Women and the Masjid between two extremes


The masjid, better known in North America as the Islamic center, is the center of spiritual, social, educational, and, most recently, political activities of the American Muslim community. The masjid is also the place where Muslims of diverse cultural and ideological backgrounds meet and interact. The diversity of interpretations of Islamic sources and practices has created tensions, particularly in Islamic centers where the tendency is to impose strict interpretations about the appropriate place and role of Muslim women in the masjid and the community. 

An increasing number of young Muslim women complain of restrictive arrangements and practices, impeding their ability to fully participate in educational and social programs. Many masjids today restrict the main prayer hall to men, and assign women to secluded quarters. Women are asking out laud: is this the place Islam assigns for us, or is it the imposition of cultural traditions? Some have even gone to the other extreme of rejecting all traditions and discarding all limits. 

For Believing Men and Women

The masjid is a place for spiritual growth and development for all Muslims, and should be equally accessible for both genders. The Quran has set the spiritual and moral equality of men and women in explicit and unequivocal terms:

Allah has prepared forgiveness and great rewards for the Muslim men and women; for the believing men and women; for the devout men and women; for the truthful men and women; for the men and women who are patient and constant; the men and women who humble themselves; for the men and women who give charity; for the men and women who fast, for the men and women who guard their chastity; and the men and women who are exceedingly mindful of Allah. (Al-Ahzab 33:35)

Both men and women, the Quran stresses, have a moral obligation to develop themselves spiritually and morally, and to fulfill their social responsibilities. The masjid is, and has always been, the center of moral and spiritual learning and growth. 

Likewise, the masjid is a public place for discussing issues of public concern and to respond to challenges facing the community. The Quran is also clear on the equal responsibility of both men and women for developing the public good:

The believing men and women are protectors and helpers of each other. They (collaborate) to promote all that is good and oppose all that is evil; establish prayers and give charity, and obey Allah and his Messenger. Those are the people whom Allah would grant mercy. Indeed Allah is Exalted and Wise. (Al-Tawbah 9:71)

Promoting public good and opposing evil are public duties equally required from men and women, and the masjid is the place where Muslim men and women can meet to plan community development and devise strategies for promoting public good.

The Prophet Affirms Equal Access

During the formative years of Islam women participated in public services, and shared the Masjid of the Prophet's main hall. Sharing the main prayer hall allowed women to fully engage in public debate and influence decisions affecting their lives and the life of the community. When the second Caliph Umar bin al-Khatab wanted to put a cap on dowry, he was challenged by a woman, who stood up in the middle of the masjid and pointed out that his proposed policy violated Islamic law. He conceded and the proposed policy was never carried out.

Although the Quran is clear on the spiritual and moral equality of men and women, the Prophet, recognizing the tendency of some men to be overprotective of their female relatives, cautioned the Muslim community against preventing women from frequenting the masjid:

Ibn Umar narrated: The Messenger of Allah, peace be with him, said: Do not deprive women of their share of the masjids, when they seek permission from you. Bilal said: By Allah, we would certainly prevent them. 'Abdullah said: I say that the Messenger of Allah, peace be with him, said it and you say: We would certainly prevent them! (Sahih Muslim Book 4, Number 891)

Narrated Ibn Umar: The Prophet, peace be with him, said, "Allow women to go to the Mosques at night." (Bukhari Volume 2, Book 13, Number 22)

Sidestepping Established Principles

The argument against women sharing the main prayer hall is based on the principle of "corruption prevention" (dar' al-mafasid). The principle states that "whatever leads to unlawful practices (haram) is in itself unlawful." The principle, though not widely accepted by Muslim jurists, has been extensively used to limit actions that are otherwise lawful under Shari'ah. It was invoked by some jurists to reject the use of radio, TV, press, and other inventions because these were used to promote corrupt practices. Indeed, by invoking the principle of "corruption prevention" many good practices and devices could be declared unlawful, including the use of the internet and popular governance, as both are open to abuse.
Employing the "corruption prevention" argument, a number of masjids have decided to assign secluded quarters for women, and have placed many restrictions on women's use of the masjid's facilities. In recent visits to three Islamic centers, several Muslim women complained bitterly to me about their experiences with community leaders. They complained of their inability to participate in general lectures and discussions, of the quality of the quarters assigned to them, and of their reliance on audio and video systems that frequently cut them off from the ongoing lectures or discussions. 

Assigning women to separate quarters during lectures and discussions does not "prevent corruption" but rather "prevent education and spiritual growth." I have heard many accounts of women completely immersed in conversations about shopping and cooking during public lectures. The seclusion gives some women, particularly the feeling of distance and separation, and some women conclude that the events that take place in the main hall do not concern them. In such instances, the women's quarters become less friendly to women who want to concentrate on learning and community issues.

Not all masjids embrace a mandatory seclusion policy. Many leading masjids, such as Dulles Area Musim Society (ADAMS), ensure that women share the main hall, participate fully in learning and consultation, and take active role in running the masjid. Women serve on the executive board of ADAMS and on its board of trustees. 5 of the 13 Board of Trustees members are women, and ADAMS vice president is a women. While ADAMS gives full access to women to use its main prayer hall, it still permits women who want privacy to stay in a separate quarter, thereby ensuring that Muslim women with different needs and convictions have place in the masjid.

Preventing women from exercising established rights or undertake duties cannot be justified under argument of "corruption prevention." This argument was used at the formative stage of Islamic society, but was rejected by early Muslims. Abdullah bin Umar rejected this same argument of prevention:

Ibn 'Umar reported: Grant permission to women for going to the mosque in the night. His son who was called Waqid said: Then they would make mischief. He (the narrator) said: He thumped his (son's) chest and said: I am narrating to you the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), and you say: No! (Sahih Muslim Book 4, Number 890)

Problems with Women's Seclusion

Assigning women a separate and secluded space does not only go against Quranic injunctions and the practices and directives of the Prophet, peace be with him, but is detrimental to the spiritual and moral growth of women and the development of the community.

Preventing women from gaining direct access to the main hall of the masjid, where lectures and study circles take place, deprives them from taking active role in learning. In addition to the psychological and emotional feeling of not taking active part in the meetings, the ability to interact with the speakers, to ask questions and offer comments, is impeded. 

Secluding women deprive the emerging Muslim community from a growing number of young Muslim women who do expect, and rightly so, that the masjid does not take away their right to take active part in serving the community. When legitimate expectations are not met, and when the customs and cultural traditions are given priority, they often force women to stay away from the masjid, and hence from Islamic learning and activities.

Elevating the cultural traditions and customs of immigrants works against the very mission of the masjid, as it becomes an impediment for educating people of other faiths about Islam. Historically, Islam found home in different communities throughout the world because of its ability to accommodate local customs and cultures, as long as they are not in conflict with Islamic teachings. Immigrant communities would be betraying their mission and trust if they insist on imposing their customs and cultural traditions. 

Women and Masjid's Governance

Women's leadership in the community is another contentious issue. Women have assumed, in some Islamic centers, key leadership positions, by serving on the executive board, and leading key committees, while they are kept at arm's bay in others. Although Islam recognized the capacity of women to enjoy equal moral responsibility, as we saw earlier, many Muslim community managed, nonetheless, to curtail women's participation in public duties on social and rational grounds. The degree of limitations placed on women's ability to serve in public capacity varies across historical periods and fiqh schools. 

Early jurists disagreed as to whether women can assume public office; while Ibn Jarir al-Tabari placed no limitations on women's right to assume the post of judge in all legal matters, al-Mawardi contended that women cannot be allowed to serve as judges under any circumstances. In between stands Abu Hanifa who allowed women to serve as judges except in cases involving commercial deals.

To their credit, early Muslim jurists recognized women's rights to serve in public capacity at times when many women have limited involvement in public life, and limited exposure to public service. Contemporary Muslim jurists should ensure that the original Quranic position of equal spiritual and moral rights and obligations is respected and advanced in today's society. This is more pressing today as the question of women capacity to exercise leadership and serve the community is put to rest through impressive track record of Muslim women achieving in the academia, professional work, and community service.

Our masjids must reflect the leading role played by American Muslim women by ensuring that they are represented on the masjid board and join the rank of leadership. The importance of women taking active part on the executive board and in executive committees is further underscored by the need to represent concerns that can not be expressed except by women, who feel the impact of decisions made by the masjid on the quality of life and participation of other women. 

Swinging to the Other Extreme

Several feminist Muslims, supported by a network of progressive activists, have been pushing the pendulum to the other extreme. Their solution for limiting women to secluded quarters, and their marginalization in ultra conservative masjids, is to open the masjid to a mixed congregation lead by women. The Progressive Muslim Union has already announced a mixed congregation to be led by Amina Wadud this month in New York. It is unfortunate that Muslim feminists are following in the footsteps of their secularist precursors, breaking all traditions, and engaging in experimentations that break out with formative principles and values. For individuals and movements interested in reforming attitudes and practices to take the opposite extreme can only hurt the reform agenda already underway throughout North America. 

The recent push to break out with community and tradition goes far beyond any reform agenda. Reform requires that one articulate the foundational principles and then engage the larger Muslim community in dialogue to create a new awareness and to translate the articulated principles into a living tradition. Reform aimed at critically engage Muslim traditions must stick closely to the Quran and prophetic practices, to clarify Islamic injunctions and established prophetic traditions. The Progressive Muslim Union's leaders have apparently decided to push the envelop beyond all limits and operate in revolutionary rather than a reformist mode.

It is quite apparent that Muslim reformers, concerned with evolving the practices of the American Muslim community, and ensuring the full and meaningful inclusion of women in community life, must navigate their way by maintaining a middle ground, away from extremist tendencies: away from extreme conservative tendencies obsessed with preserving cultural traditions even at the expense of distorting Islamic teachings, and from extreme liberal outbursts that want to break fully with all traditions and delve into an empty space with no directions and road signs.

Join the discussion forum on this issue

 

Dr. Louay M. Safi serves as the executive director of ISNA Leadership Development Center, an Inidana based organization dedicated to enhancing leadership awareness and skills among American Muslim leaders, and founding board member of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy. He writes and lectures on issues relating to Islam, American Muslims, democracy, human rights, and world peace. His is the author of eight books and numerous papers, including Tensions and Transitions in the Muslim word, published by University Press of America, 2003. You can visit his web site at http://lsinsight.org/


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  62 Comments   Comment

  1. Medina from USA

    Some massjids are more excepting of female contribution than others.

  2. Arshed Mahmood from canada

    Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has mentioned, 'It is best for a woman to perform Salaat in the inner most recess of her home.'

    In view of the abovementioned Hadith, we advise you to perform all your Salaats indoors. However, with regard to the issue of Da'awah, you could ge into contact with other women via your husband/son/brother, etc. who would attend the Musjid and obtain contact details of other Muslim families from the men in the usjid. Thereafter, you could contact them for the purpose of Da'awah.

    ) It should be taken into consideration that that the Ahaadith regarding women coming to the Musjid have the condition added that there should be no fear of Fitnah. It is further stated under this Hadith that there was no fear of Fitnah at the time of Nabi [Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam]. A riwaayat is narrated by Hadhrat Aaisha [Radhiallaahu anha] that, 'If Nabi [Sallallaahu Alayhi wasallam] had to see the way the women of our times are, he would stope them from coming to the Musjid.

  3. ROBIN T. LATEEF-PHARMS from USA

    I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY SISTERS CAN'T CALL ADHAN IF NO BROTHERS ARE AROUND. AFTER ALL WE ARE THE FIRST TEACHERS TO OUR CHILDREN. AND IF ONLY SISTERS ARE IN THE MASJID WHY CAN'T A SISTER LED THE SALAT FOR SISTERS ONLY AND STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIRST ROW. WE ARE ASSUMING HERE IN AMERICA THAT ONLY BROTHERS WILL BE IN THE MASJID BY THEMSELVES AND NEVER ONLY SISTERS. SOME MASJAJID SISTERS HAVE KEYS AND HAVE COMMITTEE MEETING SUCH AS A SICK COMMITTEE THAT MIGHT BE ALL SISTERS.

    ALSO WHERE IS IT THAT TWO BROTHERS MUST BE PRESENT TO LEAD A GROUP OF SISTERS IN SALAT. I WAS AT A MEETING WITH ALL SISTERS AND ONE MALE MUSLIM AND HE WOULDN'T LEAD SALAT BECAUSE HE SAID ANOTHER BROTHER SHOULD BE PRESENT.

    AND ANOTHER THOUGHT OR QUESTION DO ANYONE KNOW WHY SOME MUSLIMS SAY THAT A MALE MUSLIM CHILD CAN'T ALL THE ADHAN.

    WE ARE SEEING A LOT OF CULTURE INFLUENCES THAT WE ARE ADOPTING AS ISLAM. CAN SOMEONE CLEAR THIS UP FOR ME WITH REFERENCES FROM QURAN FIRST AND THEN SECOND FROM THE EXAMPLE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD. WE SEEM TO FORGET ABOUT QURAN.

    ALSO I DON'T SEE THE PURPOSE OF HAVING SISTER SECLUSED IN A DIFFERENT ROOM. iN THE BACK OK BUT IN THE BASEMENT OR UPSTAIRS I DON'T AGREE WITH.

    ALSO IN SOME MASAJID THE MALE MUSLIM CHILD IS IN THE SAME ROW

    AS THE MEN. I THINK FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES THAT SOME ADULT MEN SHOULD BE IN THE ROWS WITH THE CHILDREN TO MONITOR THEM AS WELL.

    WE TAKE A LOT OF SCHORALY ADVICE FROM SHIEKS OVER SEAS BUT IT WE HAVE SOMEONE AMONG US THAT IS LEARNED AND GIVE GOOD INFO FROM WHAT alLAH SAYS WE FROWN AMONG HIM. I THINK WE STILL SUFFER FROM AN IDENTITY CRISES. RELIGION IS SINCERITY.

    WE CAN ALL OBTAIN THE KNOWLEGE FROM ALLAH IF ALLAH FAVORS US. nOT ONE PERSON UNDERSTAND IT ALL. JUST FOR THE RECORD I AM A STRONG SUPPORTER OF IMAM W. D. MOHAMMED'S TASFIR OF THE QURAN. AS WE KNOW THE ARABIC WORDS HAVE MORE THAN ONE ONE MEANING AND WHEN YUSEF ALI GIVE US HIS TRANSITERATION WE THINK THAT 'S IT ONLY AND IT'S NOT.

  4. Mohammed sani from Nigeria

    That should not be enough to attract attention because Allah SWT and the Rasool SAW says if you are not sure of any activity pertaining islam you should refer to Hadith and Quran,in this case what did the quran and hadith said about women and masjid

  5. Muhammed Arslan Mir from India

    First invite women to Mosque, then make her Imam and then make her the Kazi.

    What next?? Another Amina Wadud in making.

    In places like North America , women come ot mosques to learn about ISlam , hence some seperate arrangements must be done for them.

    As far as going to Mosque is considered, it is not obligatory for women, and the innermost room of the house is considered to be the best for a woman's prayers.

    We see what is happening in Churches and places of worship of other relegions. They have become dating clubs , where men and women forget prayers and start mixing amongst each other.

    This should serve as an example to all Muslims.

  6. M.P.Abdul Latheef from India

    Hadhrat mar (Radhiallaahu nhu) said that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu layhi

    Wasallam) said, 'When your womenfolk request permission of you to attend the

    Masjid at night, grant them permission.' (Sahih Bukhari vol. 1 p. 119,

    Chapter on women coming out to the Masjid).

    In the light of this Hadith, Imaam Maalik (Rahmatullaahi layhi) said, 'This

    Hadith and other similar ones (wherein permission is granted to women to

    attend the Masjid) apply to old women.

    Allamah Khirmani (Rahmatullaahi layhi) says that permission for ladies

    attending the Masjid is applicable to the night time as stated in this

    Hadith. And that permission is in the absence of Fitnah or mischief against

    women or by women. During the lifetime of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu layhi

    Wasallam) the absence of mischief was dominant.

    Allama Alayni (RA) says, 'Verily, during our age mischief and evil deeds are

    rife. (Footnote of Bukhari Shareef vol. 1 p. 119 Pakistani print).

    Hadhrat aisha (Radhiallaahu nha) narrates that if Nabi (Sallallaahu layhi

    Wasallam) knew what the women are doing he would have prevented them from

    the Masjid just as the women of Bani Israaeel were prevented.' (Bukhari vol.

    1 p. 120)

    Under this Hadith, Imaam Taymi says that this Hadith contains substantiation

    for the view that 'it is not proper for women to emerge (from their homes)

    to go to the Masjids when mischief becomes rife.' (Footnote of Bukhari

    Shareef vol. 1 p. 120 Pakistani print).

    The law will be the same, be it in Makkah or elsewhere in the world because

    Rasulullah (Sallallaahu layhi Wasallam) advised the women to read Salaat in

    their homes.

  7. Alassane Diakite from Mauritania

    This is an excellent piece of writing typifying of what Muslims need most: enlightened scholarship that inspires itself from the Quran, the Hadiths and commonsense. It is complete nonsense to compete women out of the mosque and allow the traditions to have a force bigger than the Quran, which is the ultimate truth.

    I am very proud to have read this piece and may Allah keep this type of substance flowing through your website.

  8. Maoul-Ain from United Kingdom

    Bissimilah Arahman Arahimi

    Inna liLaahi Wa Inna Ileyhi Raadji ouna.

    New York!, New York!, New York!, Inna liLaahi Wa Inna Ileyhi Raadji ouna. Allahu Akbar!

    Me for one, Brothers and Sisters, I am not at all surprised to see something like this to surface in the United State. One thing I am although certain, is that they are only going to do damage to themselves, but not to Islam at all. They are not the first in that country and world wide even, and will not be the last to try and savage this last remaining beautiful way of salvation to mankind. They can do nothing about it, because Islam is a Mercy from The Most High to mankind, He gave His uttermost assurance to save guard it. This is why it is indeed the last of the ways; given to the last of the prophets. Alhamdu Lilah Rabil Aalamina. Brothers and Sisters, Islam is saved sadly for the members of that group, they are only doing harm to themselves. Please no fatwa Brothers and Sister, that will be to add more gasoline to their fire. Let us not play their game, their sights have been altered to the infinite WISDOM and MERCY to Muslims for not mixing both genders during Salat time. There is no need to read all the beautiful Hadiths and Verses that have been cited here, however my adimiration goes out to the Sisters who have wisely answered to this issue, especially sister UMMZIBA, May Allah the Most High, Most Merciful be pleased with you all.

    I was worried about America before, but now I am more concerned. America, you want to destroy something that cannot be destroyed, therefore be careful that your hand might turn against yourself. This is what Rome did to early Christianity; changing almost everything in it to suit their life style. A rubbish and childish life style, a decadent, immoral, unethical society, how sad. Truly this is Aahiru-Thaman.Allahu Akbar Kebira

    Wassalam

    Maoul-Ain

  9. BR Sabri

    I believe woman are just as equal to men but not every aspect of life. Muslium sisters are feeling seperated from enaging them selves with men in any place.Thier should be some limitations to the issue...........

  10. mustapha braimah from Ghana

    iam fascinated about the article i have just read its a step in the development of the spiritual growth of the muslim woman.our femail counterparts are far behind in terms of their active participation in the growth of islam .They feel isolated in many instances it saddens my heart

  11. Tauheed Ahmad from India

    The author's partisan nature, blind immitation of kuffar and revolt against islam is very much clear in the very fact that while mentioning the hadeeth about not restricting women from attending Mosque, he mentions just half of the hadith and conceals half in which Nabi SAW clearly mentioned that it is better for women to offer salaat in their home, still better if offered in the inner parts of the home. Notice these ahaadith which are very much authentic:

    "Do not stop your women from going to the mosque, ALTHOUGH THEIR HOUSES ARE BETTER FOR THEM." (Abu Dawud, Ahmad)

    2. Once the wife of Abu Hamid Sa'adi pleaded with the Prophet to be allowed to attend his mosque (the Prophet's Mosque in Madina) as she was very fond of offering prayers behind him. He told her,

    "What you say is right, but it is better for you to offer prayer in a closed room than in a courtyard. Your prayer in a courtyard is better than on a verandah, and your offering prayer in the mosque of your own locality is better than your coming to our mosque for it." Thereafter she appointed a room for offering prayers and continued offering prayers there till her death, never even once going to the mosque.

    Regarding Imamat; are you crazy!!!!!!!!!!!! Nabi SAW even farbade women from front rows, leave the question of leading the prayer:

    It is reported by Abu Hurairah RTA that the Prophet SAW said:

    "The best row for men is the first, and the worst for them is the last. The best row for women is the last, and the worst is the first." (Muslim)

    A good article on this issue can be found at: http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/humanrelations/womeninislam/womeninsociety.html#mosque

    So, Safi! Fear Allah and stop misrepresenting Islam per your own whims and follow it as represented by Nabi SAW and wished by Allah SWT.

  12. Yahya Bergum from USA

    I don't think my tendency to take an interest in women is an adequate reason for insisting they be kept apart from me. If they strive in modesty then it seems only fitting that I think of their effort as being a mercy on me from the Lord of the Worlds. Whatever the case, to politely ignore what leads me to (improperly) take an interest in them would seem to be my struggle.

    Salaam

  13. F Abdullah from USA

    ..First off, when Prophet Mohammad PBUH mentioned do not deprive womens of their place in masjid, you failed to write about when he stated and he himself practiced taking his wives only to the masjid during eid, the best place for a women to pray is at HOME. Great, we are one step closer to the kufars. Soon we will have women leading prayers bc of equality. I hope every feminist muslim may go to hell. hell.. hell. We have women who complain on wearing a hijab, we have women who complain that housework isnt their job. Alhumdullah, the times of Dajjal are near. Beware, for you are leading the path for the Dajjal. I hope everyone remembers the truth,and repent and pray, read the quran, give to the poor, perform hajj, fast in ramadan. we must do this NOW, not later. NOW. I leave with the one thing i repeat and is engraved in my heart, La illa ha illal la muhammadar rasoolilah.

  14. Mukhlis from Hong Kong

    I agree with the views of the writer 100%.

    Those Muslims who believe in segregating men & women fearing that men will molest women, they should do some thing to discipline the believing men. 50 lashes, 100 ?

    If women (mothers & sisters & daughters) are shut out from practice of religion, from discussions & equal participation, what our children are going to learn ? A mother's lap is a child's first school.

    May Allah show us light.

    Mukhlis

  15. Abdul Azim Akhtar from India

    It is well established that there are no discrimination in Islam on the basis of Gender. However Islam through Quran and Sunnah has made clear where to draw line. Allah has made exclusive duties for Men and women it will be a fitnah to transgress that limit. Women Liberation and emancipation are catchwords these days but Muslim Women must be careful while felling prey to feminism. Islam has no place for any 'ism'. The moment you talk of any gender you cease to talk of humanity. Islam is a religion of mankind and for the universe and we must make sure by doing acts such as done by Dr. Abida we dont make another FIRQA and divide faith into quarters.

    Allah Save us all from any FITNAH

    Regards

    azim

  16. Akil from us

    As salaam-o-alaikum. The supremace and arrogant mindset displayed by far too many muslim brothers hurts our community as a whole.

    We wear traditional clothes and some even grow beards...we learn to recite passages from the Quran and Ahadeeth and openly perform what is required of us religiously. However, we are not fooling anyone, especially not our creator. In truth, we aim to raise up ourselves. We seek the respect and admiration from our community and not he who created us.

    To non-muslims as well as our peers we claim we are strong and resourceful, yet we become weak when confronted with the temptation of our sister's. Who are we fooling? She is not to blame, we haven't learned to lower our gaze.

    When did my sister become my enemy...why am I so lowly as to blame her for my weakness?

    Concerning Women leading Prayer within the Masjid: Although my sister may equal and/or suprass me in religious knowledge, secular knowledge, religious duty and personal character...I believe it is a man's place to lead the community.

    Yet, if my sister wants to attend masjid we make it difficult for her by our poor attitudes toward her as well as the level of comfort offered her within the masjid?

    We would not feel respected if we were asked to enter the masjid through a side door, to perform salat/namaaz in poorly mainted sections of the masjid. So, why do we expect our sister's to suffer such disrespect and lack of love?

    In closing...are we sure that we are not confusing un-Islamic ancient cultural practices with the religion of Al-Islam...especially in matter of dealing with our sister's?

    Akil

  17. Unkonwn Muslim Sister from U.S.A.

    The best place for women regarding Salah is the conrner of their homes as mentioned in authentic hadith.

    Soon we will see people having sex in the Mosque.

  18. Ahmed from USA

    The idea of women leading prayers in a msjid has a western influence. If we want to follow west, we will become like them. Just look at the state of Christianity. Though Christianity preaches modesty, you will not see it among the Christians, I doubt if they really understand the meaning of modesty. Christianity forbids sodomy/homosexuality. But you have "gay

    bishops"! I wonder why these people need a religion to do evil things. Some Christians may find ways to support such individuals by telling that Jesus loves everyone. For them, my question is, do they support and love Satan as

    well ? How about Hitler ? Now, coming back to the question of imams, Islam does allow women to lead women in prayers, a woman may also lead her family members (husband, brothers etc.). This is sufficient to prove that there is no double standards. Man and woman are equals in sight of Allah. I hope and pray that Allah lead this lady and her followers to the right path.

    You can always find reasons to support whatever you want to and be convinced and convince those who follow you, but it does not change the

    truth. If you still do not get it, read "Mein Kampf"!

  19. Abdel from USA

    Brothers and sisters, we need to educate ouselves about Islam before talking any issue. If I ask anyone to talk about Math or Medecine, I will get only someone who is qualified to talk. Everybodyelse will not talk or will be very cautious to do so. Why is it different when it comes to Allah's religion? Everybody has something to say with knowledge and without. Is it fair? when we go to learn in any university, we take face value what we learn and hardly anyone of us will question the anthenticity or the validity of the information given to us. A lot of us don't dare to argue or eraducate what his professor has said in the class because of several reasons such as fear of the professor and mainly because we do not have the same knowledge as the teacher to argue or comment. And sometimes we feel shy to do that because of fear to be found wrong. How about the Deen of Allah that he has entrusted us with. Would it be appropriate for us to hold our tongues and let those who have knowledge to voice what is truth according to the Quran and the Sunnah. Isalmically we are required to speak only with knowledge, and then when we speak thinking that we are saying the truth, we should not overlook what the scholars said about any issue at hand. We shoul always respect who have more knowledge than us even if they proved us wrong. The stand of the scholars is very clear about women leading the Jummmah prayer that they are against it. In order to keep the unity of Muslims, we should surrender to the truth and adhere to it. And if our opinion is different from the scholars, we should accuse our opinion and understanding of shortcomings, not the scholars whom we have trust in them. Like you can't be a doctor or a teacher till you learn how to be a teacher and doctor, the same thing for Isalm and even more, you can't speak till you have the knowledge. That is safe in the sight of Allah. Assalamo alaicom

  20. z from canada

    excellent article we need to educate many muslim men about the true injunctions of the quran in relation to women .

  21. Anonymous from PAKISTAN

    First of all, Islam stresses on equality. If a woman is properly garbed then I believe that MEN are the evil ones who make women out to be that way. All men thinks about is what is "theirs", they like to dominate women. In some parts of the world, other than the east, both are equal but they are also aware of what lines can and cannot be crossed. If men did not think so indifferently, they would not be watching the ground when a muslim woman passes by and then if the see a half naked white girl pass by, they stare at them from head to toe. If this is such and issue, about who gets what, maybe you men should see how inferior you think you are to women. This is wrong.

    I fully stand by this article and think more men should follow it. Its the only way we can build stonger communities and allow for interaction among muslims rather than our muslims interacting with other groups.

    Men, get a grip and start opening your eyes!

  22. ahammed muhiyudheen from india

    asalamu alaikum

    dear musalman,

    first iam say iam very weak in english. i get few hadees from few books .i understant that islam give many previlages to lady than others.one hadees say womens more good pray on their home inside.qur an use the word rajulum .the meaning of the word is men only .men are going to masjid in morning and evening for pray.

  23. Syed Zakir Hussain from India

    Haven take a look on the message, I feel why womens wants so much wants even inside the mosque.

    We means ( both men and women);

    As a today we are not able to concentrate in our prayer and we are so busy with worldy needs, at least we have a place to have peace of minds.

    Already pleading to Allah Almighty, not through our prayers on our faces.please accept our prayers.If women start mixing the prayer, we cannot say what will happen to our prayers.

    It is better to be secular , so that they shall feel free to perform their prayer by keeping their face open , hands and preserve their chasty.

    Please sisters, you are all like teasures of Islam and responsiblities to preserve you is being given to men. And treat u with full respect and Honour.

    This dos'nt means you shall take the Islamic shariah as a coufin in open procession. So that other relisgious brothers & sisters speak badly about our reglion as though Islam treat women badly.

    The only regilion " To give women the equal states with defined Responsibility and authority" is Our Beloved Phrophet's Islam. Hence please take care your self when you talk about Islam.

    Think sword is kept on your neck. In such a situation you can speak only the truth .

    Islam is safe guarded by Allah almighty , not merely by human being means you and me.

    We are given opportunity to serve regilion, but not to corrupt the defined rule.

    Try judge yourself, whether i am asking some needs to satify Allah Almighty or to satsfy the beast ( Nafs) of ours.

    ur fellow muslim brothers and sisters. Sure we are leading our religion with positive think as what thouht by our Beloved Phrophet (peace be upon HIM) . our we want ot satisfy our Nafs ( beast). Be careful think twice, our old learned scholars are better than todays.

    Do not make Mosques like church or temple or any other regilous praying place. Sure all the satans and nafs wants will start from mosque than.

  24. Shahidah from USA

    I am so happy to know I'm not alone in my feelings. Mashallah!

  25. khadija from u.s.a

    Asalaamu aleikum,

    Sisters what is happening to us? what changed in islam? why is it all over sudden we want to make history. we are suppose to be the backborn of islam, educating each other, helping our brothers in areas we are strong at, not trying to introduce subhanallah new practice that is not in the sunnah of our beloved prophet(s.a.w.) Allah (s.w.t) loves the one that brings people together. our prophet left 2 things with his ummah 1) QURAN 2) HIS SUNNAH. Brother and sisther with those 2 practices you can't go wrong. remember we had the best of the best women at the time of the prophet if it was OK for a woman to lead men in prayer i think it would have happend then not now. May allah guide us to the right path.

    Asalaamu aleikum.

  26. raji from usa

    So much of the uneasiness seems to relate to women's role in the immamate,specifially their span of imamship.But there are many other very serious issues that would benefit from women's leadership in the muslim community worldwide and in America in particular.I believe if the leadership gap is worked out by not just soliciting women's input from a gender perspective but as an all around leader,this will go a long way in solidifying and improving the community.

  27. Lena Seede

    I do agree with most of the article's content but the idea of creating something that is out of Islamic tradition is something to be pondered. Innovation as I have heard in many lectures/khutbahs is termed as "evil" but I think we have some historical examples of innovations that were good - ie: compiling the Quran as a book - limiting Muslim men to marry only Muslim women at the time of Caliph Omar etc - when will we analyze the spirit of actions and dialogue about the strength of its promoting public good - The Quran was sent down as a general guide and we as believers are encouraged to reflect - our religion wants us to ask questions but it seems that when we carry out this practically, people are quick to label others as khufar or shun them from even entertaining any new ideas - We do not have clergy in Islam and it is suppose to be an egalitarian religion - but in practice when a believer tries to think for him/herself afer reading the Quran - he/she is made to feel he/she is inadequate because of his/her lack of scholarly knowledge. How will our Ummah succeed if we do not tolerate ideas of others and welcome analytical thinking with creative good innovations???

  28. Faisal from USA

    Dr. Louay M. Safi:

    You guys have no idea what so ever you guys are doing. You are simply playing with Allah and His laws. This is fitna. I think some kinda western power is driving all that non sense.

  29. Ian Safisma from Aistralia.

    It isn't "wajib" for women to pray in the mosque. Therefore, it isn't necessary for women to come to the mosque. The best place for women to pray is in her own bedroom at home.

    Islam does not condone the free socialisation of males and females. So if there are women who want to come to the mosque for any reason,they must be separated from the males.

    The mosque is Allah's house, not a social club.

  30. Faye from Australia

    In his book Hiraasat al-Fadeelah (p. 86), Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd listed the conditions for women to go out to the mosque. He said:

    Women are allowed to go out to the mosque according to the following rulings:

    1-That there is no risk of them tempting others or being tempted 2-That their attendance will not lead to anything that is forbidden according to sharee'ah 3-That they do not jostle with men in the street or in the mosque 4-That they should go out not wearing perfume 5-That they should go out wearing hijab, not making a wanton display of their adornment 6-A door should be set aside in the mosque just for women to enter and exit, as mentioned in the hadeeth narrated in Sunan Abi Dawood and elsewhere.7-The women's rows should be behind the men 8-The best rows for women are those at the back, unlike the case for men 9-If the imam makes any mistake in his prayer, men should say "Subhan Allaah!" and women should clap 10-The women should leave the mosque before the men, and the men should wait until the women have dispersed to their homes, as mentioned in the hadeeth of Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) in Saheeh al-Bukhaari and elsewhere.

    end quote

    It was proven that 'Amrah bint 'Abd a Rahmaan said: I heard 'Aa'ishah, the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), say: "If the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had seen the way the women are behaving, he would have forbidden them to go to the mosque as the women of the Children of Israel were forbidden." It was said to 'Amrah: Were the women of the Children of Israel forbidden to go to the mosque? She said: Yes. Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh.

    These texts clearly indicate that if the Muslim woman adheres to proper Islamic etiquette in her dress and avoids adorning herself in ways that will provoke fitnah and affect those of weak faith, there is no reason why she should not pray in the mosque. otherwise she is not allowed to attend the

  31. Lori from USA

    Alhamdullah!

    I am so glad I am not the only woman that is sick and tired of

    being sequestere int he basement of my masjid with the

    breastfeeders and mothers of tofdlers that they can't seem to

    control. With Barney videos blasting on the TV, and chatting

    going on in every language about child rearing, I cannot learn

    what I come to the masjid to hear in such an atmosphere.

    I long to follow the Qur'an and learn what Allah has told us and

    the ways of our Prophet - men and women alike are named in

    the Qur'an as being owed this privilege.

    JaszakAllah,

    Salam,

    Lori

  32. Marinda from USA

    As salaamu alaykum - we must all remember, inshallah, that the Prophet (pbuh) and the Holy Quran teach us how we should all worship God. Women should not be treated as second-class citizens in the masjid or anywhere and it needs to end, inshallah.

  33. Yunus Muhammed Aidaroos

    Simply....

    1. A rebellious feminist,marinated in american culture , seeking to gain cheap fame. What she has earned is cursing from the masses. Even in NY she was refused to conduct her "islamic insurgence" in the local mosques.

    2. Professor or no professor...she has tried to "sell" her deen in exchange for cheap fame! She will pay for this evil!

    3. Those who follow her are the weak in knowledge.

  34. Ishrat Azim Chowdhury from Canada.

    I have read the article, it's a very interesting topic.I have noticed the women, with all their children, are allowed to have a smaller portion of the big hall in a masjid. It becomes very conjested, and very difficult to concentrate in prayers and listining any important lectures.I understand women do not have any chice to leave their children at home, for a change why don't the men take the responsibility to keep their children with them ? Why do they think they are superior to women in every aspect ?

    Islam is such a beautiful religion, there are some people who change it according to their choice.

  35. Jennifer from USA

    Assalamu Alaikum

    It is true that many Masjids do not give woman their proper place. While this does need to be changed, women have no right to do things that are not allowed to compensate for harm already committed. Who are we to say that Allah did not know the future when He revealed the Quran? How can anyone say that Allah made a mistake? If women were allowed to lead prayer, how come the Propehet (pbuh) did not allow Hazart Fatima or any of the the Mothers' of the Believes lead prayer? The Prophet by divine inspiration knew of the future. If women were allowed to lead men in prayer, he would have allowed the best of women in Islam to do so. Seeing that the best women did not, neither should us humble sisters. Only the arrogant think they know better than Allah and His Prophet.

    Anything I have said correct comes straight from Allah, any errors or misguidance are my mistakes alone and may Allah forgive me.

    Allah Hafiz, since we all need Allah's Protection

  36. Na Gamji Dan Kwarai from USA

    As the world,hopefully,gets more and more civilized, Islam, the most progressive and modern religion will by the grace of Allah solve much of its problems that the ignorant and the illiterate among us have not the mental capacity to understand. I only hope we will not have to fight a war to reach this position, Amen.

  37. Leyla N. from USA

    I think the spirit of the article (making progress avoiding extremes)is right on the mark.

    While I don't think women should lead the congregation, I wish our local masjed used a common hall for the prayers. Even if women are at the back of the hall it will still allow them to better participate and ask questions/express their opinions and concerns. Many common practices in Muslim countries are more a reflection of indigenous culture than the true spirit of Islam. Maintaining these types of practices in countries that are liberal to the point of no restraint (like the US) does nothing to help women stay close to their faith and everything to encourage youth to choose other paths.

  38. Alkan Mehmet from Ontario Canada

    I just want to say This .Did Allah Suphanahu wa Taala ever send A WOMAN Prophet to Earth to lead Humanity? Yes sisters have lots of duties in Islam .Sisters Can lead Prayers when they are all sisters and no men around to lead the prayer. As no men to wash the dead brother and put him in the grave as such.Lets don't be like imitatin kafirs.

  39. Haithem Shaikh from Canada

    I believe sisters have the right to go into masjids and mingle with muslim men. I have been to some masjids that do this and you know what nothing bad ever happened. In the noor islamic center in toronto, the brothers sit on the left side and the sisters on the right and there are no barriers seperating us, you know what; even though it was opened i never looked at the other side to check out a muslim woman. This ideas we get "oh a woman should not mix with a man is because, men will look at women in a wrong way" is all in our heads, we are given a commandment by God to hold our dignity, follow it, men can talk to women without staring at them the wrong way, this is all so called "words of the prophet" the hadith which we all know is based on hearsay, this is mans words, how do u know if this is what was really said at the time of the prophet?, were you there?, were you there when Al bukhari was writing these hadiths?, or when abu hanifa was saying that women were not allowed to go into masjids? NO!! But we do know that Quran is intact, because this is GODS words, and GOD said "I will protect this QURAN", but Allah never said i will protect the HADITHS!!!, God didn't anywhere in the Quran say women are not allowed to mix in the masjid with men or speak you find that in HADITHS (so called words of the Nabi), and what is wrong with mingling with sisters in the masjid?, are we in privacy? NO, we are among other brothers and sisters, so what would be wrong in getting to know a sister in the masjid?. We are suffering now because we follow hadiths (so called words), and not follow Quran alone, so follow it, and muslims will start prospering again. If you want to know how much damage Hadiths can do to a religion, well you have proof look at the christians and jews, their books are nothing but hadiths made by paul (like Al Bukhari) (so called words of Jesus), thus Islam was revealed, but funny enough we are following the same footsteps as them, and not learning our lesson

  40. Ahmad Banna from USA

    segregation was created during Umaya and Abbassi time it was not the Prophet teaching, while women leading mixed gender prayer was not of our Prophet instruction .The Prophet(pbuh)clearly described the women location in mosque during prayeronly

  41. khaled from USA

    You've reached an illogical conclusion.

    You were fine till you showed dis-agreement if not condemnation to Dr. Wadud's leading the 'mixed' congregation. Islam has always - in my humble opinion and Allah knows best - required people to question what it is they do and required ppl to think as this is mentioned numerous times in the Qur'an and in fact more so than the mentioning of all the messengers names COMBINED! Islam requires us to THINK first and formost and make sound decisions based on sound Qur'anic principals of justice, equality, mercifulness and love to all humanity and those will never change.

    I think it is impressive and courageous that Dr. Wadud is breaking with the stagnent leadership that is currently leading the muslims of our 'home' countries. It is unfortunate that today we have a 'church' of Imams that are backward and are relyed upon by so many for guidance when we all, as muslims, have the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions AND FAMILY (Read: Aisha (pbuh) DID lead prayers) AND our faculty of reason and common sense. Its these elements that will help us all act individually with insha Allah good intentions and really allow Islam to reach its full potential and spread as fast as it did back then rather than be impeded by our own, collective backwardnesses.

    Salam

  42. mariam abdullah from france

    The Samaritan/English Vocabulary

    Ar-Aramic Term, He-Ancient Hebrew Term, Ara-Arabic Term

    Abisha Scroll: The first five books (Pentateuch) of Moses written by the great grandson of Aaron, the brother of Moses son of Amram. See the web page called the Abisha Scroll.

    Ablutions: Cleansing ones self with water (order: hands, mouth, nose, face, ears, right and left legs) while reciting verses Lev. 15:31, Deut. 28:8, Gen 2:7, Ex. 15:26, and 40:31-32. Ablutions are performed before prayers, after a women's monthly period and childbirth, by males after sex and after touching a corpse.

    can we or should we trust the hadith

    hadith on ablution is the same with the samaritan tradition but not with the Quran:

    O you who believe when you prepare for prayer wash your faces,your arm,rub your head and wash your feet to the ankles

    should I follow the hadith or the Quran?

  43. Abdul-Baasit from USA

    Assalaamu 'alaikum, and thanks for writing so clearly on this issue. We must recognize the rights of our women in accordance with Islamic principles - and there are many. The acts of allowing or prohibiting things and/or actions in the name of Islam, but without Islamic basis are clearly addressed in the Quran as follows:

    "But say not - for any false thing that your tongues may put forth, - "This is lawful and this is forbidden," so as to ascribe false things to Allah. For those who ascribe false things to Allah, will never prosper." (Quran 16:116).

    I wonder where the principle of "corruption prevention" stands with respect to this Quranic quote. I guess all of us Muslims need to pay close attention to authentic Islamic sources, the primary source being the Quran, in conducting our actions. Any alternatives to this would only qualify us to be called something other than Muslims - for the Muslim is the one who submits to the Will of Allah alone.

    May Allah help us all to be good Muslims. Ameen.

    Wassalaam

  44. mariam abdullah from France

    Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.

    I am sorry but all this will provoke a fight between muslim since some will be against and others will by her sides the best think to do is

    to stop argue about it the way you are just doing it,first try to understand first of all Islam is universal not arabic,so noboby have to accept the arabic islamic traditions,all the sholars were great and I respect their work but they still were

    human being and they were not affaillible,so they words can not be perfect and keep in mind that the Quran is silent about women leading the prayer

    in a man congregation so therefore let be honest and say that this matter is only about tradition

    and therefore not a religion matter

  45. Halimah from USA

    SAALAM WA ALAIKUM MAY ALLAH FORGIVE US MAY ALLAH FORGIVE US. I LIVE IN NEW YORK , SHE CAME ALL THE WAY FROM VIRGINIA TO NEW YORK TO A (LESIBAN) MASJID TO DO THIS.THE WOMEN SCHOLARS NEED TO HAVE A SIT DOWN WITH HER AND HAVE A DISSCUSION ABOUT WHAT WAS SHE THINKING. IF SHE HAS A ISSUE ABOUT OUR RIGHTS( NON WESTERN IDEAS) THEN WE NEED TO TALK TO HER. SHE NEEDS TO BE GIVEN NASEHA ( GOOD ADVICE) BECAUSE THIS IS HARAM, HARAM HARAM HARAM.SHE NEEDS TO STOP LISTENING TO AMERICAN WOMEN WHO DON'T KNOW ANY THING ABOUT THE FULL STRENGTH OF ISLAM BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT REAL FREEDOM. ALL THEY KNOW IS OPPRESSION. HALIMAH

  46. Debbie Kerrick from USA

    What a timely and informed subject. I have a great deal of questions when I try to listen to discussions and often feel confined because I can not ask or relate to a story being told 3 doors down in a tiny poorly lit and uncomfortable room. While my brothers sit in comfort and able to listen, question and discuss. For this reason I left the Masjid near my home for one 3 hours away.

  47. ibn muslim from USA

    Assalamu Alaykum--FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO FOLLOW ..PROF. WADUD--LET THAT BE THEIR OWN PROBLEM-IF SHE WERE SINCERE SHE WOULD HAVE DISCUSSED THE ISSUE WITH THE PROMINENT ULEMA OF OUR TIME-BEFORE EMBARKING ON SUCH EGOTISTICAL MIS-ADVENTURES. SHE AND THOSE WHO SUPPORT HER, AND HER APPROVAL OF SAME GENDER MARRIAGES, ARE FOLLOWING THEIR OWN DESIRES.

    WE HAVE THE BEST EXAMPLE IN THE PROPHET (AS)-AND HIS SUNNA IS ENOUGH FOR MUSLIMS WHO TRULY SEEK ALLAH'S MERCY AND PARADISE.

  48. Hasan Akhtar Rana from pakistan

    I am against women coming up with new ideas that were not exercised at the time of the prophet. We should follow his commands and sunna and stop tampering with our creed under the illusion of human rights

  49. Saleem P from Canada

    Just because something is tradition does not make it, by definition, good.

    Ask yourself the question: Are the Hadith accurate? The God in the Qur'an does not deny women the right to lead mix congregation, then who is man to do so.

  50. sonia from USA

    i agree completely with the article. i believe in the quran and sunnah. however, the problems we muslims in anerica are facing is an epidemic throughout the muslim world and it migrated to the USA with the men who r not following the quran and sunnah and want to keep us backward ignorant and demoralized. i am a converted muslim and i have seen and face alomost all the issues addresses in this article, eg, going to the jummah prayer with enthuasism and joy and leaving with anger, because of sitting in a cold ,moldy, dirty ,basement and trying to listen to a kutbah from someone who does realized that he is in america and muslims women actually wants to learn. or that we can not read lipd through walls, or the women who migrated with them who r so used to not learning or being respected that they spend the entire time socializing. i see this problem as a problem that can be solved in 2 ways. women teaching their boys before they grow up to be men and husbands the example and character of the best of men .our beloved prophet and his companion. 2, teaching and educating their daughters to obey the same teachings as well as immulatng the examples of our prophet's wives. loving , respecting,being proud of being good muslimas, conducting themselves as such and conrtibuting to society wearing their proper hijab with confidence. these r some of the immediate solutions i see needed and that i am implementing in my home with my son and daughters. inshallah they will model this in their home and life and with their chilren and community. then their is hope. PLEASE REMIND ALL UR MEN READERS AND UNLEARNED WOMEN.,,, THAT WHEN U EDUCATE A MAN IT IS TO PROVIDE FOR HIS FAMILY , HOWEVER , WHEN U EDUCATE A WOMAN A FAMILY (THUS NATION IS EDUCATED )AND THAT NATION BEGINS AT HOME, BOYS AND GIRLS. THIS IS THE POSSIBLE ROOT OF OUR PROBLEM. UN EDUCATED SISTERS. AND I AND NOT SPEAKING JUST OF MATH AND SCIENCE BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY OF KNWLEDGE OF THE QURAN AND SUNNAH ,FULL PACKAGE. THANK YOU

  51. N Ali from UK

    I don't understand how 'scholars' born 1400 years after the time of the prophet sallalahu alaihi wassalam, the sahaba and the Pious predecessors can so effortlessly disregard fatawa and opinion given by unsurpassable personalities of knowledge such as Imam Abu Hanifa (who forbids women to enter the mosque) and other eminent scholars of that time. The writer uses statements of a great sahabi such as Hazrat Ibn Umar to provide for his view, but were not these opinion and the ahadith available at the time of our salaf? Of course they were, and in addition they also personally witnessed the act of the sahaba as well. Coupled with their amazing piety and sagacity they gave 'rigid' and 'restricting' rulings. What value have the opinions of these latter-day 'scholars' have against those of our salaf?

  52. Muhammad Jamaal from United States

    I seek refuge in Allah in order to be saved from the accursed shaitan. In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Oh Allah I seek refuge in you from the mischief of the dajjal.

    Name one time that the Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (Peace Blessing Upon Him) permitted a women to lead men in prayer.--not one time

    In fact the Prophet said and is supported by the Quran Sura Nissa, Al Imram, and many other ayatts of Allah book that both men and women have different functions in which women receive the same blessings as men for a lesser effort. Such women get the blessings of attending Juma even when they pray by themselves away from the mosque whereas men must be the mosque to receive the blessings of prayer of the mosque.

    It apppears that most American women want the glory of the non-believers media while ALLAH says all glory belongs to ALLAH.

    In conclusion, the beloved Prophet said is Sahid Bukari Hadith that "any group of organization which chooses a woman as its leader or spokesman is doomed.--Pakistan under Banizir Bhutto and not Bangledesh under the Haseena madness.

    People whho say that there is no prohibitions in the Qur'an of women leading men in prayer have a pagan understanding of Arabic. --slang Arabic not Qur'an Arabic

    May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon the true believing women, children and men of Islam according to the Sunnah. Curses be upon the cult of Amina Waddud and other cults who think that Allah will not punish them in the hereafter for their actions in this life.

  53. alsharefa from Saudi Arabia

    I am against women coming up with new ideas that were not exercised at the time of the prophet. We should follow his commands and sunna and stop tampering with our creed under the illusion of human rights

  54. aakarim from nz

    hi, the rule of islam is when man is imam then women can stand in last saf behind all men and when salah is finished then women have to go out first then men.if woman is imam then all women should be behind that lady imam and no men.visit the website http://www.truemessiah.com and get answers. aakarim, nz

  55. Ayesha from USA

    We must follow the practices of our beloved

    Prophet(Sal.) and his wives. Modesty, reserve, respect and fear of wrong-doing are the virtues

    which will give us leadership and advancement.

    This is our hijab. We must wear it with dignity.

    If we want to prove ourselves by going in front

    of men what have we gained? We have lost respect.

    My dear sisters in Islam. Islam means to be

    surrendered to the will of Allah. He sent His

    prophets to be the example and to show us that

    surrender and guidance. If we do not accept that

    how can we ever think that we have surrendered to

    the will of Allah.

    In our mosque in Philadelphia we have a lace

    curtain which separates the woman from the men.

    The woman pray behind the men and yet they

    can see through the lace and experience the

    privacy that is needed at the same time.

    We must realize that Allah has given us a

    very exalted role to play in the bearing of

    children and bringing them up. There are

    limitations which prevent us from praying.

    Allah in His Mercy gave woman permission to

    stay away from the prayer during her monthly

    period. This does not lower us or prevent our

    hearts from being in a constant state of Zikr

    and remembrance of Allah. Indeed we have been

    given an even greater oportunity. In raising

    children we are very close to Allah. The

    Prophet has told us that "Paradise lies at the

    feet of a Mother". Let us concern ourselves

    with the very exalted and important duties we

    have.

    We can be leaders in many ways. There is no

    prohibition of this. But to go in front of

    the men and lead the prayers is forbidden.

    This will bring nothing but the degradation

    of woman and a greater misunderstanding of

    Islam.

  56. shahnaz from us

    as a muslim woman i think women must be separated by a barrier in the masjid according strictly to quran&sunnah no deviations may allah guide us all to the straight path ameen

  57. Abdur Razzaq from Canada

    Assalam Alaykoum:

    The article gyrates between confusing a noble provision of equality of the sexes in islam on one hand and mildly endorsing an extreme innovation by a people given to worshipping their desires, on the other.

    Equality of the sexes in Islam is not to be confused with SAMENESS of the sexes. The challenge I guess, is how to generate more good out of a community interation between male and female members. Like all interactions there are ground rules, and our rules - have stood the test of time and is guaranteed to be until the day of judgement. Now it can be said that these new experimentations are following a rule - But are these islamic rules. No one except Allah and Muhammad (SalAllahu alaehim wa Salaam) is infallible. So the challenge before us is simple - Know Islam, Know the truth, and you'd know the people of Islam and people of the truth.

    The issue of hijab is a case in point - How many of us know that there is hijab for men also.A muslim man would also find these free-mixing between the sexes challenging from an islamic perspective. I ask, how do we show that we are the best of peoples if we copy that which negates our own beliefs. My advise to all is not to know Islam through a people. But to strive to know Islam as revealed and practised by Muhammad (SalAllahu Alayhim waSalaam) and our pious predecessors, and then strive to apply what we know. This is similar to what we see with Science and it'sapplication. Islam, like science is beneficial only when applied. And even when we strive our best, we know we will not be perfect, the point however is not to water-down the science but to keep applying it as best as we can, knowing that the ultimate is to achieve the pleasure of Allah..and Islam teaches us how to achieve this - this goes back again to seeking beneficial knowledge and applying it.

    We ask Allah to grant us beneficial knowledge and safeguard us from the mischiefs of our souls. Amin.

  58. Sr Debbie from USA

    Talking about changes. Why Muslims use the internet? for marriages? Isn't that making really extreme changes? But when it comes to a woman making changes everybody including some sisters that don't know what a taste of being a human for a day means, are ready to open their mouths and opppose this. I urge the sisters to remain calmed in this isssue. There are two important things that need to be taken into consideration: this could be used against Islam or in favor depending on how we approach it and second the reality is that womans rights in the Islamic world are suffering of a terrible illness. Fortunately for us (women) there is a cure, Islam itself. I am sure Allsh's Will would prevail in this matter. Now, all the argument and discussions are only creating a circus that the US media and other religions are more than glad to see. Be patient Brothers and Sisters.

    Assalam alaikum

  59. Sr Dinah from PR

    Have any of this male writers taken the time to think that maybe this is afterall ALLAH'S WILL? It happened an no one was able to stop it. Maybe ALLAH wants this to go on for the advancement of Islam. If you think of the implications that this event have regarding other religions and their ways, this is the one thing we have in our religion different from others. No where in the Q'ran it says that women should not have the same rights and responsibilities as men. If this is the change we need, we would be the first of the three major religions to openly recognize that woman and men are equal. I am sure this was an eye catcher for those brothers and sisters that are stranded in the world without a religion because they cannot comform to the practices they profess. Islam is perfect, man makes it the way it is right now. It is time for a change.

    Assalam Alaikum

  60. Salim Chishti from USA

    bismillahir rahmanir raheem

    As salaam alaykum wa Jazak'allah khayr! This is a very well thought out and well written article about a subject that is being given far too much emotional play. I think you have hit on a good balance of stating the facts. I hope that this article spurs more discussion in the Umma and that the forces of extremity on both sides will pass away, leaving room for the progress of Muslim Women and Men both toward a closer relationship with Allah (SWT)

    Salim Chishti

  61. Akbar Khan from Canada

    Alhumdulillah, following a madhab is the way to be safe and secure, to recognize that you are at least following in the footsteps of knowledgeable jurists who had reasons for making judgements in matters of fiqh, due to their extremely vast knowledge. Unfortunately, the school of fiqh practiced by At-Tabari does not exist any longer, and no one practices it in the world anywhere today, so we are left with the four jurists to choose from, whom the majority of Muslims in the world have followed throughout history and still follow today. This is a matter of fiqh, and the best way to avoid doing something that may be wrong, is to hold fast to what they left behind for us, for they were unimaginably much more knowledgeable than any of us in matters of specific legal rulings. Imam Abu Hanifah (ra) who is mentioned in this article, memorized 700,000 hadiths alone. He had the capacity and deep understanding of issues in fiqh as he dedicated his entire life to studying specific legal matters. If we are to reject the life's works of such great fuqaha, it is like saying we know more than them, or better than them, Naudhubillah. Likewise, one of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal's (ra) students stated that the great Imam said that in order to be a faqih (Islamic Jurist), one must have memorized at least somewhere around 400,000 hadiths. Subhan'Allah, the taqwa and level of understanding of Islam these men had. Insha'Allah ta'Ala, may we all live up to their life works and cherish the gifts of madhahib (schools of fiqh) which they left for us all to gain enrichment from, Ameen.

  62. Khalid Mahmood from USA

    Sharing the main hall would be fine as long as there is scome level of separation. I dont think there is any precedent of women and men praying in the same row or women leading a joint congregation. Allah did make women to be mothers for Prophets but not a Prophet themselves.