Muslim women offer prayers for the first time in Lucknow's Aishbagh Eidgah

As Eid is being celebrated across the country and the world — with Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering his warm wishes through Twitter — women in Lucknow were part of a historic act: that of offering prayers or namaaz inside the Aishbagh Eidgah, in a separate enclosure, for the first time.

Offering namaaz at the three-century-old mosque, reported Hindustan Times, isn't unusual. What is, however, is the fact that barely a handful have turned up to take part in communal prayers for over a decade now. With an increase in requests to accommodate more women, the maulana provided for a larger space. Two gates were also assigned for the women.

This move comes at a time when women are demanding entry into the Haji Ali shrine and opposing the practice of triple talaq — in short a demand for equality.

Maulana Khalid Rashid, who spoke to News18, said that he wanted to dispel the belief that women were not treated equally in Islam and ensure that more common prayers will be organised. The News18 report added that although many women did not step out of their houses to attend the prayer at Aishbagh Eidgah, the ones who did were "upbeat".

An NDTV report put the women attendees count at 40 and men at a lakh.

Trupti Desai of Bhumata Brigade, who successfully spearheaded the agitation seeking entry of women in Shani Shinganapur's sanctum, told The Indian Express that the fact that women were allowed to enter Aishbagh Eidgah was a historical beginning, and a matter of great happiness. She also pressed for equality in temples, mosques and dargahs.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 07, 2016 20:59 PM

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