A record 1,244 Indian women have applied to go for Haj next year after the NDA government allowed for the first time Muslim women to undertake the annual pilgrimage to Mecca without a male relative.
Till now, Muslim women had to be accompanied by a mehram, usually a husband or a relative to whom marriage is unlawful, for the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
Officials in the minority affairs ministry said of the 1,244 applications from single women, 1,016 applications have been accepted so far.
The recommendation to allow women-only groups to apply for Haj was made by the Afzal Amanullah panel constituted to review the earlier Haj policy. The panel’s recommendation was accepted by the Narendra Modi government in October.
“There are many schools of thought on this (women going alone) but the religion per se doesn’t prohibit it. So I decided to make the recommendation,” Amanullah said.
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