In current era, when everyone is busy in earning to secure their life as well as their family’s life. People are becoming so much aware of women’s importance that they are more concerned of their girl child’s education and self-dependency, it’s so shocking to know that some of the temples and mosques in India do not allow women devotees to enter and worship inside. It’s very difficult to find out the reason behind this kind of discrimination being done with women.
Though some people blame holy books like Qur’an for not allowing female inside mosques, others blame menstruation cycle for this inequality. Some of the temples which came to limelight these days for not allowing women devotees are Sabarimala temple in Kerala, Baba Balak Nath temple in the Dhaulagiri Hills of Himachal Pradesh, Lord Kartikeya temple in Pushkar of Rajasthan, Patbausi Satra temple of Assam, Kamakhya Devi temple in Assam, Shani Shignapur temple in Maharashtra, etc. whereas most of the mosques in India are not allowing women devotees. Really, is it possible for God to discriminate between their girl child and boy child?
Is it reasonable, how menstruation cycle can be the reason behind it, when science proves it to be a natural process mandatory for giving birth? In other words, a woman may be considered as a ray or a fraction of God which is being responsible for budding a new generation. How can a woman be considered as impure when she is tolerating immense pain for originating a new generation.
Fact behind restricting of women during menstruation cycle was the pain and weakness she had to suffer with. In early days, to gave her a rest during her monthly period, the menstruating woman was exempted from cooking or work even at home and were not allowed to go out to prevent from various infections and were instead, asked to rest in a particular room, which gradually became a taboo in course of time restricting them only from entering temples but have to do all other household chores and even work for earnings in view of the fact that the original reason is completed forgotten and it turned into a restrictive practice.
As far as holy book of Qur’an is considered, there is not a single verse in Qur’an, which prohibits women from entering mosques. There is not a single authentic Hadith which states that the Prophet prevented or forbade women from going to mosques. Though women are not allowed in mosques in a few countries like India and some of its neighbours, women are allowed in mosques in most of the other countries including Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt, U.K., U.S.A. and Singapore. It is very interesting to know that women are also allowed in the sacred mosques, Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah and Masjid-e-Nabawi in Madinah.
There is no rule that forbids a woman from entering into a mosque or a shrine. Earlier, as in the early days of Islam, men and women used to pray in the same mosque including children, which till date is prevalent in many mosques, especially Masjid al Haram, that enfold the Kaaba.
When population grew, the mosques weren’t sufficiently large to hold a large gathering of men and women for the prayers which could have two possible solutions – have multiple offerings ( Jamaat ) for a single prayer or to ask people to offer prayers at home. Having multiple offerings caused (and still causes) a lot of confusion, chaos and is usually unmanageable and hence wasn’t a viable option. Since in those days, the women usually stayed at home more than men and used to manage the household, it was suggested that they can offer their prayers at home owing to space shortage.
Now since the population growth hasn’t stopped and isn’t likely to stop, and the mosques won’t be able to accommodate everyone and people are irrational enough to forget the basic logic and reasoning for an action, the ‘suggestion’ for women to offer prayers at home has become more like an order / command, which obviously isn’t correct and fair.
Access to places of worship in India has long been an issue and women have started to challenge these religious traditions. Activists have been challenging rules that obstruct women from entering religious places and exclude them from certain roles in Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. But equality to worship cannot be implicated without men being involved in revolution to provide their mother, sisters, wife, friends and daughters the Right to Worship which will concurrently prove their respect and ideologies towards women.