Women offering namaz in mosques is not a commonly followed practice in most parts of India as different schools of thought in Islam take a different stance on the matter.

However, in Bangalore, praying in congregations is emerging as a trend. Some prominent mosques in various localities are offering facilities for women to congregate for the Friday prayers. Women congregations are also common during the month of Ramadan for the Taraweeh prayers (special prayers conducted in the night during which the Koran is recited).

Farha Khalid from the Girls Islamic Organisation here, who has been participating in women’s congregations for the past few years, says: “The new practice is to meet in someone’s house or any other community place other than a mosque. This is emerging as a trend in the last three-four years”

Islamic scholar Engineer Ameenul Hassan says that more than 10 mosques are offering facilities for women congregations.

While some allow women for Friday prayers, there are others that have exclusive facilities for women to say their Taraweeh prayers.

“Prayer in congregation is considered to have more social and spiritual benefit than praying by oneself. It was allowed during the time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and it is still practised in many countries,” he says.

He said that the mosques where this is allowed have special arrangements such as praying on a different floor with entrance and exit facilities for women.

According to Mr. Hassan, the following are some of the mosques where women congregations are allowed for Taraweeh payers: Masjid-e-Mamoor, Koramangala; Masjid-e-Noor, Dickenson Road; Masjid-e-Munnavara, Cox Town; Masjid-e-Muazam, BTM Layout; and Masjid-Saad-bin-Adiviqas, R.T. Nagar.

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