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President Alvi takes notice of restrictions on women at Faisal Mosque

According to President Dr. Arif Alvi. women should be allowed to pray at a designated place in the main hall of Faisal Mosque.

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Tuesday, President Dr. Arif Alvi expressed disapproval of the limitations placed on women’s access to the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad’s main hall, which has both religious and touristic appeal.

Alvi emphasised that women wearing modest Islamic attire and covering their hair were welcome to perform their prayers in mosques around the world, according to a statement released by the President’s Secretariat.

He bemoaned the fact that there was no enclosure for women in the main hall and that there was no elevator, forcing elderly and ill women to use the stairs to get to the enclosure on the first floor.

In light of these restrictions, President Alvi raised concern about how women would be able to pray.

The president made these comments in response to a special report that Dawn News ran on September 14 that focused on the historic mosque’s beggarly, terrible circumstances for sanitation and maintenance, and limits on women’s ability to offer prayers.

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Alvi stated that he thought women should be permitted to enter the main hall to view the exquisite architectural details of this wonderful mosque and to pray in an enclosure there.

“This is my opinion which is based upon observation throughout the world including the Harmain Sharifain,” he clarified.

In its report to the President Secretariat, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) stated that it had taken steps to ensure cleanliness, carry out maintenance, and clear the area of beggars; however, after the mosque was built, as per the Dawah Academy, Islamic University’s policy, only one gallery was set aside for women, and entry into the main hall was not permitted.