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NPR: Female Imams Blaze Trail Amid China’s Muslims


By NPR’s Louisa Lim: Female Imams Blaze Trail Amid China’s Muslims (text and audio versions available on NPR’s website)

It is 5:50 in the morning, and dark shadows scurry through narrow alleys to the mosque, as the call to prayer echoes from a minaret in Kaifeng. This city in central China’s Henan province has an Islamic enclave, where Muslims have lived for more than 1,000 years.

In an alleyway called Wangjia hutong, women go to their own mosque, where Yao Baoxia leads prayers. For 14 years, Yao has been a female imam, or ahong as they are called here, a word derived from Persian.

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As she leads the service, Yao stands alongside the other women, not in front of them as a male imam would. But she says her role is the same as a male imam.

“The status is the same,” Yao says confidently. “Men and women are equal here, maybe because we are a socialist country.”

China has an estimated 21 million Muslims, who have developed their own set of Islamic practices with Chinese characteristics. The biggest difference is the development of independent women’s mosques with female imams, something scholars who have researched the issue say is unique to China.

Yao studied to become an imam for four years, after being laid off from her job as a factory worker. First she studied under a female imam, then with a male imam alongside male students.

Her main role is as a teacher, she says.

“When people come to pray, they don’t know how to chant the Quran, so my job is teaching people about Islam, helping them to study one line at a time and leading the prayers,” she says.

Mosques Began As Quranic Schools

The modest courtyard of Wangjia Hutong Women’s Mosque contains within it the entire history of China’s mosques for females. It’s the oldest surviving women’s mosque in China, with one gray plaque high up on a wall dating back to 1820.

Like other women’s mosques, it began as a Quranic school for girls. These sprang up in the late 17th century in central China, including Shanxi and Shandong provinces. They morphed into women’s mosques about 100 years ago, starting in Henan province.

Remembering her own childhood, 83-year-old Tang Guiying says even then the women’s mosque was the only place a girl could receive education.

“I didn’t go to school when I was small,” she chuckles. “We were all too poor; none of us girls studied. But I came here to play and study. The old imam was very, very old — she was 80-something, and she had bound feet.”

Tang is sitting in the mosque’s washroom as she talks. This is where women conduct ritual ablutions before prayer. This space — and the mosque itself — doubles as a social center for these women, the heart of a community.

In Kaifeng, there are 16 women’s mosques, one-third the number of mosques for males.

A Unique Chinese Tradition

Shui Jingjun, of the Henan Academy of Social Sciences and co-author of a book on the phenomenon, says that so far there are no women’s mosques in other countries. In most of the Muslim world, women pray behind a partition or in a separate room, but in the same mosque as men.

Shui points out that the women’s mosques in China are administered independently, by women for women, in addition to being legally separate entities in some cases.

“After reform and opening up [in 1979], some female mosques registered independently, which shows the equality of male and female mosques,” she explains.

Controversy still rages in the Muslim world about whether women can be imams. In 2006, Morocco became the first country in the Arab world to officially sanction the training of female religious leaders.

China is the only country to have such a long history of female imams. However, there are things that, according to the customary practices of Chinese Muslims, female imams can’t do.

They can’t, for instance, lead funeral rituals or wash male corpses.

Forty miles away in the provincial capital of Zhengzhou, white-sashed mourners wail as they process through the streets carrying the coffin from a mosque. No female imams are participating.

Opposition Still Exists To Women’s Roles

In central China, most Muslims support the female mosques, but there is some resistance closer to China’s border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, closer to the harder-line Wahhabi and Salafi influences.

“Historically in northwestern China, there were no female mosques,” says Shui, the researcher. “There was resistance because people thought that building female mosques was against the rules of religion. But in central China and most provinces, people think it’s a good innovation for Islam.”

In the past decade, some women’s mosques have been established in northwest China. The phenomenon appears to be spreading, helped politically by the Islamic Association of China, a state-controlled body that regulates Islam and issues licenses to practice to male and female imams alike.

This is part of the anomaly that is religion in China — the atheist Chinese authorities are endorsing a practice some Muslims find unacceptable.

While there is broad support among Kaifeng’s Muslims for female mosques and imams, there is also some opposition.

“The education of Islamic women is a very important job,” says Guo Baoguang, of the Islamic Association of Kaifeng. But he admits that he has been criticized for organizing religious education forums for Muslim men and women to take part in together.

“There were some criticisms that women ought to be in the home, and ought not take part in social activities. I think these criticisms are too conservative, and don’t account of the importance of women’s education in Islam,” he says.

Guo believes that when it comes to female imams, China is leading the way.

“Given the fast development of China’s economy, and as its political status rises, I think Chinese Islam will become more important in the Islamic world,” Guo says. “The developments Chinese Islam has made, like the role played by Chinese women, will be more accepted by Muslims elsewhere in the world.”

Greatest Challenge Is Economic

In the women’s mosques, most of the faithful are elderly. Young women with families often don’t have the time to worship, especially given the lengthy purification rituals several times a day.

Third-generation imam Sun Chengying, who has been practicing for 21 years, worries about the future.

“I haven’t had any students since 1996,” she says, shaking her head. “Women don’t want be imams anymore, because the salaries in the mosques are too low. No one is willing to do it.”

Female imams sometimes earn as little as $40 a month, one-third of what can be earned in other jobs. Younger women need to earn more to support their families.

And so it appears the future of female imams in China is threatened — not by the state, not by resistance from inside Islam, but by the forces of market economics.

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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!



  1. Sayf

    July 21, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    In central China, most Muslims support the female mosques, but there is some resistance closer to China’s border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, closer to the harder-line Wahhabi and Salafi influences.


    • Ify Okoye

      July 22, 2010 at 8:57 AM

      Sayf, what is the question?

      No doubt, as we can see from the comments below from Ibn Masood and others who think like him that women have no place in the masjid or their minds seemingly cannot fathom a single reason or benefit to women praying in congregation and perhaps that is one reason why we see that in much of Afghanistan and Pakistan and in other places women are routinely excluded from the masajid and literacy rates are low. So no doubt, people with this worldview would want to oppose a mosque led by a woman for other women, where women are educated and empowered. I’d be interested in a study that ties in women’s literacy, participation in community life including masajid, and women’s status or treatment in a society as I have some preliminary hypotheses.

      • Sayf

        July 22, 2010 at 1:20 PM

        Separate woman’s congregation at the same time as men.

        The basic principle is that it is not prescribed to have two congregations in the mosque at the same time, because that is dividing the Muslims and they will disturb one another. But if there is a reason for that, such as the women not being able to hear the voice of the imam, then there is nothing wrong with having a separate congregation for the women with one of them leading them in prayer, when there is also a congregation for the men. But that is subject to the condition that the two congregations will not disturb one another.

        Women-only taraweh prayers.

        If women gather together in one house in accordance with the conditions mentioned above, it is permissible for them to pray in congregation. The one who is leading them in prayer should stand….

        Sorry, when I see blame tossed at “harder-line Wahhabi and Salafi influences” it always sets off a red light in my head. I see this happening a little too much these days, and it exposes a level of ignorance (or pseudo-education) that reporters really shouldn’t have.

        • Not saying

          June 11, 2011 at 4:18 PM

          Sayf, that last comment kind of touched my hard.

          Yeah it’s hard to fight these “Ahlus sunnah wa jamah sufis” who are so so(italics) scholarly they forgot about Islam and how scholars are only good for giving opinions based on the Quran and hadith.

  2. AsimG

    July 21, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    I’ve read and researched this before and thought that many female mosques are connected with a male mosque so that prayers are held together.

    But ya, lol on the Salafi line.

    And what’s up with the long purification rituals? Are they making ghusl before every prayer?

    • ai

      July 21, 2010 at 11:59 PM

      i know? i thot u just had to do ablutions.
      thogh i dont totally agree to this the only plus side is that a woman is not leading men in prayer so i guess its halal.
      back in uni one of our fellow students(girls university) led us in prayer.
      Allah knows best. Happy to see ppl are still praying..

  3. Ibn Masood

    July 22, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    “Historically in northwestern China, there were no female mosques,” says Shui, the researcher. “There was resistance because people thought that building female mosques was against the rules of religion. But in central China and most provinces, people think it’s a good innovation for Islam.”

    How is that a ‘good innovation’? Why would you encourage women to go the masajid for congregational prayers 5x a day when greater reward awaits them for praying at home? That defeats the point of being a leader or an Imam… you’re supposed to lead your jama’ah to greater benefit, not less…

    No offense… but this article is a strange FAIL in my books.

    • Ify Okoye

      July 22, 2010 at 8:45 AM

      There are many benefits to attending salah in congregation and there is nothing wrong with encouraging that. Listen to the story, for many years the only form of schooling for these women was in the Quran schools in the masjid, how blessed is that, to educate and increase in literacy, and in what better science than the science of Quran? And who better to teach them, then other highly qualified and well-trained women?

      Is it your contention that if a woman is outside her home such as at her Quran school or masjid or grocery shopping or at a park and the time for salah enters that she should not pray but instead head home perhaps even missing the salah? Today, when there is an epidemic of men and women that do not pray even when they are at home, we should all be encouraging an emphasis on the importance of prayer and not try to besmirch or diminish those who are praying whether or not, one believes they should pray in this location or that. We should start with the basics.

      • Ibn Masood

        July 22, 2010 at 2:33 PM

        That’s a lot of assumption of what I think, so let me clear up some stuff inshaAllah. Firstly, I meant only the act of praying your salah. Why have a masjid specifically for women? If they’re outside they can attend any masjid as they have been doing for the past 1400 years.

        The salah in itself is more rewarded for sisters if they pray at home. We don’t need to have special masajid for women… praying there would not benefit them as much as if they prayed at home.

        This is different from having a special institute/school where they can learn the Qur’an & Sunnah etc, such al-Huda, where the primary intention of the facility is to offer educational facilities, not a masjid.

        • Ify Okoye

          July 26, 2010 at 10:50 PM

          Why not? Rather than assuming we know the situation in China and coming with our own biases, why not look into the situation and ask the people there because clearly this arrangement seems to work for the people in region and I would hazard to guess that no one commenting here has more than a superficial understanding of all the factors that led to the development of this phenomenon.

          • Ryzzan

            July 27, 2010 at 3:26 AM

            I guess the last few lines from the article gives us a clue on how this setting have been beneficial to these sisters.

            Younger women need to earn more to support their families.”

            My uneducated guess would be that the Muslimah are bread winners in the family, synonymous to China’s working class. They occupy a certain niche in an industry/business. In this light, a female only mosque will be ideal for them (i.e. ease of access, coordination, religious classes etc.) and at the same time would also be vital in ensuring the survival of the Deen in a socialist state that opposes religion.

            We need to remember that these sisters are breaking their backs during the day and at the same time serve their families as well. Such establishment may be the only way to preserve Islam in such circumstances.

            Allahu A’lam

    • Siraaj

      July 22, 2010 at 10:50 AM

      I think in terms of reward, you’re correct that it’s better for women to stay at home, but in terms of attainable practical benefits, it may be better for them to attend a masjid (without even commenting on the female imam part of this story, I mean that generally speaking) to interact with other women, build a community among like-minded individuals.

      There is wisdom in the Prophet (SAW) preventing the men from forbidding the women from attending the masjid, and when you consider the numbers of sahabiyyat that attended, when you consider the woman who was cleaning the masjid whom the Prophet (SAW) inquired about and held janazah for well after her death, you realize that there are practical benefits in both attending and staying home, and women can look at their situation and balance out taking advantage of both options, insha’Allah.


      • sabirah

        July 24, 2010 at 5:42 PM

        salam, yeah… see that in my masjid… women are welcome as long as they are cleaning the place and bring occasional food

        • Burqa Barbie

          May 31, 2012 at 7:41 AM

          “women are welcome as long as they are cleaning the place and bring occasional food”
          Dont tell outsiders that, it sounds very chauvanistic.

      • Sarah Nasir

        July 26, 2010 at 10:20 PM

        Beautifully balanced reply. jazakAllahu khairan.

  4. Omar

    July 22, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    Islam is amazing, and the way it is practiced by different cultures is fascinating, subhanaAllah. Such a rich powerful deen.

    • Ify Okoye

      July 22, 2010 at 8:33 AM

      Indeed! Unfortunately, some of brethren have such a narrow view, which can only encompass their way, limiting the many perfectly valid expressions of Islam.

      • Follower of the One Path

        July 22, 2010 at 2:07 PM

        Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “The Messenger of Allah drew a line with his hand (in the sand) and said, (This is Allah’s path, leading straight.) He then drew lines to the right and left of that line and said, (These are the other paths, on each path there is a devil who calls to it.) He then recited, (And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path.)[6:153]” Al-Hakim also recorded this Hadith and said; “Its chain is Sahih, but they did not record it.”

        • Bushra

          July 22, 2010 at 2:23 PM

          Erm…I think it’s great you’ve put up a hadith here. But muhaddiths didn’t learn ahadith like parrots and then not learn the meaning behind them. And we here are laypeople. Therefore, I advise that it would be best to add an explanation to this hadith and why it relates to what Sr. Ify says, because few people will understand the relevance of it.

          • Follower of the One Path

            July 22, 2010 at 2:32 PM

            She said there are many different expressions of Islaam, but Allah, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Scholars disagree including Shaykh Yasir Qadhi who just recently posted a lecture about this issue.

          • Muhammad

            July 24, 2010 at 6:29 PM

            @Follower of the One Path below: Which lecture are you referring to akhi?

          • Sarah Nasir

            July 26, 2010 at 10:24 PM

            Didn’t Sh Yasir Qadhi raise concern about a woman leading men in prayers?

            I would like to hear a scholarly opinion on a woman leading women in prayer in absence of men’s congregation. So many times I hear about women being turned away from the masajid by men or a masjid not having accommodations for the women, that an all-women masjid sounds a good alternative.

            Allahu ‘alam, but I would love to hear some scholarly opinion on this inshAllah :)

        • Ify Okoye

          July 26, 2010 at 10:46 PM

          It is very possible that such an arrangement as the one in China is within the limits and goals of the Shariah. One of the topics, we are learning at Ilm Summit this year is the concept of bid’ah and there are many factors that come into play more than just copy-pasting a hadith or athar. And Allah knows best.

  5. Bushra

    July 22, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    Looking at this from with an unbiased point of view, I can see the arguments for and against. I can see why people aren’t too up for women’s mosques, because it’s not something from the Sunnah. Having said that, as Br. Siraaj said, there is a lot of wisdom in the Prophet(salallahu alayhi wasallam) forbidding the men from preventing the women from going to the masjid. Of course, there is greater reward for following the Sunnah (as we don’t know the value of the reward of following the Sunnah) than for women praying in congregation at the masjid. However, if one is in the middle of a shopping trip, on the way to their destination, etc and it is time for prayer, then such things are beneficial.

    Having said all that, if a man is travelling and he needs to pray, but the only place for him to pray is a women’s mosque, but he doesn’t and instead prays at the service station next to his car…is that really correct? I personally don’t think it is. What I mean is…the masjid should be for everybody, both women and men.

    But in the same way, brothers who prevent women from going to the masjid are also getting a taste of their own medicine, because women, too, have to pray at the masjid in certain situations and it is desirable that they are given a designated area for them to pray in rather than for them to pray outside by their car on their own (where anyone could attack or hurt them), regardless of whether there is a barrier or not. People must think logistically and sensibly.

    Also…for those who think women cannot lead other women in prayer, think again. A woman can also give an adhaan and iqaamah as long as no other non-mahram man hears her voice.

    I think a women’s only mosque raises several different issues. Whilst it’s great that they have their own place to pray and lead other women in prayer, it also creates the seclusion within community.

    Allah(subhaanahu wa ta’ala) created men and women to co-exist, but with men being a degree higher for a reason. It’s like the argument for niqaab…for those who believe it is fardh, they should also use it to their strength, because it allows them to be MORE involved in the community, as then men don’t have to worry about lowering their gaze when they can’t see a woman’s face in the first place. And the same goes for a women’s only mosque…men should include the sisters in the masjid community, not seclude them as then it creates the abovementioned problems. Let this be a lesson for us all.

    • Mohammad Sabah

      July 22, 2010 at 1:05 PM

      Jazak Allahu Khayran for this post. I think more than being a trail-blazer, we should realize it’s a lesson for all of us (as Sr. Bushra has very clearly pointed out) about what is wrong with our communities. I have heard of many such female-only mosques in the southern parts of India and most of them have come up as a kind of resistance and as a counter for exclusion of women from the mosques and Islamic knowledge. Instead of using this as an example to be followed, which obviously will lead to more harm than good, isolate Muslims and be against the Sunnah, let’s use this as a warning to fix the root issue which is to stop the seclusion of women from men-only mosques (which unfortunately is standard in many parts of the world), and allow participation of women in the mosque and in learning authentic Islamic knowledge.

    • Sarah Nasir

      July 26, 2010 at 10:28 PM

      I agree with you Sr. Bushra. I had only 2 concerns reading this:

      (1) this was not practiced in the sunnah when the sahabiyyat didn’t have problem accessing the masajid in a Muslim state, unlike today.

      (2) is it going to widen the existing unnecessary rift of competition between the 2 genders?

  6. Baymowa

    July 23, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. madam

    July 24, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    I can sorta understand if this “female mosque” thing must have evolved from their unique circumstances in China.. Cause I recall ramadhans during university days, where we used to do taraweh prayers together, and we had the most islamically knowledgeable sister, lead us in prayer.. because we were an all girl’s hostel. it was the most natural thing. I think when we picture imam, we think of all things negative because most of us have never been in that circumstance, therefore it’s hard to imagine the need for it.

    However, when you go back to basics of congregation prayer, you realize the nomination of the imam is simple, most knowledgeable muslim. His or her duty in the prayer is simple.. LEAD PRAYER.

    If you happen to be in a community that is predominantly female, and the men among the group are not the most appropriate to lead in prayer. What are you going to do? During my days in university, I recall that during prayer time, there were muslim brothers, who worked in the hostel cafeteria who were not knowledgeable enough to lead in prayer. Personally I would prefer if they join in the congregation. How? I do not know.

    But in this article’s context.. I get a sense that having a female mosque is being promoted in China. It appears as if this anomaly is a positive direction. I’m not sure if it’s a practice I encourage, because ultimately it loses sight on what Islam is all about. There was never a male mosque to begin with. Therefore why should there be a female one? As long as you are Muslim, about to worship Allah the One God, then you belong to a mosque. Why all the confusion and exclusivity? Isn’t Islam an inclusive religion of all people?

    • UmmSakina

      July 24, 2010 at 12:30 PM

      As Salaamu Alaikum;

      In reference to what should be done if the men aren’t the “most appropriate to lead in prayer” –

      Women aren’t supposed to lead men in Salaat.
      As long as the brother knows the Al-Fatiha and one other Surah then he can lead the Salaat(assuming he knows how to pray) and everyone’s prayer will be valid Insha Allah.

      If they don’t know how to pray then a sister can show them how to pray, but she still should not try to lead them in the prayer. Then once they have practiced it and have it down, they can lead the prayers Insha Allah. :-)

      Any good in this post is from Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala, and any mistakes are mine.

      • Burqa Barbie

        May 31, 2012 at 7:38 AM

        “Women aren’t supposed to lead men in Salaat.”
        How are outsiders supposed to view Islam as egalitarian?

    • Ify Okoye

      July 26, 2010 at 10:52 PM

      Some of these female mosques appear to have been around for hundreds of years, it would be interesting to see what factors and fiqh led to their development without which one cannot really make much of an informed opinion.

  8. Batina

    July 24, 2010 at 7:45 AM

    Alhamdulillah for the female imams leading women in prayer. It brings hope to women around the world who are routinely excluded from their local masjids because they are women regardless of their educational level. There should be at least one women’s masjid in every city to inspire women who are tired of the crap that men are putting them through. Let there be Light for all Muslims. Let the brothers realize the better way so that all masjids will become more balanced and allow women to have their perspectives heard and their requirements met. Since the men don’t listen we should have alternatives. Once my sheikh called me an imama because I was determined to study Quran taking it everywhere. He passed away and I have since fell into discouragement and need to reclaim the zeal I once felt for Islam. A female imam sounds like just what the doctor ordered. If any, let me know where to find them in NY area. Thanks

  9. fa

    July 25, 2010 at 1:47 AM

    i dont see why is it so cool to have women only mosques? im quite indifferent to this issue. but im afraid soon people will see islam being modernist in the women only mosques being created?

    • Ify Okoye

      July 26, 2010 at 10:54 PM

      Some of the masajid in China seems to go back hundreds of years, hardly attributable to the current modernist trends.

  10. abu Yunus

    July 26, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    We have proof that the Sahaabiyaat prayed in congregation at home. What is the proof that they had their own mosques? It is one thing to have an organization headed by females for females and quite another to have a mosque JUST for females.

    Keep in mind that the mosques are for both sexes, irrespective of what rules some men have established to exclude the females [which has no basis in the Sharee’ah]. Now, can we create one bid’ah to counter another?!?

    • Ify Okoye

      July 26, 2010 at 10:56 PM

      It would be interesting to see the factors and fiqh in the issue that has been used by the Chinese scholars but without that info, I think it would be premature to label it a bid’ah. And Allah knows best.

  11. abu Yunus

    July 26, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Anyone who doesn’t know what Salafiyyah is and then attacks it only exposes their own level of ignorance. You need to read up on what Salaf and Salafi means before you make such compound ignorant statements like, “harder-line Wahhabi and Salafi influences”. Likewise, you need to read “The Wahhabi Myth” by Haneef James Oliver:

    Just reading the following line on the 5th paragraph rings the bell for me: “China has an estimated 21 million Muslims, who have developed their own set of Islamic practiceswith Chinese characteristics” (Emphasis added).

    I thought that some authors on this site were just ignorant of some fine issues but it seems that there is a very great gap of basic Islamic knowledge in some.

    • Ify Okoye

      July 26, 2010 at 11:02 PM

      Perhaps you missed that this is an NPR news story and the author’s name is Louisa Lim, a reporter for NPR? It was simply re-posted here for the benefit of informing the Muslims. The first step before responding is to read and think carefully and critically lest you make ignorant comments revealing your own ignorance about the supposed ignorance of others.

    • Amad

      July 26, 2010 at 11:56 PM

      Calling others ignorant is the first step towards greater ignorance.

  12. abu Yunus

    July 27, 2010 at 12:39 AM

    Why post a kafir’s article which is replete with ignorance? Something to think about.

    Amad, so our Salaf who labeled ignoramuses as ignoramuses are ignorant themselves? Forget about the Salaf, even Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala called ignoramuses as such. Think before you post blanket statements!

    • Muslimah

      July 27, 2010 at 9:39 PM

      How do you know she is a kafir? What if she is a Muslim who just simply wrote misinformation unintentionally? There are many Muslims who don’t have traditionally Islamic names.

      It is reported on the authority of Ibn `Umar that the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) said: Any person who calls his brother: O Unbeliever! (then the truth of this label) would return to one of them. If it is true, (then it is) as he asserted, (but if it is not true), then it returns to him (and thus the person who made the accusation is an Unbeliever). [Muslim]

      • Abu Abdullah

        July 29, 2010 at 5:25 PM

        Well, she is definitely not Muslim. You will see it in the link below.

        Subhanallah, similar things have happened in Bosnia, where I am from. They (communists and others) separated the Bosniam Muslims from the rest of the Islamic world, and then introduced new things. The Chinese are doing the same things. Women should gather together and learn the deen, but not to separate themselves in their own masaajid. We forget the importance of following the Qur’aan and Sunnah and sticking to it. It is the only salvation for us. We need to realize that, otherwise we will be doomed.

  13. fa

    July 27, 2010 at 1:03 AM

    i doubt you would talk to each other like this in real life. so why do it online? theres a way to disagree without coming off like attacking on each other

  14. ummousama

    July 30, 2010 at 2:20 AM

    Assalamu alaikum,

    This article is brief and it is a small article. Nobody knows the truth of day-to-day living there and of practising the religion. I remember an article a few years ago saying that Chinese Muslims were forbidden to fast Ramadhan.

    China is a communist country which heavily limits access to outside knowledge. For me, China (and before that Bosnia) are showing us how Islam could be practised at the end of time. At the end of time, people will just say Allah, Allah. So, are we going to judge them by saying: “Why don’t you pray? Why don’t you fast?”?

    O my brothers and sisters, take this article not to judge what is happening in China. Take this as a lesson for us, to learn correct knowledge and to spread correct knowledge. The most worthy people to spread correct knowledge to are our own kids. No, it is no easy task. No, it is not just by practising. You have to practise, you have to perfect your character, you have to stay away from all major sins, you have to teach your kids, you have to implement and to explain everything, especially when they become a teen. Still they might not love Islam the way you do. To illustrate this, it is enough to say that not all children of a scholar will become a scholar. Instilling the love of Islamic knowledge and practice in one’s children is a very hard task that requires high standards for oneself and strict commitment.

  15. who

    August 3, 2010 at 12:53 PM


    there is no such thing as a women’s only masjid.. its the house of Allah SWT as such He sets the rules. Call it a school/madrasa/place of ibadah or even a musallah, but calling it a masjid means that all the rights of a masjid are incumbent upon it, and not fullfilling these rights/faraid is obviously bad!

  16. AbuJ

    June 11, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Please know that there is no such thing as a Muslim Womens Masjid. Had it been permissible to establish one then one of the wives or a Sahabiyyah would have been encouraged by Allah and His Rasool sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam. The best for women to pray is in her home, but she is allowed to pray in the masjid if she wishes. And to pray for some reason in her house or a hall with other women and a women leading them all, due to a reason i.e. function for women only etc. But to have a permanent Masjid with a women leading other women and even the Jumuah Khutbah -then since this is ibadah, there must be proof from the Book and the Sunnah, since there is no proofs, then this this is an innovation in the religion. And every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance leads to the hellfire, even if people think it is good. It is even worse in US, where a so called Muslim lady leads the men and women in prayer, plus the Jumuah Khutbah. Muslim women need start realise that saytan has initiated a muslim feminist movement within the Ummah.

    • I am

      June 12, 2011 at 6:44 PM

      Muslim women need start realise that saytan has initiated a muslim feminist movement within the Ummah.

      1000% true and accurate

      • Burqa Barbie

        May 31, 2012 at 7:34 AM

        So Satan is a feminist?

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