Muslim bodies in the city have welcomed the Indian government's proposed new Haj Policy, which enables women above 45 to be allowed to go for Haj without being accompanied by a mehram. A mehram is any male member with whom marriage is prohibited for a woman in Islam.
They have also slammed the ulema for 'living in the 7th century'.
Activists Khatoon Shaikh, Hassan Kamal, Javed Anand, Noor Jehan and Firoze Mithiborwala from Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD), a Mumbai non-profit, welcomed the proposal. Anand and Mithiborwala said, "In principle, IMSD sees no reason why an adult female should not be able to go to Haj on her own."
Mithiborwala added, "Today, young Muslim women travel alone all overIndiaand across the globe for different reasons. Why then should any conditions be imposed on them for travelling to perform a religious obligation?"
Yet, the IMSD is realistic, saying that the Indian government "can do little in this matter as the age and group restrictions are part of the visa policy of the Saudi government. We are calling upon the Saudi government to do away with any kind of restriction on adult Muslim women intending to go on Haj."