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Sufi shrine Haji Ali Dargah restricts women's entry, protests erupt Last Updated : 06 Nov 2012 01:15:03 PM IST Sufi shrine Haji Ali Dargah restricts women's entry, protests erupt
The trustee of Sufi shrine Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai made an controversial decision that entry of women inside the sanctum sanctorum is restricted and said that the decision is irrevocable.
The management of Haji Ali Dargah has taken such a decision as they feel that it is "un-Islamic under the Sharia Law" for women to visit graves.
The Dargah's trustees said that their decision is irrevoccable .meanwhile, the contriversial decion has evoked sharp criticism and protests from several quarters .
terming it as a Talibani diktat, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said, "I am not in favour of this and that women should not be allowed in Haji Ali. All Muslim liberals should oppose it."
BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, too, called the decision unfair and said, "The trust should re-think and take back their decision."
Bhartiya Mahila Muslim Andolan founder Noorjehan Safia Niaz condemning the ruling, said her group will take this issue to a higher level. "This is the wrong interpretation of the Sharia law. "
"They can offer their prayers, do namaaz and offer shawls and flowers. We are only requesting our sisters not to enter the dargah," said Rizwan Merchant, trustee of the Haji Ali Dargah
The Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in 1431 in memory of a rich Muslim merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari , who gave up all his worldly possessions before making a pilgrimage to Mecca. Hailing from Bukhara, in the ancient Persian Empire and now in Uzbekistan, Bukhari travelled around the world in the early to mid 15th century, and then settled in Mumbai.
The sanctum sanctorum that houses the tomb of 15th century Sufi saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari is visisted by thousands of devotees .
The revered dargah is located on a bed of rock into the Arabian Sea and off the coast of Worli in south central Mumbai.
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