March 16, 2005

Storm in a Mug - Moslem Women leading prayers?

A storm is brewing in the Islamic world over Dr. Amina Wadud's leading the Friday prayer in a New York mosque. I heard her speaking and I did not find her offering any explanation (religious or otherwise) as to why she is stirring an unneeded controversy in this TIME and PLACE!

Here is a half-witted statement from the "organizers" shedding light by saying "this event is about Muslim women reclaiming their rightful place in Islam"
What ?? I guess Moslem women's list of demands is nearing the bottom of the list!

My point is:- Moslem women's struggle IS to re-claim what Islam has originally given them, and what deep rooted social traditions have taken from them in some countries.
e.g. Inheritance, right to manage her own money, and run her own business, freedom to marry & divorce whoever and whenever, freedom to refuse her husband's taking on another wife whthout her consent, right to have her husband or brother fully cover all her financial needs from their own money ..
NB. Islam gave women more rights than "western" women enjoyed until only 50 years ago, and in many countries until today.

- I understand why the Friday speech and prayer is led by a man, and if you think it's racist, please point me to where I can find the name of the last woman that held the Pope position, and the name of the church where the sermon is led by a nun. And as far as I know female Rabbis are hard to find!

- I would be more than willing to change my view if anyone can tell me how this woman's leading the Friday prayer will serve Islam better in New York and all over the world.

- All they managed to do is stir unnecessary controversy about a trivial issue, and in the process stamp Moslems with gender discrimination, and giving room for some dumb ass to come out and scream his stupid lungs about how this is against Islam and how that prayer will not be accepted!

Please have mercy on Islam, all of us women and men need to first apply Islam in our daily life, be merciful, humble, forgiving, charitable, loving, working hard .. Then the world will see Islam for what it truly is, a religion of peace and love, some over zealous and badly timed actions like this one are setting us back many years.
One final note: I am not even a religions person, I am just one angry Moslem right now!
OnePissedArab 1PA


Bahrania said...

Totally agree. Can you imagine how embarassing it would be that the female imam has to take one week off every month during her period. I know, lets give muslims a week off prayers that week!

Honestly I feel so liberated that a bunch of feminists have hijacked a mosque... yeah right... like u said there are some CORE rights, and leading prayers isnt one of them.

crossfader72 said...

you could also ask why what good is it for islam not to have a woman lead prayer.

bahrania: you assume only women who get their period can be imams. why?

Bahraini by nature said...

Well, I think the whole problem arises from the fact that some western scholars try to find out about Islam and maybe try to give a nice picture about this religion. In such situation when the western scholar gets involved in an Islamic community, he/she finds it different than the community that he/she lives in especially in the issues that concern liberty. Most of these scholars would explain the suppression as something that resulted from customs. Although, this is true to some extent, but we should not ignore that the majority of our customs were built on the Islamic principles in the first place. I heard someone who said that Hijab does not have anything to do with Islam and it is just an Arabic custom!!.

The second point that I would like to add is that these western scholars do not understand how the Quran is written. Quran is written in the classic Arabic language. In the classic Arabic language, the meaning of the words and sentences is concealed. And the structure of the sentence is complex. You read one sentence here and you find a sentence that clarifies that sentence somewhere else. Given the fact that most of these scholars would depend on the English translation for Quran, which is usually word by word translation and, therefore, wouldn’t understand it well. This is, in my opinion, one of the reason why when you ask someone who supports the concept of a woman leading a prayer would say: Give me a QURANIC verse or hadeeth that says that women CANT lead men in prayer?!.. If there is no Quranic verse doest not mean that it is Halal. There is also a quranic verse which says that women voice should not be loud and would give a restriction for women leading a prayer.

Sheltox said...

Have you read Ali Guma's (The mufti) opinion?

Hani said...

Hear, hear! Bahrainia/Bahrainia - well spoken!

fake said...

hahahahaha... I always love when supporters of patriarchy talk about women's mysterious, debilitating "periods" as proof, I mean PROOF that they cannot do all the "important" things that men do.

Guess what, I can sing on my period. I can dance on my period. I can - now - even swim on my period! I can go to work on my period. I can go to class on my period. I can give a lecture in front of thousands of people on my period. Even - even! - when I have cramps! And guess what, I can lead prayers on my period.

In fact, my religion teaches that women are especially powerful and close to God on their periods.

But I guess none of that matters to people who don't want women to be public voices for God. This includes people like you, but it also includes most Christians and Jews and members of all sorts of other religions, like you correctly pointed out.

It has nothing to do with "racism" and everything to do with wanting women to "keep silent in the Churches," as St. Paul said.

Well good for you - you can keep having your women-free religious services and congratulating yourselves for how awesome you are. In the meantime, us women (Eastern and Western, Northern and Southern, Backward and Forward) who want to be public voices for God in His many forms will be speaking out and changing the world.

Tootles! :)

Liaquat Ali said...

Where does it say in the Qur'an that a woman cannot pray during her periods?

Dalulla said...

I agree with you pissed arab.. I am too. they are doing nothing but giving way to unnecessary conflicts. but i really do not understand Ali Goma'as opinion on the matter. I never heard of a muslim female as an imam for both men and women in a prayer.. nothing pointed out by Prophet Muahammed (p.B.U.H).. Allah yadeena wa yady 7al al moslemeen we yestor 3aleina!

sonomod9 said...

Alright since many of yous assume that women don't have the right to lead in prayer why did the Final Prophet command (not request) for Umm Waraqah to lead in prayers for the people of her household?

And how about the previous episode of Umm Salamah leading prayer for women of her household at the instruction of the Final Prophet (PBUH)? Remember this particular request of Umm Salamah was previous to Umm Waraqah.

Does Dr. Amina Wadud need to spill blood in order to lead a mix-gender group in prayer? Mind you the earliers scribes and collectors/organizers of the Quran were women such as Aisha and his other wives.

Why not take these episodes into account before you dismiss the credibility of a woman leading in prayer. Unless we need to wait for the Final Prophet (PBUH) to tap the next woman to lead in mix prayer again.

Remember Islam is so flexible, not that Muslims will ever enjoy all the freedoms that Islam has to offer, no that couldn't happen now could it?

choclosteve said...

You asked a reader to point out a Chrisrian female preacher. There are many, but they are not of the Catholic faith. The Catholic faith is very sexist, but the majority of Christians are not Catholics, just as the majority of Moslems are not Shias. I would not point out the worst practices or beliefs of moslems as representing the characteristics of all moslems, and I think the same should be done in attempting to understand christians. I believe the Koran has some good things to say about some christians who crossed paths with your prophet and/or his companions. We all need to work on our own paths, and pointing our fingers at someone else is taking focus and energy away from our own work.

Abdul Rahman Hilmi said...

Liaquat Ali: If you're only going to take your "evidences" from the Quran then these women who support a female imam shouldn't even be praying in the first place because nowhere does it say in the Quran how a Muslim should pray anyway. We learn that from the hadith which does tell us that only men could lead the prayers.

Sonomod9: Women can only lead other women in prayer. The examples you gave only had women involved. None of the people praying behind the woman who lead the prayer is a man.

Mohamed said...

I wonder if a woman is leading on a friday prayer, and surprisingly only men had attended the prayer. Does anyone think that the woman will be confident to lead then, being backed by hundreds of men, ah and the part when they say Ameen following her soft voice.
People that does not make sense there is no logic here.