President’s Secretariat, highlighted that women in modest Islamic dress with covered hair were allowed in mosques all over the world to offer their prayers.

He regretted that there was no enclosure for women in the main hall of the Faisal Masjid, and the elderly and unwell women had no choice but to climb stairs and reach the first floor. Even there was no elevator for ladies who are advanced in age or unwell, said the president.

President Alvi expressed concern as to how women would be able to offer their prayers while faced with such restrictions.

The president gave these remarks while taking note of a special report aired by a TV channel wherein issues such as restrictions on women to offer their prayers, poor cleanliness conditions and maintenance and beggary were highlighted at the historic mosque.

Alvi said that he believed women should be allowed to offer prayers in an enclosure in the main hall and to visit the main hall to appreciate the architectural beauty of this magnificent mosque.

“My opinion is based on my personal observation throughout the world including the Harmain Sharifain,” he clarified.

The Capital Development Authority, in its report submitted to the President Secretariat, had informed that it had initiated actions to ensure cleanliness and to carry out the maintenance and rid the area of beggars, whereas, after the construction of the mosque as a policy of Dawah Academy, Islamic University, only one gallery was reserved for ladies and there was no permission for women to enter in the main hall.