WPK 200307 PESHWAR MOSQUE-1583581490329
Sunehri mosque in the historic city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Image Credit:

Peshawar: Peshawar’s historic Sunehri Masjid has opened its doors to female worshippers for the first time since 1996, a move warmly welcomed by women of the city.

Nearly 15-20 women offered prayers on Friday after the administration of the mosque, located on main Saddar road in Cantonment area, announced the move, reports Dawn news.

Mosque officials said women will also be allowed during Eid prayers.

The mosque’s imam, Muhammad Ismail, said the decision, which comes days ahead of International Women’s Day observed on March 8, was taken to facilitate women living in Saddar and other areas. “Before 1996, women were allowed to attend Friday prayer congregations in the upper portion of the mosque,” he recalled, adding that in 1996, females were barred from praying in the mosque due to growing militancy.

“Now we have opened the upper portion again so that women can offer Friday prayers alongside males in a separate section and listen to Friday ‘khutba’ (sermon),” Ismail said.

A women who attended the prayers at the mosque on Friday along with her daughters, told Dawn news: “I am really happy, and this is a really good decision.”

She said the facility should be available to women for daily prayers as well.