Muslim forum happy with new Haj policy

Mumbai: Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD), a forum of progressive Muslims, on Thursday welcomed the Union government’s proposed new Haj policy, which enables women over the age of 45 to attend the pilgrimage in a group of four or more without a mehram escorting her.

‘Outdated concept’

Mehram refers to male relatives a Muslim woman cannot marry — such as her father, brother or son — who must escort her when she travels.

“The concept of mehram is outdated,” said activist Feroze Mithiborwala after addressing a press conference of the IMSD.

Mr. Mithiborwala and IMDS said the rule has lost its relevance; Muslim women are free to travel in India and globally alone. In its statement, IMDS said it saw no reason why an adult woman should not be able to go for Haj on her own.

Viisa update

The organisation, with about 250 members, said it welcomed the new Haj policy, which was recently updated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on its official page for Haj visa applications.

“We regret that the ulema (Muslim scholars) are still living in the seventh century. Trying to reform this policy will be a path of trials and tribulations,” IMSD members said.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2022 7:16:14 am |