Haji Ali, Mumbai.
There's been quite a bit of controversy in Mumbai today, with the news that women have been banned from entering the inner sanctum of one of Mumbai's most popular attractions, Haji Ali. Apparently, the ban had been introduced around six months ago, but has only now come to light after objections from a Muslim women's advocacy group.
So, why the ban?
The inner sanctum houses the tomb of the 15th century Sufi saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. According to some Muslim clerics, Sharia law (the moral code and religious law of Islam) prohibits women from visiting graves, and since the tomb is in essence the grave of the Pir, it's a sin for them to do so.
This issue is that Sharia law is derived from interpretation of the teachings of the religious text, the Quran. Hence, some Muslims view the ban as discriminatory and regressive, particularly when one of the tenants of Sufism is inclusivity.
What do you think?
In case you're female and planning on visiting Haji Ali, women are still allowed into the shrine's large open area.
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