MUMBAI, India (RNS) On a recent hot afternoon, more than 200 women walked a winding path to the tomb of the Muslim saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks and a holy place visited by more than 30,000 people of all faiths every day.
For members of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, a Muslim women’s activist group, the 10-minute march was the culmination of a four-year battle.
Since 2012, women going to the dargah, or tomb, found themselves barred from entering the inner sanctum by trustees who said their entry was un-Islamic.
That sparked a campaign to reverse the ban. In August, the Bombay High Court agreed that nothing in Islam forbids their entry and that safety concerns were unsubstantiated.