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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Women can enter Sabarimala Temple - Faithwise Review of the Week

Women can enter Sabarimala By K. Venugopal, The Asian Age - News Worldwide, 8/19/2006

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug. 18: The Kerala government on Friday expressed its willingness to allow women to enter the famed Sabarimala temple. The Marxist government’s response came hours after the Supreme Court issued notice to it on a petition challenging the provision barring entry to women.

Women aged between 10 and 50 have so far not been allowed into the temple of the celibate deity, Lord Ayyappa.

Kerala’s devaswom minister G. Sudhakaran told reporters here on Friday that if the Supreme Court asked the government a straight question, on whether women should be allowed to enter the temple, the government would say yes.

"How can I say no if the Supreme Court asks me such a question?" asked Mr Sudhakaran, a rather outspoken leader of the state’s ruling CPI(M). He, however, hastened to add that the government would not voluntarily offer its opinion to the court.

"We are not against women entering the temple," he said. "At the same time we are bound to uphold the high court verdict endorsing the rule barring women"....

In 1991, the Kerala high court had upheld the temple rules preventing women from entering the shrine. The Travancore Devaswom Board, which runs the temple, had firmly ruled out any changes in the rules after a recent emergency meeting. The chief priest of the shrine, Tantri Kantararu Maheswararu, also said that women should not be allowed into the temple....

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    Quote of the Day: He who wrongs a Jew or a Christian will have me as his accuser on the Day of Judgment. — Prophet Muhammad

    For all the emphasis that today's clerics put on the Prophet's war record, he spent a total of less than a week in actual battle in the 23 years of his prophethood. He advised his followers to "be moderate in religious matters, for excess caused the destruction of earlier communities." A moderate himself, he smiled often, spoke softly and delivered brief sermons. "The Prophet disliked ranting and raving," wrote Imam Bukhari, the ninth-century Islamic scholar of the Prophet's sayings. Ayesha, the Prophet's wife, reported that "he spoke so few words that you could count them." His most famous speech, during the Haj pilgrimage in AD 632, which laid down an entire covenant, was less than 2,800 words.

    Muhammad was respectful of Christians and Jews. Hearing the news that the king of Ethiopia had died, he told his followers, "A righteous man has died today; so stand up and pray for your brother." When a Christian delegation came to Medina, he invited them to conduct their service in the mosque, saying, "This is a place consecrated to God." When Saffiyah, one of his wives, complained that she was taunted for her Jewish origins, he told her, "Say unto them, `my father is Aaron, and my uncle is Moses.'" continue reading The Muslim malaise, HAROON SIDDIQUI, Aug. 20, 2006.
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