LAHORE - Maulana Rashid Mian, a senior teacher at the Jamia Madnia who is also a

senior leader of the JUI-F, says religious leader Javed Ghamidi should appoint a woman as Imam at his own mosque and then offer prayers behind her.

Talking to The Nation yesterday he said Mr Ghamidi should follow his advice if he really believed that men could offer prayers behind a woman Imam.

In a TV interview, Ghamidi said many controversial things which no religious party is willing to agree to.

Ghamidi, who has been living out of Pakistan for some years now because of the threat he faces on account of his controversial utterances, said in the interview that it would not be invalid if a man is led by a woman in prayer. However, he said, since this was not in practice in this society, it should not be enforced.

According to him, a man could shake hands with a woman as this is not like a question of halal or haram. “Heavens would not fall if a man shakes hands with a woman if the situation so requires”, he said.

He also said that in the present era a woman could travel without being accompanied by a “mahram”, a close male relative.

In the interview, Ghamidi said a govt cannot impose any tax other than Zakat. Similarly, he said, that the govt could not enforce the Ramazan Ordinance as fasting was an individual act.

Maulana Rashid Mian said that Jamia Islamia, Madina, Jamia Islamia Ummul Qura (Makkah) and Jamia Al-Azhar were the right forums to address the issues raised by Ghamidi. These institutions should issue a fatwa for the guidance of the people, he said.

He said that Ghamidi was stating controversial things which no other religious leader had said so far.