Muslim body objects allowing women to travel for Haj alone

Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca September 21, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood - RTS24B9

New Delhi : The All India Muslim Personal Law Board does not concur with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of allowing the Muslim women to travel for Haj without ‘Mehram’ or male guardian.

“This is a religious issue, and not something to be brought up in legislation and passed in the parliament,” AIMPLB secretary Maulana Abdul Hamid Azhari said, adding, “99 per cent men and Muslims follow their religion in accordance with what their religious authorities say, and not what PM Modi ji or anybody else says.”

According to Islam, Azhari said, a woman cannot travel longer than three days or more than 78 miles without a male guardian, be it for Haj or to any other place.

Addressing the nation in the 39th edition of his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio programme on Sunday, Prime Minister Modi suggested single women pilgrims be excluded from the lottery system implemented to select Haj pilgrims.

Azhari, however, countered the suggestion saying single women were not obliged to go for Haj.

“If a woman does not have a Mehram (male guardian) and does not have the funds to take a male guardian with her to Haj, then she is exempted from the obligation to go,” he said.

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