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Hours After Jama Masjid’s Women Ban Order, Shahi Imam Says ‘No Such Restriction On Women Who Want To Pray’

“They (lone women) can tell the guards at the gate that they are entering the mosque to pray and not for any other reason. If a lone woman comes to pray, she will be allowed to enter but there will be some scrutiny on them to ensure they aren’t meeting a boy or making videos but actually here to worship. But it’s not as if they cannot enter,” Imam Bukhari told The Quint.

Imam Bukhari further said this restriction is a result of “several complaints” that the mosque authorities have been receiving for a while. “We have been receiving complaints that women come and exchange roses with their boyfriends here. Or walk hand in hand and make TikTok videos. So we took this decision to curb all this,” he said.

In May 2019, the Jama Masjid authorities had banned the use of TikTok in the mosque, after several videos of youngsters from inside the mosque had gone viral.

On Thursday, Imam Bukhari told The Quint, “Even as we speak right now, there are women inside Jama Masjid praying.” When asked if lone women can come to pray, the Imam said “yes, but only if it is for prayer and worship.”

The written order on Thursday led to backlash from many including the National Commission for Women (NCW).

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