When Thazhathangadi Juma Masjid opened its doors to women


'I stay just across the river', says a very excited Aminumma, gesturing across the road, at the Meenachil river that separates her house from the ancient Thazhathangadi Juma Masjid. 'And even though I have come here a lot of times, this is the first chance that I have got to enter the mosque. It feels really special after all these years', she gushes, her eyes moist,

When Thazhathangadi Juma Masjid opened its doors to women
Ladies on a guided tour of the mosque and its compound. Photo: Onmanorama

Aminumma and her family were at the Thazhathangady Juma Masjid, which had, for the first time opened its doors to women. A first for this ancient mosque that traces its origins to the days when Malik Ibn Dinar and his followers were spreading the words of the Prophet in Kerala. Also read Ancient mosques in Kerala

Thazhathangadi Masjid

"Muslim women in the right attire can enter the mosque only on the two days, April 24 and May 8, as decided by the committee," said Moulavi Sirajjuddeen Hasni, the chief imam. And they will not interrupt the daily prayer timings. However, for now, these women cannot pray inside the mosque. 'There has been a lot of opposition for this move', says Navab, one of the members of the committee. 'We will think it over, and see when we can allow the women to worship,' he adds. Also read Thazhathangady opens its doors to women

The mosque which is part of the Heritage Zone of Thazhathangadi sees a lot of tourists, every day. Many tourists and researchers from India and abroad come to Thazhathangadi to visit the ancient mosque with its unique pillars, arches and pediments made of teak. However, only men have the right to enter the mosque. Aminumma and her family feels that this is a great step - and they hope that in the coming days they could worship at this ancient mosque.