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Muslim Women to Mosque: Tear Down This Wall

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(RNS) The walls that segregate Muslim men from women inside many American mosques took a long time to go up, and it could be a long time before they come down.

On Saturday (Feb. 20), Fatima Thompson will find out just how firm those walls are.

Thompson, 44, is planning for about 30 like-minded Muslims to help her stage a “stand-in” at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., in a bid to persuade mosque leaders to remove a seven-foot partition behind which women pray — or at least allow women the option of praying in front of it.

“Every woman should be able to stand with the congregation. That’s the correct way,” said Thompson, who converted to Islam 18 years ago.

Thompson’s protest at the stately mosque along Embassy Row is the latest effort by Muslim activists to reform conditions in American mosques that they say are discriminatory and degrading to women.

Muslim prayers are typically led by male imams. Behind them are rows of men, and behind them rows of women and children. But according to a 2001 report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in nearly two-thirds of American mosques, female worshippers pray behind a partition, or in balconies or rooms that are separate from the main congregation hall.

Some women say the separate spaces — sometimes filthy, often crowded with children — make it impossible to see and hard to hear the imam. The whole experience has led many women to stay home altogether, activists say.

Despite calls by CAIR and other major Muslim-American organizations to allow women access to the main prayer halls, or at least decent prayer spaces for women, few mosques seem to have reformed.

It’s been a contentious issue within American Islam for several years, as disputes erupted inside — and sometimes outside — mosques in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Charlotte, N.C., and Morgantown, W.V.

Some Muslims have left to form more egalitarian congregations. A smaller minority of U.S. Muslims have openly advocated for mixed-gender prayers, or even allowing women to lead prayers, as long as they are qualified.

Ani Zonneveld of Los Angeles said she and about 20 other Muslims have formed their own congregation, using rented space inside a church in West Hollywood. There, space is available for “unsegregated prayer,” where men and women can pray side by side, as well as space for worshippers who prefer gender segregation.

“This is a lot more family-friendly. With us, fathers can pray with their daughters,” said Zonneveld.

Islam’s sacred text, the Quran, mentions nothing about partitions or separate female prayer spaces. But a hadith — one of the collected stories of the Prophet Muhammad that are a source of guidance — describes Muhammad organizing a prayer: “He put the men in the row closest to him, the children in a row behind the men, and the women in a row behind the children.”

Opponents say the lack of a mention within the Quran, and no reference to a barrier in the hadith, suggests that women should be praying in the main hall. In fact, women prayed alongside men for centuries, they say, and physical barriers were developed by South Asian and Arab cultures seeking to distinguish themselves from Western promiscuity.

“They think this somehow proves they’re more pious,” said Pamela Taylor, a board member of Muslims for Progressive Values, a grassroots group.

Some women say their second-class status isn’t confined to the mosque. The same mindset also allows or overlooks domestic violence and limits women’s access to education and jobs.

“As long as we segregate ourselves in the mosques, we will never be free in the world,” said Asra Nomani, a journalist who has tried, with mixed results, to improve conditions for women in her hometown mosque in Morgantown, W.V.

Before deciding to pursue her stand-in, Thompson said she tried to meet with the mosque’s director, Abdullah M. Khouj. She said she called several times and hand-delivered a grievance letter to a mosque employee on Feb. 5, a Friday, when Muslims hold congregational prayers.

She also handed out fliers to congregants, piquing interest from a few younger women and criticism from some older women who frowned on change. At least one man threatened to call the police, Thompson said.

Khouj did not respond to a request for comment, but Fatima Goodwin, a mosque employee who also worships there, said Thompson is acting alone.

“Not a single woman that prays here has expressed disagreement with the partition,” said Goodwin. “On the contrary, all of the women that pray here want the partition because it gives us privacy.”

Indeed, female activists say some of their strongest resistance comes from women themselves, who say the separation protects them from male ogling or distraction. Pro-inclusion activists say those women should have access to separate space if they want it, but the choice should also be offered to women who want to be in the main prayer hall.

While Zonneveld, from Los Angeles, applauded Thompson’s effort, she wondered if building new walls isn’t easier than tearing down old ones.

“This mosque is not going to budge,” she said. “Maybe it would be better if they concentrated on building their own congregation.”

By Omar Sacirbey
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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Ify Okoye is a Muslim woman, a convert, born and raised in the U.S. She is from New York and her parents are from Nigeria. Despite the petty hassles of work and school, Ify finds time to travel usually for AlMaghrib Institute seminars and to visit beautiful places. Pronunciation primer for her name, say it like this: E-fee O-coy-yeah!

92 Comments

92 Comments

  1. Ify Okoye

    February 21, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    It’s incredible that the mosque employee can claim no other sisters are bothered by the women’s prayer space situation at the Islamic Center.

  2. m2ab

    February 21, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    there is no wall in Mecca…so….I think its acceptable …but…most Mosques in Saudi and Arab countries…forget partitions , there are walls separating both sections , which does makes u wonder why?….

  3. David

    February 21, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    This is a great article. Gender equality is very important in Islam and old sexist habits like walls and barriers only reinforce a wrong view of Islam. Of course we should follow the examples of the Prophet (pbuh), regarding the hadith, but I would argue that women and children may even sit in the first row closest to the Imam. They are a cherished group. The Quran is the ultimate authority and then the Hadith and Sunna. Since the Quran doesn’t mention walls, I believe the Prophet (pbuh) was acting in the best interest of his society and culture at the time.

    • anon

      July 29, 2015 at 2:31 AM

      They can sit in front and there is a reason behind.. hadith saying best rows for men are front (near imam who must be a male) and the best for women is last.. and they leave before men do through their separate exit.. this was at the prophet’s time. The woman would clap hand for interruption and men would say some praises i dont know remember the word..but segragation was there because men and woman can naver be equal.. they are biologically. Psychologically. Anatomically. And physiologically different from men and islam recognises this difference.. everything a man does a woman cannot do and everything a woman does a man cannot do.. furthermore one should not be distracted in salah.. if women are front men will have to look at women in order to look at the imam and the imam would feel a.bit awkward too.. if he wants some assistance.. he needs a male person do it.. etc. Rules are already set.. better not distort.. with regards to matter pertaining to physical barrier then if its taken down and the order is men ahead.. women last.. and first to leave then men leave with different exits then fine. Its best for women to pray at home as hadith mentions saying its better to pray at home than at his own mosque in madina ..he aaid it himself…

  4. Ify Okoye

    February 21, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    One thing I’m always reminded of in these discussions about barriers, partitions, and separate rooms is the scene in the film Gandhi when there is an inquest after the Amritsar massacre. The British general claims anyone who wanted to escape or seek help could simply have “petitioned” the soldiers for assistance but he is rebuked by the judge who asks exactly how does a child or anyone else being fired upon “petition” for assistance? It’s similar in some masajid like the Islamic Center, where women are confined to penalty boxes and cramped basement accommodations, how then do they petition anyone for assistance or change? Or maybe that’s the point to marginalize women, their space, and silence their voices?

  5. muhajjirah

    February 21, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    asalaamalaikum warahmat ALLAH-

    i am really surprised by this and to see the support for the stance of this article. this is all talk without knowledge. first, in order to know what the correct teachings of Islam are we really need to go to the Quran AND Sunnah. we are not to neglect the Sunnah because it is the Sunnah- life of Prophet Muhammad salAllahu alayhee wasallam and his teachings that show us how to implement the Quran. soto be clear i totally oppose anything contrary to that because the idea somehow lessens the importance of the greatest teacher to humanity.

    second-to say there is no proof of separation is completely false and uninformed. there are direct and indirect teachings of this in our deen. why are those details being ignored in this article..certainly shows bias

    third- for the one who made reference to MAKKAH…in the time Rasullilah alayhee salat wasallam, muslim women were covered appropriately, and the closer female companions even covered their faces when men were around. this should not imply that they were praying side by side. NOT at all- there was strict yet positive relations between the two- unrelated men and women honored each other’s modesty.

    fourth- today we have all sorts of women claiming to wear ‘hijab’ but there are so many ‘hijabis’ who really aren’t even coming close to the requirements..and yeah even at the masjid! look up baba ali ‘that’s not hijab’ on youtube & you’ll know what im talking about

    fifth- NONE of the female companions EVER led men in prayer so what gives that today women should be doing that?

    i can go on and on..but really this is cherry-coating at best and totally strays away from the Sunnah. There is a hadith where Prophet Muhammad salAllahu alayhee wasallam taught us: Every relgion has its character and the character of Islam is in its modesty.” So why do we get defensive when we are segregated from men when this is what is MORE pure for us sisters and for the brothers. We know the second glance gets us in trouble..

    there is ONLY one point where I agree here and that is masjids really should invest in quality space for women- perhaps one for women without children and a soundproof room for those with children. it is in NO way fard for women to go, and it is ALWAYS fard on us to care for our kids. so for those who choose to attend, more attention towards sisters needs should be carefully considered.

    this isnt a matter of opinions and votes, let’s not stray away from Islam..our Ummah is already in a mess enough as it is. Allahu Musta’3an.

    peace.
    muhajjirah

    • Fatima

      February 21, 2010 at 7:08 PM

      Assalamu Aleikum

      Muhajjirah,

      You made five points in response to the idea of women praying behind the men on the main prayer area. However, you stated your objections without textual support after stating in the beginning of your response “this is all talk without knowledge”.

      The only support you gave for any of your statements was a hadith (I assume) paraphrased referring to modesty as the character of Islam.

      So, is that modesty required only on the prayer area, or in every corner of the word and every aspect of life? Just how is that modesty to be manifested? Do walls really foster modesty?

      What we should REALLY be questioning here, and I call anyone to respond, is why has gender segregation been introduced to Muslim culture – what evidence has been used to support gender segregation – what was gender segregation supposed to accomplish when it began?

      • Naive at its best

        February 21, 2010 at 7:21 PM

        Go build another mosque if you don’t like it. Mosques are for modesty. It’s the house of Allah. It’s not your house. Have some respect. Ask forgiveness from Allah for what you just said idiot.

      • Qas

        February 21, 2010 at 7:41 PM

        At the end of the day sis, if you advocate men and women praying “side by side”, then most of the Allah-fearing Muslims I know will automatically dismiss you because they do know the evidences against it. However, if you advocate to remove the barriers to establish the sunnah of congregation (rows of one followed by the rows of another), you will find many ears and hearts willing to at least listen.

        • Fatima

          February 21, 2010 at 8:10 PM

          Assalamu Aleikum

          Where in the article does it indicate that we are requesting mixed gender prayers? This is coming from reader comments and not from me or any other participants in the protest.
          The request made in formal letter to the director is for removal of the partition and joining of women to the main congregation – in rows ordered behind the Imam as men, then children, then women.

          If you are interested in our position and what we have presented to the management and to participants, you may read it at the fan page – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Washington-DC/STAND-IN/303158365675

          Fatima

          • Qas

            February 21, 2010 at 8:54 PM

            JazakaAllah khair. May Allah give you success in your efforts. Since the article mixes your story and another, it got a bit confusing on what you were requesting.

    • SK

      April 6, 2010 at 9:24 PM

      Wa lakum salam

      It seems that you are the one who is straying from Islam. Despite the fact that our Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) never built walls or partitions, you insist that this is ok.

      Despite the fact that no partitions were built by any of the 4 caliphs following the death of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH), you insist that you know better than the messenger of ALLah.

      Did he ever command that we begin to build walls or barriers for any reason at all?

  6. monkeynursemd

    February 21, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    taken from => Ustadh Zaynab Ansari

    “Is placing women in prayer lines directly next to men conducive to an atmosphere of piety and mutual respect? How many sisters would like a brother to stand right next to them, touching their bodies with his as they pray?”

    “…our awareness of the categoric difference between the sexes makes the whole concept of ‘equality’ rather too simpleminded. Men and women are neither equal nor unequal. We can no more say that men are better than women than we can say that ‘the rain is better than the earth’. To use the old language of ‘equality’ is in fact to be guilty of what the philosopher Wittgenstein called a ‘category mistake’. Modern Muslim theologians who have assimilated the new insights insist that the demand for ‘equality’ is less helpful than the demand for opportunity and respect.”

    “When we pray, our foremost concern is that our prayers meet all the requirements for validity as laid down by the jurisprudence of Islam. If, for example, a sister follows the Shafi’i school of thought and her ablution is nullified by skin-to-skin contact with a non-mahram (marriageable) male, then what happens when she prays next to a man and they (mistakenly, I would imagine) touch each other? Once she has broken her ablution, her prayer is no longer valid.”

    • Ify Okoye

      February 21, 2010 at 5:42 PM

      The purpose of the News & Views section is simply highlight stories of Muslims or Islam in the media, it’s not an indication of endorsement of everything contained within the article.

    • Fatima

      February 21, 2010 at 7:21 PM

      Assalamu Aleikum

      @monkeynursemd…

      You said “If, for example, a sister follows the Shafi’i school of thought and her ablution is nullified by skin-to-skin contact with a non-mahram (marriageable) male, then what happens when she prays next to a man and they (mistakenly, I would imagine) touch each other? Once she has broken her ablution, her prayer is no longer valid.”

      If the woman is covered properly, there would be no skin exposed except her hands and face.

      Additionally, since you brought up the issue, indirectly, of madhab, we remember that there are multiple schools of thought that express multiple and diverse, and all acceptable, opinions that relate to this and other issues. There are other schools of thought that do not deem touching, even intentional, to break the wudu.

      There is a hadith – When the Prophet left his house – even as he left to pray in the Mosque – he used to kiss his wife. (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)

      Fatima

      • monkeynursemd

        February 21, 2010 at 10:54 PM

        so maybe shafi’s can’t pray mixed together b/c of the risk of losing wudu?

        in all seriousness, i’ve prayed at masjids where there is no wall, and it’s not comfortable at all. i can understand the concern of having economy seats in the masjid (and no seating at many others for that matter), but i think getting rid of the wall would be a bit too much.

        additionally it’s a fard for men to pray at the masjid, so in these times of limited economic power and limited dedication to congregational prayer from the general muslim community, you can’t blame masjids for focusing on making male prayer spaces a priority.

        bottom line, what do we all want? we are in a world where distractions are everywhere and satan hangs around every corner trying to derail us from the path. we all want a connection to allah. we all want paradise. we all want to seek his pleasure. let’s do it in the noblest of ways and not get caught up in defining ourselves through ideologies not based thru the sunnah.

        another link => Mixed Gatherings

        Allah says in Sur a a l-Ahzab:

        “When you ask them [i.e. the wives of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace)] for anything then ask from behind a screen (hijab). This is a means for greater purity for your hearts and their hearts.” [Qur’an, 33:53].

        Imam Abu Abd Allah al-Qurtubi (Allah have mercy on him) writes in his famous exegesis of Qur’an, al-Jami` li Ahkam al-Qur’an:

        “This verse indicates the permissibility to ask and converse with the wives of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) from behind a screen or a curtain. All Muslim women would be bound by the same guidance. [Qurtubi, al-Jami` li Ahkam al-Qur’an, 14:227].

        Imam Abu Dawud and Imam an-Nasai relate from Sayyidatuna Aisha (Allah be pleased with him) that she says: “A women extended her hand from behind a curtain to hand a piece of paper to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). The Messenger of Allah pulled his hands back and said: “I don’t know if this is a mans hand or a women’s hand.” Aisha said that it was a women’s hand.

        This Hadith is clear that the companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to observe separation (hijab) in a way that there use to be a curtain or a veil between the sexes. If free mixing was acceptable, then there was no need for this. Besides, if such separation was against the spirit of the Sharia, the Messenger of Allah would have certainly pointed it out to her.

        • monkeynursemd

          February 21, 2010 at 11:20 PM

          maybe you’re right (partly). we can probably get rid of the wall if the community is ready. it just seems like such a huge temptation for the men (and women too!), and the last place you want to be distracted is the masjid. it’s a matter of fatwa vs. taqwa. something may be allowed, but it may be better if it is avoided.

          by the way, i’m a follower of shaykh-ul-islam google ibn yahoo al-internetee. so take everything i say with a grain of salt. ask the scholars, not me. (you wouldn’t get a prescription for antibiotics from your mechanic, would you?)

          taken from => Shaykh Munajjid

          If a woman prays in the mosque, it is better for her to be far away from the men, hence the back rows for woman are preferable to the front rows, because they are further away from the men. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said salaam at the end of the prayer, he would stay where he was for a little while and would not move, to let the women leave so that the men would not mix with them.

          Muslim narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (S) (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The best rows for men are at the front and the worst are at the back; and the best rows for women are at the back and the worst are at the front.”

          • Fatima

            February 22, 2010 at 7:09 AM

            Assalamu Aleikum

            Monkeynursemd…

            If you have not already done so, I am inviting you to at least look at the fan page for this protest – STAND IN – http://www.facebook.com/pages/edit/?id=303158365675#!/pages/Washington-DC/STAND-IN/303158365675

            You can see what I have posted there so far, and will see updates.

            I thank you for speaking from the white part of your heart… I think a lot of comments, at first, are being made from a person’s own personal preferences and prejudices.

            I also thank you for stating the Shaykh your are following (shaykh-ul-islam google ibn yahoo al-internetee) – After a moment to register what exactly you were saying I had a hearty laugh. Thanks for that.

            While clearly we are not exactly on the same page on this issue, I do appreciate your reasoned comments. I hope that you join the fan page so that we can continue to interact there.

            I will respond to your other arguments that you’ve presented, but separately.

            Fatima

        • Fatima

          February 22, 2010 at 7:28 AM

          Assalamu Aleikum

          Monkeynursemd…

          “Abdullah ibn Ghanam related that Abu Musa al-Ash’ari gathered together his people saying, “O Tribe of Ash’ari, gather together, and gather your women and children to teach them how the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, prayed with us in Madinah.” They all gathered to watch him perform his ablution. After it, he waited until the sun had just passed the meridian and there was some shade, and then he made the adhan. He put the men in the row closest to him, the children in a row behind the men, and the women in a row behind the children. …”

          (This hadith is related by Ahmad and Abu Ya’la with a hassan chain. Al-Hakim says its chain is sahih)

          There is no mention of barriers of any sort here.

          Fatima

          • Abu Rumaisa

            February 24, 2010 at 1:35 PM

            Sister Fatima,

            While there were no barriers at the time, the women left the masjid before men did! Would that happen now? Women would then say I want stay here for some more time & do some more ibadah. Would the hadith not relevant anymore, are we going to extract only the part that suits us.

        • Fatima

          February 22, 2010 at 5:58 PM

          monkeydoctormd

          ““This verse indicates the permissibility to ask and converse with the wives of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) from behind a screen or a curtain. All Muslim women would be bound by the same guidance. [Qurtubi, al-Jami` li Ahkam al-Qur’an, 14:227].”

          This is one interpretation… this is not stated explicitly in the Qur’an and this is just one of many extrapolations made by many scholars from this verse.

          Fatima

  7. Pingback: kitteh!! women pray with men??!@#!! « monkeynurseMD => sum of me

  8. Never going to happen

    February 21, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    This will not happen in my local mosque. Never. I do not want Muslim men and women mingling with each other in the house of Allah. Take it somewhere else.

    • Fatima

      February 21, 2010 at 7:28 PM

      It is bayt Allah – and only a trust to US.

      It is interesting that you, an individual who does not even have the nerve to include your name with your post, claim to speak for all in your community.

      Fatima

      • Never ever going to happen x2

        February 21, 2010 at 7:54 PM

        Wallahi last week upstairs in the women section of my masjid Brothers and Sisters were sitting down and talking to each other about a girl and marriage like it was nothing. This is what it leads to. And you have the nerve to ask my name.

        • Fatima

          February 21, 2010 at 8:12 PM

          Assalamu Aleikum

          Every individual has a right to find a spouse and what better place than the Mosque – if you are looking for someone who is “religious”.

          Nobody asked your name.

          Fatima

          • Never ever going to happen x2

            February 21, 2010 at 8:22 PM

            Your argument isn’t convincing. They weren’t talking about marriage. Rather they were talking about girls and marriage. Intermingling like friends. The Masjid is not a place for that. It is a place for zikr and worship of Allah. Nikkah’s are suitable for Masjids.

  9. m2ab

    February 22, 2010 at 6:14 AM

    it aint compulsory in the 1st place for women to pray in Masjids , but then again what I have heard abt the most discriminating , is not the partition issue , is the facilities offered in the western mosques to the female sides unlike here in Gulf Arabia where …wow…u know … now thats a discrimination …fight for that…this partition thing isnt a big deal …

    Other thing is also that…it seems due to men and women mixing up and all…..it will lead to Hijab being lost…so this topic can be just shrugged off…. just a media frenzy feminist agenda …

  10. Umm Bilqis

    February 23, 2010 at 3:36 AM

    Educational reports have stated that when boys and girls study in a segregated environment their marks are higher and when you take the same groups to an coed environment their marks plummet.

    What you are calling to is to take away the only precaution to a clear, focused and pious prayer for men and women!

    As sister muhajirah has pointed out our Quran, in the seerah of the prophet and in their daily dealings Muslims have maintained these precautions because they do not want to be placed in a situation of sin.

    {Beautified for mankind is love of the joys that come from women and offspring, and stored up heaps of gold and silver, and horses branded with their mark, and cattle and land. That is comfort of the life of the world. Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode.} Ayah 3:14

    Your feminist rants about: Some women say their second-class status …… are ill conceived.
    Do not open the door to deception of the weak minded.
    This is a hadith:
    1) After me, I have not left any Fitnah (trial and affliction) more harmful to men than women.” [Al-Bukhari).
    Is this Hadith degrading women’s status?

    Do you really believe that flirtations will not occur in the masajid?
    Do you really believe that flirtatious speech and free mixing will not occur?
    Do you know that the sins of most of our youth to date are a direct result of challenges to the Quraanic precautions of not going near zina?
    Were you born yesterday?
    Are you stirring fitna in our community since many of you have stirred it in your homes?

  11. Fatima

    February 23, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    Umm Bilqis…

    We are not children in a school setting. We are adults. Furthermore, those adults teaching children received their education in a mixed gender setting.

    I have in no way implied that “bad” things will not happen. But it is a fact that, even with a wall or other barrier, that bad things happen IN the mosque. Flirtation, mixing, exchanging numbers, hookups…..

    If you think the barrier prevents any of that and actually fosters modesty then you are as misinformed as you claim that I am.

    Fatima

    • Umm Bilqis

      February 23, 2010 at 11:07 AM

      Fatima,
      These are not children they are post pubescent which means they are adults according to Islam.

      Do not ignore this hadith and the Quranic ayaah! That I have already posted!
      {Beautified for mankind is love of the joys that come from women and offspring, and stored up heaps of gold and silver, and horses branded with their mark, and cattle and land. That is comfort of the life of the world. Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode.} Ayah 3:14

      Your feminist rants about: Some women say their second-class status …… are ill conceived.
      Do not open the door to deception of the weak minded.
      This is a hadith:
      1) After me, I have not left any Fitnah (trial and affliction) more harmful to men than women.” [Al-Bukhari).
      Is this Hadith degrading women’s status?

      You said I have in no way implied that “bad” things will not happen. But it is a fact that, even with a wall or other barrier, that bad things happen IN the mosque. Flirtation, mixing, exchanging numbers, hookups…..

      So the answer according to you is these things already happen therefore let it happen in the main prayer halls as well?
      Such wisdom is beyond me!

      Stop copying the feminists in to a lizard hole of one sided issues which contribute to the destruction of their own societies! This is such faulty thinking!
      Contribute to unity not to the promotion of situations that will lead to corruption and sins!
      Stop your infighting even if it is passive aggressive in nature!
      Many Muslims maintain and support these precautions because they do not want to be placed in a situation of sin.

      • amad

        February 23, 2010 at 11:44 AM

        Umm Bilqis, if you don’t stop personal attacks, it will get you moderated next time. I am sure your argument will not be any less better by not calling a practicing sister feminist.

        • Umm Bilqis

          February 23, 2010 at 11:52 AM

          Thanks amad but I guess it was o.k for Ify to call me a bully when I discussed only points to ponder in her penalty box story?

          Very well! Baijan Amad be fair and moderate them as well when they attack others! : D

          • Ify Okoye

            February 23, 2010 at 12:02 PM

            Umm Bilqis,

            I apologize if my calling you a bully offended you, that was my perception. It takes a lot of guts for anyone, particularly for a new convert to speak up and out, and I felt your response to her was a bit harsh. Indeed, the believers are nothing other than brothers and sisters. Truce? And Allah knows best.

      • A Brother

        February 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

        Asalamu Alaykum,

        Perhaps being in the prayer room would lead people to taqwa of Allah and fearing Him in regards to others, including the opposite gender, and treating them right and with respect, and that would therefore then translate to outside the prayer room.

        I have been in a community where some women felt very marginalized, and I have to say that sometimes the mannerisms and behaviors of some brothers in positions of authority could lead many a person to feel that way, much less a woman. May Allah protect us all from that. We did pray together in the mosque prayer room one time for an event, and I actually felt good about it, because these were single college sisters, and after prayer if they needed to communicate anything to the brothers, they could. It also showed them that no – we respect you and do love you as our sisters in Islam, helpers of one another, and also what you are doing is ok – it is in fact the manifestation of what was actually the sunnah. In other words, the ideal, and the very best.

        I actually grew up in a mosque without a barrier, and it was not at all perverted, nor did it lead to a lot of fitnah, in fact fitnah was not an issue, nor did it stray from the sunnah – in fact it was the sunnah, and even more of a plus it fit the culture of the people. This is not “new-age”, or “progressive”, or backward – brothers and sisters itaqillah, because realize a person saying such things – usually mentioned in a condescending or negative manner from what I have witnessed – is actually talking about the same thing the greatest man ever and the greatest generation ever on the face of the earth did themselves – the Prophet, peace be upon him, and the sahaabah.

        The best of you are those who are the best in Character – it doesn’t say the best of you are those who put up a barrier. Should we all not work on our character and behavior first and foremost, for isn’t that what weighs most on the scales on the Day of Judgment?

        I am not pressing for those of a certain mindset to change their view, but I am pressing for people and the community to think. May Allah grant us success in both worlds and khayr in all this and guide us to that which pleases Him most, ameen.

        Another thing one of my teachers mentioned, is that we must not create some type of utopian society of the sahaabah in our minds – otherwise we won’t feel like we can follow them and then we cut ourselves short. They were human beings. We must not put them in a glass case and then watch from outside like an observer, no, we are to follow the Prophet peace be upon him and try to do our best to learn from the best generation.

        Allah Knows Best.

        Note: If there is a person who thinks there was a barrier in the masjid of the Prophet peace be upon him, please provide a source. I have never heard of a such a thing at all and in fact learned the opposite. As one teacher mentioned, Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick, if there was a barrier then there would not be a need for the Prophet peace be upon him to mention that the best row for women is the back, and the best for men was the front. He has a lecture online called the “War Against Muslim Women” – and it is in fact about what sisters are experiencing from their own Muslim community. I would not be surprised if he mentioned it there. Allah Knows Best.

        If I said anything good it is from Allah, and if I said anything wrong it is from Shaytan and myself.

        Glory to You O Allah and all praise is for You, I bear witness that none has the right to be worshiped except you, and I ask Your forgiveness and to You I repent.

        Asalamu Alaykum

        • Ameera Khan

          February 24, 2010 at 2:03 AM

          I actually grew up in a mosque without a barrier, and it was not at all perverted, nor did it lead to a lot of fitnah, in fact fitnah was not an issue, nor did it stray from the sunnah – in fact it was the sunnah, and even more of a plus it fit the culture of the people. This is not “new-age”, or “progressive”, or backward – brothers and sisters itaqillah, because realize a person saying such things – usually mentioned in a condescending or negative manner from what I have witnessed – is actually talking about the same thing the greatest man ever and the greatest generation ever on the face of the earth did themselves – the Prophet, peace be upon him, and the sahaabah.

          Loved your balanced approach to this. If more commenters here would realize “femisnism” has nothing to do with what Sr Ify is advocating, and that we’re actually trying to return TO the Sunnah, the way of moderation and ease (In a Hadith, ‘make it easy for people and do not make it difficult…’)!

          I’d advise other readers to ponder of this brother’s comments. Not only does he present a balanced view, he is giving practical examples and gets his point across very simply. Masha’Allah.

  12. AsimG

    February 23, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    Asalaamu alaykum,

    SubhanAllah I am so frustrated after reading this article and really surprised so many sisters are embracing such a badly written article.

    Implicit support for mixed prayers (even women leading), overgeneralized statements to make all women sections seem “filthy” and a listing of the major US cities, without documentation, to show how “wide-spread” this problem is are just a few of the problems I see.
    (Go ahead and send me a link to the “Chicago” problem please)

    The melodrama of secular feminism has no place within Islamic discourse. The self- righteous entitlement paired with attention-seeking and fight for the cause and damn the consequences ideology has been so destructive for feminism and has made a once noble cause into something sadly humorous.

    There are some issues with some mosques regarding the women’s sections that do need to be rectified, but this is not the Civil Rights Movement era.
    Last I checked, sisters are not being sprayed by fire hoses as they try to come to the masjid or being attacked by police dogs.

    So there is ABSOLUTELY no reason for a Muslim to (I’m assuming by the tone of the article this was published in a non-Muslim source) air dirty laundry to the non-Muslim public.

    If the board isn’t listening to the sisters then follow a grassroots campaign and enlist more brothers to help.
    Take measured actions to force their hand. Don’t go “nuclear” and attack the masjid publicly all for the sake of a wall.

    And let’s be clear here, there ARE sisters who do want a barrier and would fight against those who tried to take it away. So do we say of them? Stockholm syndrome maybe?

    Accounts of

    • Ameera Khan

      February 24, 2010 at 2:08 AM

      SubhanAllah I am so frustrated after reading this article and really surprised so many sisters are embracing such a badly written article.

      The article wasn’t written by anyone from MM… it’s been posted here to stimulate discussion and to be able to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. Obviously, the “progressives” deviate from the basic teachings of Islam in many way (eg: ,mixed gender prayer congregations) but if you listen to what Sr Ify is saying, it’s diametrically opposite to their view, in many cases!

      Sr Ify is *returning* to the Sunnah. Call her “backward” if you may, because that would be way closer to the truth than including her amongst the “feminists”. :)

      • AsimG

        February 24, 2010 at 2:36 AM

        But there’s more to this discussion than a simple “going back to the Sunnah” line albeit extremely fun to say.

        There is more than one “sunnah action” to be considered as well as many other issues like following the obligations, protecting the community, keeping in mind our place and time etc.

        And I don’t think we can say this was just a random newspaper posting to “stimulate” conversation.

        It would be like me writing an article on how we all need to eat more Chinese food and then a few days later post an article on how eating Chinese food will help you lose weight (how I wish!).

        • Ameera Khan

          February 24, 2010 at 7:52 AM

          Right – let’s rephrase it… *talking about returning to the Sunnah*. Does that sound better?

          My point is, the discussion here is disintegrating into a forced assumption that Sr Ify’s side is just not right or is on the side of the “progressives”. I’m not oversimplifying anything but let’s just remember this isn’t about something way out there beyond the Sunnah. Let’s keep this discussion general and fruitful rather than personal attacks and accusations of “feminism”.

  13. AsimG

    February 23, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    And while we are on this subject, let me ask a general question to the sisters:

    Why does it seem to be that some sisters either “go silent” or “go nuclear” when facing problems dealing with gender and/or segregation?

    Is there a belief that there is no success with middle ground tactics because sisters believe brothers do not understand these issues?

    Or, even worse, is there a perception that brothers, whether by upbringing or nature, are oppressive against sisters in one degree or another and need to be put in check?

  14. Umm Bilqis

    February 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Jazak’Allah khairan Ify, it takes just as much trouble and guts to defend the house of Islam out in the world and in cyber land and the last thing we need are publicized infighting or shaming of our masajid in the media.

    By all means correct the wrongs fix the spaces and make them better but remember there many ways of addressing these problems as Brother Asim has observed:

    >Why does it seem to be that some sisters either “go silent” or “go nuclear” when facing problems dealing with gender and/or segregation?

    >Is there a belief that there is no success with middle ground tactics because sisters believe brothers do not understand these issues?

    I am for better tactics in correcting small spaces in some masajid as well as even having a glass barrier or a large screen so as to see the imam.
    However I am for the barrier because I believe that it is the best precaution for a clear, focused, and pious prayer.
    Assalamu alikum sis, that is it for now. We have to deal with more pressing Issues like those kuffar who speak about freedom of speech when they defile our beloved Messenger in print and caricatures.
    Yet they speak of the necessity of censorship of speech for their concerns regarding the fomenting of nazism and the denial of the holocaust. Such double standards are disgusting and need to be highlighted. : D

    • Fatima

      February 23, 2010 at 1:01 PM

      Assalamu Aleikum

      We have given the management the opportunity to hear our request. They have not even returned calls or letters.

      We are continuing to try and contact the management by any means available.

      If you want to know what we are asking for I invite you to visit the fan page for STAND IN – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656517368#!/pages/Washington-DC/STAND-IN/303158365675

      We are not asking for mixed gender prayers, or women led prayers.

      We are not wishing for a nuclear approach but we will not remain silent, either.

      Our protest has been peaceful – in the form of prayer.

      Fatima

      • AsimG

        February 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM

        Sister Fatima,

        May Allah reward you for your efforts.

        I can comprehend the frustration from being locked out of communication with the board and them not answering your requests. This is something that needs to be addressed.

        But before that can be done maybe you should write a letter to the editor of this article explaining how the “protest” really went down to take out the drama, disassociating the DC sisters wants with the anti-Islamic ones that Asra advocates and defend your masjid and community.

        If there was an event or cause that I was directly involved in that Asra Nomani tried to hijack I would try my best to make the disassociation clear as I want nothing to do with her and I know my event/cause will viewed negatively because of her association.

        And I don’t know if you have done this or not, but can you get the Imam to meet with a local shaykh or something to deeply discuss this issue.

        • Fatima

          February 23, 2010 at 1:57 PM

          Assalamu Aleikum
          I do sincerely hope to gain audience and speak with the management of this mosque.
          I have cooperated with the writer of this article and if I felt something was wrong with it’s appearance I could easily contact them to have edits made. It is fine as it is.
          Airing dirty laundry – I personally do subscribe to that, but with caveats.
          However, the fact that the management won’t even accept any initial contact, then they need to be compelled.
          Also, as Muslims, we should worry less about “image” and start working on substance.
          Asra Nomani has neither hijacked our cause nor harmed it.
          I embrace her in both her background and her outlook and hope that we continue to work together for this good cause. I suspect that if she did hijack this cause it would likely benefit from her doing so.
          Fatima

          • Umm Bilqis

            February 23, 2010 at 2:24 PM

            Straight from your mouth Fatima:
            “Asra Nomani has neither hijacked our cause nor harmed it.
            I embrace her in both her background and her outlook and hope that we continue to work together for this good cause. I suspect that if she did hijack this cause it would likely benefit from her doing so.”

            This is whom you support?

            http://www.themosqueinmorgantown.com/film/characters/bios/index.php

            This is whom you support? Amad do you see where I’m coming from now brother?

            It is not an issue about image>>> rather it is an issue dealing with the spreading of disunity and corruption in the house of Islam.

          • AsimG

            February 23, 2010 at 2:41 PM

            I understand, but I think this article needs some major editing.
            You should ask other sisters, beyond your inner circle, how they feel about this article as you are, by default, representing all the sisters in that community.

            You at least owe it to them, and the community at large, to get their input and carefully consider what you allow to be published.

            As for Asra Nomani, I don’t think you should see her association as helpful as she has her own agenda and is seen negatively, rightfully so, in the Muslim community.

            I put her in the same camp as all extremists from Irshad Manji to those advocation khawarijite-like tactics.

            As for substance and image, protecting the honor and integrity of Muslims and hiding their faults belongs under the substance category.

          • amad

            February 23, 2010 at 2:47 PM

            Any support of Asra’s background and outlook is very unfortunate. She is as far from mainstream as is an Al-Qaeda extremist on the flip-side.

            I can only see such statements affecting genuine support from other Muslims, on what may be otherwise sincere intentions and positive actions.

          • Fatima

            February 24, 2010 at 12:04 AM

            Assalamu Aleikum

            AsimG…

            “I understand, but I think this article needs some major editing.
            You should ask other sisters, beyond your inner circle, how they feel about this article as you are, by default, representing all the sisters in that community.”

            I have availed the community of the information to contact me – if they want to they will. If they disagree that does not necessarily mean that I will request revision/edit of this article.

            They have stated our requests accurately and reported their observations of the event as they saw it.

            I will not candy coat the truth for the sake of “public image”.

            I suppose you want me to “cover their faults” like we cover the violence that happens in people’s (Muslims) homes, the debauchery and fornication, gambling…. any more faults we should continue to cover?

            Fatima

          • AsimG

            February 24, 2010 at 2:20 AM

            When did having a wall become equal in weight to fornication?

            Some issues must be publicly condemned and some take a more gentle hand.

            I can almost guarantee you will have more success with a persistent yet gentle approach to the masjid board.

            If I was on the board and I saw this article I would be extremely annoyed and ashamed and maybe become more adamant in my position.

            The Muslim community is a family and when you go to the newspaper to complain then its like suing your parents for a recent fight.

            And sometimes family members give you the silent treatment for a time period before things change…

      • SK

        April 6, 2010 at 9:34 PM

        I know what you are doing is not easy.
        May Allah bless you in whatever good you are doing and strenthen you against those who are abusing their positions.

  15. Secrecy

    February 23, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Salaam ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah,

    Jazaakillahu khayrun for sharing such an article.

    I just wanted to make a few points insha Allah.

    1) Having a barrier or not having a barrier is down to the ‘urf of community, for some communities it’s the norm and perfectly acceptable and for some it’s not. Not due to the fact that the men are perverted, rather it’s not how they work and insisting a barrier is taken down, will cause fitnah. Also, take into account, some women prefer their privacy, I personally want the barrier there, however if a women didn’t want a barrier, alhamdulillah this is up to her and it’s all good. At times, demanding a barrier to be taken down will cause much more fitnah in the community – This also has to be taken into account. It’s not about the men, nor about just the women, rather being harmony and justice to the community as a whole.

    We shouldn’t think all women are the same, everything goes down to our experiences and we should respect the diversity of each other as long as it doesn’t go against the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    2) The place has to be clean, regardless. So, whether the barrier is present or not, women and men deserve a clean place to pray and if they are derived of this – This is injustice and our communities need to look into this.

    3) I know the sisters advocating such things want the best for the women – may Allah ‘azza wa jal reward them for their intentions. We as an audience need to realise that’s totally relative to the community they’re asking for and not jump to condemn them. And these sisters to understand that not everyone wants the barrier down.

    Just some random thoughts and Allah ‘azza wa jal knows best.

    • Fatima

      February 23, 2010 at 2:30 PM

      Assalamu Aleikum

      Umm Bilqis – –

      Yes, I support Asra Nomani – moles and all. End of subject.

      “Secrecy” … Thank you for your statement. I have presented that argument to the discussion board as well.
      I am curious why you don’t present your name.

      You may contact me privately by going to the fan page… I’ve given the link earlier.

      Fatima

      • Secrecy

        February 23, 2010 at 4:10 PM

        Wa ‘alaykum asalaam wa rahmatullah,

        Why I don’t give my name, it was a personal preference I guess.

        I think we need to come to a middle ground and that is the Qur’an and Sunnah, as understood by the Salaf and taking into account contemporary fiqh, and that’s how I roll.

        Anything that contradictics this – We should be weary of as we’ll be accountable to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala – And that’s scary within itself.

        Also, men and women when doing such actions, need to look at the bigger picture and see how their actions are going to impact their communities and the ummah and not just the ’cause’ they are fighting for. An Honourable cause can become very unhonourable if done the wrong way and with a lack of hikma.

        @ Asra Nomni – No idea who that is, and a short sighted google search doesn’t allow me to get a full picture, so I’ll remain silent insha Allah.

        And Allah knows Best.

        May Allah ‘azza wa jal guide us that that which is pleasing to Him alone, Aameen.

        wassalaam.
        Alima.

        Ps. If you wish to contact me… Just ask insha Allah.

      • Qas

        February 23, 2010 at 7:50 PM

        “Yes, I support Asra Nomani – moles and all. End of subject.”

        As Amad put it:

        “Any support of Asra’s background and outlook is very unfortunate. She is as far from mainstream as is an Al-Qaeda extremist on the flip-side.

        I can only see such statements affecting genuine support from other Muslims, on what may be otherwise sincere intentions and positive actions.”

        I agree wholeheartedly with Amad.

        • Fatima

          February 23, 2010 at 11:57 PM

          Assalamu Aleikum

          Qas, you nor Amad know Al Qaeda nor Asra Nomani.

          It is an insult and a slur for you to make that comparison.

          Asra is not killing innocents – she is not killing anybody.

          Fatima

          • Amad

            February 24, 2010 at 1:04 AM

            Neither does Al-Qaeda flout adultery and children out of wedlock.

            Obviously you completely missed my point. There are types of extremism among Muslims. One is a “right-wing” extreme and one is a “left-wing” extreme (for lack of better labels). Both are problematic in their own ways. While one is a murderous cult, the other is trying to murder orthodoxy.

            I will give you the benefit of doubt in that I don’t think you have not read enough on Asra’s background. I recommend you do before vouching for her “background and outlook”, because based on what is apparent of you, it is very unlikely that you both agree on a lot of things in Islam besides praying in the main hall.

            Just as a little highlight, would you support Asra’s outlook for mixed prayers, which she joined, with great fanfare in NYC? Let’s start with this.

          • Fatima

            February 24, 2010 at 1:31 AM

            Assalamu Aleikum

            Amad,

            “Neither does Al-Qaeda flout adultery and children out of wedlock.”

            – if you are going to condemn her for “adultery” and “children out of wedlock”… how about you do the gumshoe to hunt down the father of that child, name him publicly and condemn him also. As it is, you make it sound like it is all her fault which would actually make her some sort of saint for having a child without the assistance of a man. This is typical of the male Muslim mentality in condemning the woman without condemning the man. You do NOT know the circumstances behind her and the child issue and it is not your – or my – place to discuss that.

            Obviously you completely missed my point. There are types of extremism among Muslims. One is a “right-wing” extreme and one is a “left-wing” extreme (for lack of better labels). Both are problematic in their own ways. While one is a murderous cult, the other is trying to murder orthodoxy.

            I did not miss your point at all – unless you expected me to agree with you.
            Orthodoxy is murdering intelligent reflection on the original sources of Islamic principals and it is murdering true spirituality and connection with one’s Lord.

            I will give you the benefit of doubt in that I don’t think you have not read enough on Asra’s background. I recommend you do before vouching for her “background and outlook”, because based on what is apparent of you, it is very unlikely that you both agree on a lot of things in Islam besides praying in the main hall.

            Just as a little highlight, would you support Asra’s outlook for mixed prayers, which she joined, with great fanfare in NYC? Let’s start with this.

            I said that I support her – moles and all. And that is the difference between us and some communities – we understand our differences and yet manage to accept each other and work together for good. In many communities it is their way or the highway with no respect of the members of that community and their needs or desires.

            Now, let’s stop talking about Asra as it amounts to gossip (namima)…. so, remember that she is our sister as much as you are our brother.

            Fatima

          • Amad

            February 24, 2010 at 2:22 AM

            To be honest, and sorry if it sounds snide, I can understand why you are having so much trouble getting through to the administration. Perhaps they are not the only ones being uncompromising. Your understanding of what I mean by orthodoxy (based on your comment) is as shallow as your understanding of Asra’s background. This kind of attitude and willful ignorance of FACTS (it is one thing for a Muslim to sin that we all do, while in her book she tries to rationalize premarital sex) is more problematic than your accusation that we are engaging in nameema.

            I will support sisters who have a clear agenda to stay within orthodox principles, as guided by the Quran, the sunnah and the Imams of our Ummah. We support Ify’s position as it was clearly within those bounds. She is demanding that sisters should be treated as the Prophet (S) would have treated them. We agree 100%. This is not in keeping with Asra’s agenda, and if you wish to be in her camp, then that is your prerogative and our prerogative to stay out of it.

          • Fatima

            February 24, 2010 at 6:58 AM

            Assalamu Aleikum
            Amad

            “I can understand why you are having so much trouble getting through to the administration. Perhaps they are not the only ones being uncompromising.”

            I have said it several places here – I have tried to communicate with management but have never been given the courtesy of a return call or even an email.

            There is no place for compromise before discussion can be made. Why would I even begin to think of compromise if I cannot even be heard?

            And many of you people condemning your brothers and sisters for what you call transgressions is pretty damned hypocritical. You advise me to not “air dirty laundry” and “cover the sins of your brother (or sister)”… and yet you are constantly digging at people to try and discredit their message.

            As for “camps” – I am in Allah’s camp… He is Merciful, Magnanimous, All Seeing and All Hearing. He has created a wide expanse on this earth and calls us to live together in peace.

            Fatima

          • Amad

            February 24, 2010 at 8:17 AM

            Allah’s “camp” is His rope, the straight path, as clearly shown to us by His Messenger. Asra is decidedly not in that camp because of her CLEAR and OPENLY flouted disregard for the hudood of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.

            Yes, Allah’s mercy is expansive, but His deen has specific guidelines. You can’t, for example, claim to be openly homosexual, flout your nikah to a man, and then maintain that Allah’s infinite mercy will cover you. Allah has already told us what the believers should do to receive His mercy.

            You refuse to answer a simple question, do you agree with Asra on mixed prayers?

        • AsimG

          February 24, 2010 at 2:27 AM

          This is a worrisome post ukhti.

          Let’s see if any of the sisters will speak regarding the MAJOR ISSUES with supporting Asra (her support of mixed marriages is just the tip of the iceberg) as it seems a brother’s voice is not welcome.

          • Umm Bilqis

            February 24, 2010 at 2:42 AM

            Uh Brother Asim I think I have been quite vocal in addressing the manner of shaming and tabloid sensationalism that the sisters are using and I do think the valid concerns that sister Ify has brought up should be dealt with. I do reiterate that many masajid’s are or have dealt with these types of problems.

            Asra on the other hand does not require any serious concern or consideration May Allah guide her and all of us as well. Ameen

            As a side note 3 of the 4 masajid I go to have gone over board and have spent too much money in beautifying.

            Fatima> you really should not be angry with the gamblers most of them are Muslims as an adjective and not as a verb. Airing dirty laundry sounds like a strategy to correct the problem but it hasn’t worked in the west the clothes are getting dirtier.
            Besides many of these brothers didn’t know that participating on the stock market would be like partaking in a giant casino.
            There are better ways to deal with the problems of the Ummah without much fan fare and with much sincere advice at a person to person level.

  16. Middle Ground

    February 23, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    Salam

    Why do so many people find it hard to reach the middle ground? Women should be 100% welcome in the majsid, and be a part of it…. but they should pray behind the men. And there should be no mixing. If that can be established without a barrier, what’s the problem? Why is that so hard for people from all sides to understand?

    • Amad

      February 24, 2010 at 1:06 AM

      I agree. I think that’s what starts getting fuzzy in all this. As I mentioned, some of the most “conservative” Masajids in America allow women to pray behind men.

      Unless you make this issue clear, you will allow the “true” feminists to find an opening to spew their agenda.

      • SK

        April 6, 2010 at 9:43 PM

        Most mosques have physical partitions separating men and women.

    • Ameera Khan

      February 24, 2010 at 2:16 AM

      Knee-jerk reactions? Lack of Hikmah? Fear of encountering the “progressives” along the way? I’m a distant observer (outside US) in all of this but it seems like the basic argument held by those who’re against the barrier coming down is that it *sounds* like a feminist thing. Why aren’t these people taking the Prophet(saw)’s mosque as an example?

      “But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you [Muhammad] judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” (an-Nisa’: 65)

      The Messenger(saw) of Allah said, “I have left behind me two things, if you cling to them you will never go astray. They are the Book of Allaah and my Sunnah” (al-Haakim)

      And he(saw) also said, “And you will live to see great difference, so cling to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs after me, even if it be with your teeth.” (Bukhari)

      • Gibran

        March 28, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

        That’s really interesting Ameerah..

        Lets strike a deal-women start behaving the Sahhabiyaat in terms of dress and haya and we will take down the partition and return the masjid to the way it was during An-Nabi (S) time. Good plan hmm?

        Until then, may Allah keep the partition and only remove it from mosques that were built on disobedience to Allah and His Messenger.

  17. Middle Ground

    February 23, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    Salam

    I would also argue that it is the act of NOT taking the middle ground which leads to this kind of thing:

    A smaller minority of U.S. Muslims have openly advocated for mixed-gender prayers, or even allowing women to lead prayers, as long as they are qualified.

    At the time of the Prophet(SAW), women were not discouraged from going to the mosque, nor was there a barrier. If this was true today, we would not see this kind of thing. We are very short sighted sometimes… I’m sure a lot of people, brother and sisters, would be getting mad reading about this, but the reality is that this does not happen in a vacuum – there is a cause for it. And if we don’t fix the cause, we won’t fix the symptom.

  18. Ruth Nasrullah

    February 23, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Salaamu alaikum. Do you know that Fox News used Sr. Ify’s photos and cited MuslimMatters? http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/local/muslim-women-protest-at-dc-mosque-022210

    • Umm Bilqis

      February 23, 2010 at 5:50 PM

      No problem sister Ruth, I say let them come and research Islam the discerning ones among them will recognize truth when they see it.

      The truth is many among their ranks are accepting the invitation to the submission to the 1 God, Allah Subhana’Allah. Alhamdulillah! Allahu Akbar!

      Our religion is a Welcome, Peaceful change from their self oppressive lifestyles.

      Our path is one of moderation between their extremes of feminism and misogyny!

      As for us we do not care for their confusion or their sophistry and we care not for the blame of the blamer, and Allah is a witness to our sentiment Insha’Allah!

      http://www.youtube.com/user/peacesalaf#p/u/10/2czDnPdtfR0

    • Ify Okoye

      February 23, 2010 at 10:11 PM

      Wa salaam alaykum Ruth,

      Thanks for highlighting those links.

  19. suhail

    February 24, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    First of all the article takes things in very different perspective. First he talks about how the woman are segregated and than he talks about mixed gender prayers etc etc.

    Woman who are actively trying to remove that barrier or wall should understand few things first. Most of the time people come to pray Jummah in the mosque. Most of the mosque that i have seen in US do not even have adequate space for accomodating man in the room forget the woman.

    Secondly when they build the mosque woman praying area is a second thought because it is hard for most of the community people to even get the money to build a mosque forget about other stuff like making the woman praying area a priority. If they have the money and resources yes than sure go ahead and build those areas properly but if they don’t than really you cannot blame them for lack of resources.

    Third a lot of muslims in the US have come from subcontinent and in the subcontinent there are no female in the mosque so most of them consider it the last thing on there mind. But i have seen many mosques even in US with good sister facility and seperate entrances for the sister.

    Last but not the least. Remember the ahadith of the Prophet(SAW) in which he said that the most liked prayer for a muslimah is in her house in the innermost room. Coming for Jummah or eid i can understand. On Eid if you go to pray i have to keep my eyes constantly at the ground as the muslimah in that gathering a lot of them have dressed themselves as maneqquins. Jummah is not that unruly but Eid prayers are a great fitnah.

    I mean if you want to please Allah(SWT) through your prayers than what would be the best way to do it. Pray at your home because that is more close to Allah(SWT). If you wanna pray in mosque sure go ahead but keep all the points i have mentioned in mind.

    • SK

      April 6, 2010 at 9:50 PM

      Did you forget the hadith that you should not prohibit a woment from going to the mosque? or do you have a selective memory?

      How about facts, such as there was never a barrier in the mosque of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), nor did they complain about not having resources to accomodate women.

      Lets face it, this is about the worship of culture and randomly making up rules that we then try to justify afterwards. The religion is good only if we agree with it and it is consistant with our culture.

  20. One Muslim

    February 24, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    This is just like when the feminists tried to get female imams. It’s all just ramblings that will never become action.

  21. Asra Nomani

    February 24, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    Dear Friends, if I may,

    My warmest salam to you. I wanted to just extend my hand to you in greeting. I don’t want to interject myself into the conversation, but I wanted to let you know that I very much appreciate this rich and lively conversation that is happening here.

    For all, if you have any thoughts for me, please feel free to write to me directly.

    With warm regards, Asra
    asra(a)asranomani.com

  22. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee

    March 2, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    I actually fear that the next few years are going to be associated with a lot of pain, especially for those like MuslimMatters who seek to maintain orthodoxy while still pushing for needed changes in the community that have nothing to do with orthodoxy. There will be a lot of people who basically agree with each other substantively but who will disagree over tactics, associations, strategies, priorities, etc.

    So, you will see some orthodox believers drawn towards progressives because they are raising important issues that the orthodox don’t think are the most important issues to be pushing…and you will see orthodox who lose sympathy for those changes because they don’t like the way the people pushing them associate themselves with progressives whom they deeply mistrust.

    I think we are seeing a preview of that with this issue. I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, however. With Allaah’s mercy and if we have leadership with wisdom and followers with sincerity, I pray that the pain will be minimized and the necessary changes will occur while the truth is preserved. And of course, at the end of the day, we depend in and trust Allaah to preserve this deen.

    Allaah knows best.

    • Fatima

      March 2, 2010 at 10:23 AM

      Assalamu Aleikum

      Allah will not change a people’s condition unless they change themselves…

      Change, like giving birth, is painful.

      This is an issue of importance, relevance and interest to both sides of the spectrum within the Muslim community – “orthodox” and Progressive.

      I placed the word orthodox in parenthesis as it becomes glaringly clear that there is a vast difference between what is being espoused, reported or pontificated as “orthodox” Islam and what actually would be considered orthodox by standards of the original texts. Let’s just agree that “orthodox” in this context is equivalent to ultra conservative without any attachment or correlation to the original texts – the Qur’an and Hadith.

      Yes, you have rightly identified me as a “Progressive Muslim”. This puts me at the opposite end of the spectrum. I cherish the Qur’an and Hadith as key components of my access and understanding of Islam. However, I am saddened by the departure from the sources and heavy reliance on local or political preference in the interpretation and derivation of law from them.

      As a Progressive Muslim I advocate for a creative, comprehensive and adaptive reading and interpretation of the texts so that they can be applied to our lives, today in such a way that honors the spirit in which Islam was given to us by our Beloved Prophet.

      Additionally, as a Progressive Muslim I embrace my brothers and sisters of various religious/ philosophical backgrounds. There is a rich tradition of intellectual scholarship among all groups that, if we excluded them from the examination of the texts, we would be disadvantaged.

      As a Progressive Muslim I will stand up for human and civil rights by challenging rules that effectively abridge people’s rights. Nothing that Allah would command would cause harm. And if a rule causes harm then we have to reassess how we arrived at a law and affirm the original intent of the texts that were used in creating that rule.

      Now, as related to the issue of women praying behind the men on the main prayer area – which is the goal of the STAND IN initiative – I enlist the support of all believers of every sector to stand with me in this goal. I call all Muslims to look again at the texts and examine if it really does support the current practice of gender segregation. I call all people, Muslims and Non-Muslims, to support the initiative – STAND IN – as a matter of solidarity for civil rights.

      I have invited the community to contact me directly to discuss this issue – and I will continue to encourage and invite open discussion of this issue. We have too long ignored this issue and just swept it under the rug.

      I, too, pray for Allah’s Guidance for all of us.

      Fatima

      • Amad

        March 2, 2010 at 11:11 AM

        The “real” “progressive” Muslims will be horrified by the sight of you in hijab. Perhaps you don’t quite understand progressive in as much as you don’t understand orthodox (which is not equal to “ultra conservative”).

        Anyway, I am not sure what your point was for the pontification of the virtues of being progressive, but the change that Muslims need is a RETURN to the sunnah, not the change further away from it. You took the wrong turn sister. Time to look back and recognize it before you go too far on the “change”. Yes, you can :)

        Your continual refusal to answer my question is also telling,

        “do you agree with Asra on mixed prayers?”

        Would your “creative, comprehensive and adaptive reading and interpretation of the texts” allow for something no other mainstream interpretation (not the “ultra conservative” as you may wish to box others into in order to make progressivism appealing to the layman) has allowed? Mixed prayers in the Masjid… shoulder-to-shoulder, feet-to-feet? As Asra participated and supported?

        I won’t hold my breath for your answer, but the failing of all progressive movements (not just failure, utter failure) reflects the lack of basic Islamic positioning, thus the lack of appeal to the vast majority of Muslims.

        • Fatima

          March 2, 2010 at 11:19 AM

          Assalamu Aleikum

          That is the beauty of Progressive Muslims – we accept people for who they are, where they are and what they want to be.

          I have defined myself, only, and not pontificated.

          I am not advocating a departure from the “Sunnah” (I presume you meant hadith) or the Qur’an.

          Read my post carefully and disengage your mind from the “party line narrative” when you do so.

          Fatima

          • Amad

            March 2, 2010 at 11:37 AM

            wasalam

            Still waiting for the answer to my question…

            Btw, you cannot hijack labels and pretend they are something that they are not. Progressives, in general, deny most aspects of Sunnah (if not all of it), and those that do, are, let’s say, highly selective about the hadith they will accept or not. Sunnah and hadith in the sense I am referring to are interchangeable.

          • Amad

            March 2, 2010 at 11:40 AM

            One more question on your further pontification, “we accept people for who they are, where they are and what they want to be. ”

            So, if I want to take you as my prophetess (may Allah forbid), and to believe that you are the last prophet, but still consider myself a Muslim, would you “accept me for what I am and what I want to be”? Similarly, what if I wanted to marry a man, and wanted you to perform my nikah with the man (that is indeed a disgusting thought personally, but work with me), would you “accept me for what i am and what I want to be”?

        • Fatima

          March 2, 2010 at 11:41 AM

          Assalamu Aleikum

          Amad,

          I have stated my position clearly and if you are not intelligent enough to understand it I should not spend more time on it – not with you, anyway.

          As for Asra Nomani – she speaks well for herself. Our positions are common, cooperative and necessary. Our positions are not necessarily identical.

          Fatima

          • Amad

            March 2, 2010 at 11:51 AM

            I am sorry Fatima if you won’t spend time with me. That is the usual case when one side is in loss for answers.

            I know you have stated YOUR position on the prayer issue. I did not ask about that. Read my question CAREFULLY so you can use the immense intelligence that you have, which obviously Allah hasn’t give me in your estimation, to understand what I am asking, not what you want to answer.

            Do you agree with Asra on mixed prayers? I see that you have started backtracking a bit with the last comment, walhamdulilah. And for further clarification, would you support her, as she supports you in that front. After all, progressives are supposed to “accept people for who they are, where they are and what they want to be”, aren’t they?

            In conclusion, I would like to remind you that I am one of those who ACTUALLY continues to support Ify in what she is seeking and all other sisters like her who seek reasonable and fully Islamically compliant accommodation. Yes, your
            “ultra-conservative” (whatever that means) Muslim brethren do support the position. But if I wasn’t well-grounded in my reasons for that, your attitude and the joining of some in your “party” may have as well turned me off. Just keep that in mind. wallahu alam.

          • AsimG

            March 2, 2010 at 6:38 PM

            Spot on assessment by Abu Noor.

            As for “progressive” this and “conservative” that, these are all meaningless labels.
            Almost everyone has a different criterion of each group and who belongs to each one.

            In circles that I have been apart of before, if you wear hijab you are an fundamentalist. If you advocate that it is obligatory you are an extremist.
            Maybe according to them being gay is the starting line for being “progressive”.

            My point is, labels will not get you anywhere. You don’t get a special “progressive” button that gives you street cred when you walk the streets where everybody knows your pro/con stances on major issues. You only get grouped in with the worst people who have taken up that label like pro-homosexuality Irshad Manji.

            If you are advocating for categorically denounced ideas like mixed prayer, you are not following the Sunnah and therefore you are not a “progressive”, a “conservative” or a “moderate”, you are just wrong.

            If you are advocating for the wall to be taken down, then so be it. But it is not a “progressive” thing or a “conservative” thing. Your argument is that is is a “Muslim” thing to do and that’s it.

  23. Naseebah

    March 24, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    Some thoughts —

    — If we sisters would like input into the masajid, is making the leadership defensive the right way to do it? I feel less empowered as a female as a result. Much leadership will feel less likely to dialogue after this, not more.

    — Surely there were some small, incremental steps that could have been made to show good faith. Want cleaner spaces? Clean them ourselves. Maybe move from a closed off wall to a partition that sisters can see through. Collect money and offer to buy such a partition for the masjid. Bring lots of the sisters to the masjid so gradually they can expand the women’s section because of actual, practical need for space (not just to make a political statement). Bring some scholars to present the case to the masjid leadership in a non-confrontational way. etc.

    — Disrupting a public prayer service and going straight to the media to get one’s way is a power play using strong arm tactics, pure and simple. Sisters want a voice in the current establishments, but what voice will that be? “My way or the highway?”

    — I’ve witnessed rows and rows of men in masajid who had to pray in isolated rooms away from the imam when the masjid was very full. (and it should be full like that every day.) Did the men protest? We all know the answer. Subhanallah, I can’t imagine the men staging a protest because they were in a separate room. They would build more space if it continued to be a problem (and again, it would be a great problem to have). In muslim countries where they have huge congregational salaah of thousands and thousands, the men in back rows can’t see the imam. Do they go en masse disrupting the prayer and storm the front rows to get better access to the imam?

    — Salaat time is not a time for protest. The format of the prayer in congregation is complete submission to, and worship of, Allah subhanahu wa ta’la, and following/obeying the Imam, not rebelling against him. We have ways of praying in all kinds of situations, even when the Imam makes a mistake — but it doesn’t include flouting his authority and causing a scene. I can’t imagine a scholar okaying the disruption of the salaah and open rebellion against the imam and the masjid authority at the salaah time over this issue. (?) If you must protest, protest at another time.

    — There is some respect shown in the discussion for sisters who would like separate space. What about respect for those brothers who wish for separate space? Don’t they have that right too?

    — As was said above, the customs of the particular community masjid should be respected. There are masajid that allow females in the main halls, I pray in those. I pray in those where I have to pray in a separate room. I listen to the khutbah if it’s in Urdu (which I don’t understand) or in English.

    — If there are sisters and brothers who wish to share space in the main hall, you can continue to present your case to the boards, you can find a suitable masjid, you can find your own prayer space (rent a room), you can establish your own masjid, sisters can pray in congregation at home or elsewhere. There are so many options. Don’t mess with the salaah time!

    • Fatima

      March 25, 2010 at 9:54 PM

      – If we sisters would like input into the masajid, is making the leadership defensive the right way to do it? I feel less empowered as a female as a result. Much leadership will feel less likely to dialogue after this, not more.

      (*) Less likely to dialogue … than no dialog at all?

      – Surely there were some small, incremental steps that could have been made to show good faith. Want cleaner spaces? Clean them ourselves. Maybe move from a closed off wall to a partition that sisters can see through. Collect money and offer to buy such a partition for the masjid. Bring lots of the sisters to the masjid so gradually they can expand the women’s section because of actual, practical need for space (not just to make a political statement). Bring some scholars to present the case to the masjid leadership in a non-confrontational way. etc.

      (*) A see through wall does not solve the problem – still not a dynamic part of the congregation. Umm… bring lots of sisters to the masjid…so you don’t feel so alone in being treated as a second class citizen? Expand the space…. gender segregation is not about space, it is about power and control… by men. What scholars? Who? If they are not preaching gender segregation then they are cowering in their dictatorial shadow.

      – Disrupting a public prayer service and going straight to the media to get one’s way is a power play using strong arm tactics, pure and simple. Sisters want a voice in the current establishments, but what voice will that be? “My way or the highway?”

      (*) The only people disrupting the prayer were the fanatical, self-appointed watchdogs who could just as well have been crying “the sky is falling, the sky is falling!”. You said it – sisters want a voice … but will it happen in the current establishments?

      – I’ve witnessed rows and rows of men in masajid who had to pray in isolated rooms away from the imam when the masjid was very full. (and it should be full like that every day.) Did the men protest? We all know the answer. Subhanallah, I can’t imagine the men staging a protest because they were in a separate room. They would build more space if it continued to be a problem (and again, it would be a great problem to have). In muslim countries where they have huge congregational salaah of thousands and thousands, the men in back rows can’t see the imam. Do they go en masse disrupting the prayer and storm the front rows to get better access to the imam?

      (*) Those men had to pray in a separate room because of space issues and were not told that they could only pray there. Congregations of thousands and not seeing the imam – they see the row of men ahead of them, thus their congregational prayers are valid. Not so for the women who are in a separate room – or separated by barriers. Again – who is disrupting the prayer and storming the front rows?

      – Salaat time is not a time for protest. The format of the prayer in congregation is complete submission to, and worship of, Allah subhanahu wa ta’la, and following/obeying the Imam, not rebelling against him. We have ways of praying in all kinds of situations, even when the Imam makes a mistake — but it doesn’t include flouting his authority and causing a scene. I can’t imagine a scholar okaying the disruption of the salaah and open rebellion against the imam and the masjid authority at the salaah time over this issue. (?) If you must protest, protest at another time.

      (*) Complete submission and worship of Allah… so, why all this fuss about “distraction”? Protest when, sister, when all my rights are taken? Even Umar responded to the protest of a woman when he tried to reduce her mahr… he responded “the woman is right, and Umar is wrong”. If we continue with the current “status quo” we will be expected to not speak up, to just whither and fade completely away.

      – There is some respect shown in the discussion for sisters who would like separate space. What about respect for those brothers who wish for separate space? Don’t they have that right too?

      (*) Strange argument, but sure, they have a right. But congregational prayer is just that – congregational. If they are in a separate space then they are not part of the congregation. If that is true for the men then it is true for the women.

      – As was said above, the customs of the particular community masjid should be respected. There are masajid that allow females in the main halls, I pray in those. I pray in those where I have to pray in a separate room. I listen to the khutbah if it’s in Urdu (which I don’t understand) or in English.

      (*) Spring is in and people are beginning to wear flip flops again… even in their online discussions.
      Customs are respected in Islamic Law – it is called ‘urf, or local customs/preferences. However, the local customs should not contradict established directives of the Qur’an or Hadith. It is clear that that women prayed in the same area behind the men, as stated in hadith, so why are “local customs” contradicting that. (oooh… did she say bid’a?? snap! I think she did…)

      – If there are sisters and brothers who wish to share space in the main hall, you can continue to present your case to the boards, you can find a suitable masjid, you can find your own prayer space (rent a room), you can establish your own masjid, sisters can pray in congregation at home or elsewhere. There are so many options. Don’t mess with the salaah time!

      (*) We are messing with the status quo, sister, and agitating for change. There are so many options… like brothers and sisters reassessing the way they’ve done things for so long… is it really right? is it really Islamic? is it really honoring and respecting women?

      (*) If the imam really has any authority and sincerely wishes to lead the community in good guidance, then for Allah’s sake, turn around and engage the sisters in dialogue – that means two-way discussion, not dictatorship – and discuss the issue.

      I wonder, would you be just as supportive of female genital mutilation? After all, it is something that is done in the name of Islam, by Muslims, has been done for a long time, is the culture of various peoples…

      Would you be just as supportive of insisting that all women not work outside of the home, not drive, not go to school as soon as they marry? After all, these are attitudes and practices that have been in place for a long time, is enforced in the name of Islam, by Muslims and is the culture of various peoples.

      Let’s talk about slavery…. it has been outlawed in this country and has been outlawed by Islamic countries. Do you know that slavery is allowed in Islam? … and yet it is now outlawed. Why? Because it is an outdated practice that no longer serves our societies nor reflects the basic dignity or rights of men.

      What about racial segregation…. only recently legislated against in this country and yet the Qur’an speaks about it … the Beloved Prophet gave us in his sermon – “O people, Remember that your Lord is One. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a black has no superiority over white, nor a white has any superiority over black, except by piety and good action (Taqwa). Indeed the best among you is the one with the best character (Taqwa). Listen to me. Did I convey this to you properly? People responded, Yes. O messenger of God, The Prophet then said, then each one of you who is there must convey this to everyone not present. ”

      So, I call you … and my brothers and sisters … to return to our Beloved Prophet’s character and words. Love your sisters and truly honor them by acknowledging their presence behind you. Know that their “ameens” will likely reach Allah before yours – as heaven is at the foot of the mother… and every prophet was born of a woman.

    • Ify Okoye

      March 25, 2010 at 10:59 PM

      Naseebah,

      This particular masjid in D.C. refuses to engage in any discussion about prayer spaces and rather just calls the police to harass sisters even to the point of interrupting our salah and encouraging the police to manhandle sisters. Is that in accordance with Islamic principles? It’s rather sad, that in some communities, simply desiring to worship one’s Lord and exercise the rights granted to women in Islam is somehow seen as radical. If women have rights granted to them in Islam, they should not be faulted for trying to reclaim or exercise them although one can disagree with the methods. I agree a number of approaches can be utilized. I’ve never felt the “if you don’t like it, go back home” argument was valid. If a masjid discriminates against me because I’m black, I’m still going to attend and advocate for the injustice to be rectified not simply shrink away or disengage completely.

      And yes, I have attend a couple of masajid where the brothers complained about their relegation to less than ideal spaces.

  24. Naseebah

    March 26, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    We’re talking about the narrow issue of females praying in a separate space in a particular masjid, and then it turns into a question about supporting female mutilation and slavery?

    Throwing rhetorical firebombs tends to shut down discussion. If the masjid leaders voice their desire to keep things as they are (i.e. they like that custom?), will it be insinuated that they support female mutilation and slavery? Or maybe that already happened, and so no wonder they didn’t want to engage in discussion?

    Here’s some food for thought: To what extent and how fast is change required, is it required in that particular venue, what kind of harms are occuring that necessitate change, to what level and extent is it worth fighting for (the harms and costs and benefits), and what are the tactics and manners used.

    Even if we agree that it is a sunnah to have females in rows immediately after the males in congregational prayer, then to what level is it necessary to force this sunnah to be implemented in this particular masjid?

    Is it an actual violation of islamic law to have women in a separate space during the salaat? Is this masjid undermining the basic tenets of islam by having women pray in a separate section? Are they corrupting the salaah to the extent that mandates group rebellion?

    Is it right to disobey the imam at the time of salaah and disrupt the salaat, and rebel against the islamic authority on its property in order to demand the implementation of this sunnah?

    Are the sisters willing to shoulder the responsibility of setting the precedent for the worldwide ummah of disrupting the salaat as a way to air grievances and get demands met?

    Are men who wish to pray in a separate space during the salaah required to “like” the disruption and accede to the demands of the sisters, or “go back home”?

    Are there other more comfortable options for the sisters where they can exercise their religious choices? Or is gender segregation in salaat the law of the land – like racial segregation was?

    From what I see, the gender segregation you speak of is happening in a very specific setting on private property, of people who gather freely, choosing that venue, with no cost of admission, where they perform a religious ceremony in a manner that they – men and women who have gone there – have recognized as valid for many, many years.

    It is the prefered format of a religious prayer that the community members of certain masajid have adopted, and established community norms around. If some sisters wish to try to change those norms and re-establish a sunnah, fine. Speak out about it, write articles, get your daleels, talk to imams and boards who will listen, keep trying to repair the damage and establish dialogue, etc.

    But attempting to enact this sunnah at this location, I don’t think it rises to the level of risking the spread of mutual hatred and suspicion in the ranks, and harming the reputations of those who developed and lived with those norms for a long time.

    I advise myself and the other sisters to adhere to:

    — good manners
    — patience (and, sure, persistence in reviving this sunnah)
    — non-exaggerration
    — respect for authority
    — respect for property rights
    — respect for public order
    — obedience and unity in the salaat
    — not craving power
    — choosing the easy halal

    • SK

      April 6, 2010 at 10:01 PM

      So are you suggesting we be good little boys and girls and do as we are told by the all knowing mosque authorities?

      As far as etiquette, if the mosque board is refusing to even listen to any differing points of view, what room are they leaving for anyone to express their differences?

      Does the sunnah and hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) on this matter mean nothing to Muslims? I mean the actual manner in which women were treating in real life by the messenger of Allah.

      We talk all day long of the right of women in Islam. When it is time to practise what we preach, the words seem meaningless.

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