On 19th November, the Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, took to twitter to inform that, 4 Muslim women from the state of Kerala had applied to go to Haj without an accompanying male guardian who is also known as “Mehram”.
This as per Naqvi was a result of the Modi government lifting the ban on Muslim women travelling to Haj without a male guardian. This ban was lifted on women aged above 45. Earlier these women only got government permission for Haj travel, if they fulfilled that particular condition.
When a panel constituted by the Ministry of Minority Affairs had made the recommendation for the same, it was criticised by a number of Muslim clerics who termed it as “un-Islamic” and “against Sharia”. But it was accepted by the government anyway.
Now it seems that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), isn’t happy with this decision of the Modi government and has objected to the same.
As reported, Maulana Abdul Hamid Azhari, the secretary of AIMPLB has stated that this is a religious matter and not something which can be brought up as a legislation to be passed in the Parliament.
As per Azhari, Islam states that a woman cannot travel for more than 78 miles or longer than three days without a male guardian to any place, including Haj. He also claimed that 99% of the Muslims follow their religion based on guidelines of religious authorities.
While addressing the possibility of a woman not having a male guardian or not being able to afford taking a guardian along, Azhari said that the woman as a result is ‘exempted’ from having to travel to Haj.
This isn’t the only time, the AIMPLB has decided to come in the way of reforms favouring the Muslim women.
The board had decided to put up a stiff resistance to protect the practice of instant Triple Talaq, which included engaging senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, to argue its case in the supreme court.
When the practice was eventually banned by the apex court, the AIMPLB decided to protest against the bill to criminalise Triple Talaq. If the bill is passed into a law by the Rajya Sabha they have already made their intention clear about approaching the Supreme Court against it.