Women in Mosques
Channel: Munir Ahmed
File Size: 69.05MB
This event is organized by ISB campus. So please do check out our websites, www dot ISB in the older UK, if you like what you see, please do join us. And if you'd like to know more about future events, please check that out as well. So our canvas mission statement is to ensure a space for young British Muslims to explore faith together and nurture a generation of positive and positive purpose, balance and moral integrity. So we have quite a wide range of events coming up now. So I'll start with our circles. So our next e circle is by badulla, Boma and hundreds of subotic on the journey to the soul. So we have these these circles every two weeks on Wednesday. And our E circles cover a
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So now I'd like to move on to what we have in store for us today. So Dr. minear, will be speaking first, followed by Dr. Khadija.
And I'll just give you a quick introduction of the two of them. So Dr. Munir has studied Islam for 30 years with teachers across the world. And he stayed a feeder fick and Koran and Dr. collegial shell is an academic. She is an Associate Fellow at the our LEAD Center for study of Islam and contemporary world and at the University of Edinburgh. She's an author. She's the author of many articles and books regarding Muslim identity politics, Islam activism and equality in Britain. So Dr. Mayer will be speaking till around 630 followed by Dr. Khadija and then we'll have about a 15 minute q&a session for any questions any queries please do pop them in the box below. So now I shall
hand it over to Dr. To speak for us so go higher.
There's like Willow Hayden, fumble. elagabalus Amina Salatu was Salam ala ashrafi nbo with more cellular Allah Allah who was sacked me years Marina my bad
brothers and sisters Somali Kumar, Ashima la he will occur to praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds Peace and blessings of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi salam after greeting you all, let's get right into it. We'll try and cover what we can in this
topic. And because it's a big topic if we analyze and dissect it, and I'll try and give you an overview and perhaps some of the questions can bring out the other stuff in regards to women in mosques. Of course, the whole LinkedIn association is with Salah, Salah when it's made obligatory in the Quran. Clearly everybody realizes that the obligation is on men and women with the obvious exceptions in regards to men's is etc
so when Allah smart maintenance in many places akima Salah to to soccer Oh fat happy masala for Adult Soccer so establish all of your Salah and pay this occur even though it comes the RP mo in the order in in the masculine form clearly in Arabic and also in Arabic language rules it covers male and female all together it doesn't have to say separately to the males you establish allow female to establish if everybody understands it covers both and that is in many places when Allah mentions in fact the massage it in Surah Elgin Allah says we're under massage that the lucky fella today oh my Allah he had and surely the mosques or the place of worship belong to Allah. Allah tada Oh, is do
not call upon and it's saying in a masculine plural
sense when it comes to females as well. Yeah, do not call upon it both categories male and female in the mosques meaning, don't call on anyone with calling Allah smart Allah meaning aside from Allah don't call on anyone. So
that's not a big debate.
Some people actually took issue in the Gospel verse But it is more linked with their background of particular ahadeeth why they did the sin of this I like this, but this is in Surah a note so that 24 where Allah says, feeble you think Alina, Allah, Alina Allahu, and torrified where you've got a fee has small, in, in the houses, in houses, in homes in places in buildings a concern where Allah has ordered.
Allah has ordered and talofa mova setting said that these places be built and raised dog farming is raised to be built meaning masajid and to be cleaned and to be of places of worship but about Wales got a few hairs small and in it his neck in them no masajid His name is mentioned you so be yourself be hola houfy habila what do we what are Sol that they glorify Him in it morning and evening and the next ISS and this is the point of contention regional so who glorifies him. Richard Tooley him to Jara to buy on.
eBay or miss Walla when you all miss sala de la he is a karate a half on a a woman that allowable fee Hilco Lubo well goes or it says if you look at the translator and say, men because it says ritual in Arabic, those who are not distracted or distracted by their business, commerce and buying and selling, they're not distracted from the remembrance of Allah subhanaw taala and from establishing salah and pain, this occur their fear a Day,
a day in which the heart
and the the eyesight division will shake and be overturned.
Some of us even if Nicosia says here, reach out means men. Yeah, in other words, men are the ones in the mosques. So some argue with this idea. But actually, this is very important to understand as a rule of understanding Arabic language in the classical text of the Quran and the Sunnah, the word regional, even though literally means men very depends on what context it comes. ridgedale can come. For example, besides from the jail we have the context of pronouns when they come in the masculine plural form will cover male and female some examples we just give a far law verbs that comes come, and the male and male form cover male and female in the, in the singular or plural sequence, it can
But riddle, many people came to the conclusion on the inner in a literalist understanding would say that this means just men, but actually, it's not necessary. It depends if the word regional comes with men's thing and the sell are in Brighton the opposite gender together in a place, then it can mean separation because of the context. And otherwise, it's the context of the diversity I or the sentence will also indicate to you whether this means men or women, this means people that is also loosely how Arabic language works that when the word reality is used, yeah, then there's a bit like
in English language classically, and people pick on it now mankind or men will do this, but it didn't mean literally only men in men, human beings in men, men and women will do this. And it was used in the same way in at the time of the Prophet sola salon at the time of reylo revolution.
So of course, because in the end, it can't be limited to just men because the if Go on, saying that they bet. If you're saying in the market places, which is where it's talking about Business and Commerce, and buying and selling, it doesn't detract them from the remembrance of Allah. Well, what about women? Do women and men can women be involved into Jarrah and buying and selling by
Let's you say saddam Of course it can be so. So does it include them that these things must detract them from the remembrance of Allah smart Allah? Some some professors try to say oh yeah, when men are in the super soak in the marketplace they're buying and selling they leave everything to go see a gang is going to go play in the mouse all right? for one minute bless surmise that it's only men who are selling who said it's only men who should be selling at the stalls. Yeah, women can sell out the souls as well. Okay, let's summarize the What about women customers? Can they not be customers? Of course it can be so what do they do they just ignore the anon and carry on? Of course not. So
includes them. The very understanding includes them anyway. Yeah, includes men and women. And establishing song playing this account means men and women. Yeah, yeah, Hakuna Yeoman. They're fair the day when the hearts and the site will be overturned, to the females not validated. Then the eye after that gaze goes Lazio. Mon la who accent amilo in order, Allah can reward reward them. Yeah. So if you're saying in the previous way, certainly men, then you will say only the men are being rewarded for the best of the best of their deeds. No X ray, is that mean there's no reward for the women. And this is only talking about men. It's not it's talking about men and women. We established
salah and paisa Khan who are not differently attracted, where we are see the woman fugly and increase a light creases for them for people for believers, men and women from his bounty. The prophet SAW some use the word Rachel in many statements. For example, He says when he's insane was playing to our module to our mortgage, we get the Roger lane. What are our mo?
What are our moral Lane? But I'm Roger lane. Yes, the arbor theological and the Hadees carries on the the fold of if you want to be literalist, the fold of one man is not for two men, the fold of two men is enough for four men does not apply to women? Of course it does. So Rachel here means the food of one person. Yeah. All the promises. No, I'm saying
follow these people highly Muslim. mean, everybody will cover you and yellow and our gradual while he died. He from the biggest of the major sins is literally translation that a man insults his parents. Yeah, pale, K, a yellow rajul. Valley, they hear a Salalah. They said, I said how does a man in se parents? Can women not insult their parents? Is that not included in the major things biggest of the major saints? Or is it only for men? Nonsense in his men and women. So even though Rachel is used, it means a person, a person and a hadith carries on that a person who how they do it because they couldn't imagine Sahaba directly insulting the parents and the list goes on. I haven't
got time to go into.
As far as the presence of women in the mosque is concerned it is absolutely it's replete, the ahaadeeth or Santi from Bihari Muslim others are replete with the idea of women sahadi yet, including Omaha to movement in adjoining in Georgia in the the obligatory prayers in the masjid and
there are very Sotheby's but, of course, the most famous of the Hardys
is from the Prophet sallallahu Sallam where the prophesied Islam said last time that we met emac last time now EMA Allah He massaged you don't massage de de la he?
Well, yeah Regina not feel that. For example, in this study, it says
and I'll come to there's various versions of it but this one from Abu Zubaydah that do not prevent the women, the wedding, the slave female slaves of Allah, Allah means the women here doesn't mean slaves as in slaves. It means a female slaves of Allah as the bodies used to come a book but specifically for the women here in Mount Allah from the massaging of Allah. And in this terrific mentioned the condition and they should come they should come out from the homes to go to a MOS toughy lab meaning not wearing perfume that is attractive kind of perfume to draw the attention in the masjid. Why? Because actually, they were in the same hole as the men and prophesize. So I'm
sitting in the best of the support of the roads for the men are the ones near the front. Yeah, and when he says the shot, it doesn't mean worse in the sense that they are sinning. Yeah.
meaning they're not the best the ones that are towards the back, encouraging coming to the front. And the best of the rows of the women are those at the back, meaning they start making their rows from the back of the same hole without any curtain without any walls in between. They're not in a separate hole in exactly the same hole. Yeah, and the opposite to that is the ones at the front. So shall doesn't mean here that they are committing a sin. And they're the worst people by all means. Because when the mosque filled up, what's going to happen and it did at the time of the Prophet size, as well the Sahaba would be right behind the female Siva will be right behind who were in the
their front rows will be right behind the Sahaba who were just in front of them. Yeah, as it fills up that way. So they're not in the they're not doing any single committing evil by being there the purposes of just encouraging
encouraging, encouraging, starting by that statement, he's encouraging starting when you come into moss as men to fill start rows from the front and when you come in as women to start from the rows from the back. That's the other and context of of this Hadith of the Prophet SAW Allah so of course he needed to say that because they were in the same hole. And you have
other hobbies have mentioned the condition of the Hadith mentioned about law.
The most famous is from other lines that are not regular one we've already had one probably when he mentioned about not wearing perfume most famous one is from a blender Oman saying let him know Oh, Allah He massaged a lot. Yeah, do not faint meaning do not stop your women that meet female slaves of Allah from the message from the massage of Allah.
This Hadees has also been reported
in various chains in various books, admirable dowloaded Nicholas aima, obey Haki interesting these ones I'm going to mention now, I'm not in Bihari Muslim. Yeah, doesn't mean there's no authentic teeth in it. There was a man at Magwitch or not in Mojave Muslim and abodo. No doesn't mean that but it's interesting here and there is a reason you can see why they include them.
For example, there are various hubby's from various Sahaba on selama one of them were for example it says hey roll the back the Profit System says on some of us a favor massage and then the SIR guard will bow to him now the best of domestics for the women are a dark small room in their in their homes or in their houses.
Another one which makes it the best is a small private room which is better than the courtyard which is better than the the main large
room in the building. Yeah, which is
better than her going out for the prayer to the mosque. This is all from on cinema. Another one from on the woman as I said earlier, on, which is mentioned by Albay hockey has the same comparison of a private room being better than a larger room and that being better than the courtyard which is better than the masjid etc. Another one famously from ohmvr made a sadya from tagliata game the third Samia,
which mentions about her wanting having the desire to pray with the Prophet Salah Salem and the prophesied some saying to her, yeah, that you pray in your room is better for you than that you pray in the courtyard that you pray in the courtyard better for you that you pray in the masjid meaning with the Prophet sallallahu sallam. So
similar to the heaviness of
omo McMahon is a parabola and underline the owner
numberland elmers hubbies is also mentioned in this version in athma aboda old in net hoceima I'll be happy to help him
out Abdullah almost had Eve the famous one
mentioned inside Muslim doesn't have this addition the additional the main one is saying do not prevent your women last time don't miss a kumal massage you do not prevent your women from the masjid do not stop them going. What do you do hold now hula hula this edition is only reported
In these collections of asthma ramboda old Edna Jose malbay hockey, and the critics of her teeth pointed out that there's only one reporter or only a few of them who are not reliable compared to the others who have added this extra bit
that their homes are better for them. The authentic version of the Hadith of the landowner is reported without this edition from the Latin Omar sons Salim obey the law and beloved is also reported from his students nafi and more jahai bills are all authentic reports of disbelief in Muslim and Bihari all of them have the bit where it mentions do not prevent the women from going to the masajid not the extra bit which says and be there homes are better for them.
This extra bit is not authentic. No, it has weaknesses. There are other weak reports from Abu hurayrah and we've never spoke. Now, some people said and one of the shakes and other Hugh says similarly that chef Billa fillets, I think, Sarah Listen to me, I heard these comments as well say that when you have so many different chains of report for weaker these, you bring them together and they corroborate and support each other and becomes Hasson
that's not fully the the truth of the issue.
We can leave people especially this is a problem with the latter day and present day, many shoe they don't realize when the moon mentioned the idea of a weak report on her D supporting another one too big mahasin. Firstly, they meant it has a slight weakness. So nowadays people take because there's lots of chains, these ahadeeth which I mentioned, all of them are very weak and there's more than one problem in the chain. You cannot use a Hadeeth like that, to support it. So to make a hustle Hades number one, so has to have a mild weakness and perhaps you can come arrived to her certainly lady
has certainly lady that can be used also with a condition that it doesn't produce a new ruling which is not corroborated in the Quran, or authentic Hollywood cha Sufi. These are Hadith, even if you were to make them huson would be would be introducing a new new ruling, which is that women's prayer best is in their home. So, therefore, they would be rejected on that basis. Nevertheless, nevertheless,
it is true that the majority of Allah ma of the muda he took these ahaadeeth here and took them and made rulings on them on these ahadeeth which made which nevertheless, notice from Dominica He therefore from the HANA fear, and Abdullah Shafi amalickiah nobody could prevent any women from coming to the mosque to pray. And they didn't. The classical Mullah have opinions up till this day a lot in some Latter Day. 100 fear I've taken liberties with the idea, but actually the Hanafi position and all that they never said it is haram for a woman, therefore to come to the masjid, they still follow the part which the prophet SAW. So don't stop your women from coming to the masjid.
It's just that they put a lot of
conditions, and some of them with the greatest of respect to the Allah and mother who and I and I, and I always have that. But mother and the followers and the teachers are human beings. They're not alone is messenger. In the end, if we look at it, then for example, Abu hanifa put the condition that is disliked for the young women to come to jamaah dislike macro he said, Yeah, macro couldn't see her on.
And it is fine for the old woman to come to come out to pray in the most believers opinion. She could only do that for mother and father Anisha because it was dark. his immediate two students, Abu Yusuf and
Mohammed Shivani. Emma has to share their opinion was that the old woman can come to all of the prayers, all of the prayers. So the idea and actually the others as well.
Yeah, Mali, Kenya was probably the easiest with it, but solar Shafi and habila they were okay. But generally they all focused around the idea of woman being pretty not just being young
pricky or having our parents of young even issues old their dislike for to come to the mosque, which I found really no basis from the Quran, nor Bracey, from the Prophet Salah Salem. So I'm afraid with the greatest respect for I found it, I find it preposterous. And actually, in practical, it would mean actually the women who came to the mosque must have saw themselves as ugly. Or somebody would have to stand at the mosque from the men and decide, right, that one's a pretty one, go back on MK rule for you. You don't feel pretty sorry. You can come in, you can pray. That's the only way you can implement that. Or some woman looks in the mirror. If you guys decide for yourself. I'm not very
pretty. So I'll go to the mosque. What kind of nonsense? That's the conclusion of what they're saying. Yeah, so I'm afraid I have to disagree with it. Because it has no basis from the prophet SAW Islam, prophesied Islam, me made a general statement. And actually, and actually,
the prophet sighs you I can understand why he said it like that, actually, because he knew it was the men who are going to try and put obstacles in the way for women to come to the mosque. He even said when she asked permission, and the word is designed is used. It's not permission, like a child asking permission is like the husband being there. And the wife went to the mosque that when she informed you she's going do not stop her. Yeah. Do not stop her, publicize them directly to the man. Yeah, do not deny her. In other words, you have to agree with it. So all imagine have this debate and agreement, discussion of whether it's obligatory for a man to say yes, or whether it is highly
Running out of time, so that that thing about the prophet SAW some you can see what he was trying to do any new Yrp where the men were going to go. Yeah. And they went on very, very early on. I mean, you're talking about Abu hanifa, who died 150 after his era. Yeah. So very early on. And some of them hold on to this statement of almost many with the greatest of love or respect to our mother, mother of the believers was the greatest of scholars
had using the word she used. Lo
you want me to stop lotor saying, Laura soon Lysa lasala me sir lemon, Allah number 30 had the prophet SAW Islam you said, seeing what new things that women are doing, he would have prevented them from the massages. So nevertheless, that is hurt. He still had an opinion. And she didn't stop any women from going to the masjid. It was a statement she made which is authentically mentioning Bihari Muslim is true. So how does the how the ad blend Massoud had his own opinion? That is authentic to him? He was very strict in regards to women even coming out from the house Never mind what the masjid yeah as far as he was concerned let me stay inside all their lives whenever they
come out to the house is a true statement of blood never saw with the greatest love or respect from the line Miss old Red Yellow Yeah, who said that when women come out to the house however they come whether they come with the cop dress shirt on welcomes them that was his opinion that statement sometimes
pushed on as though it was a statement of the prophet SAW something which is not you know, what in the in the in the football has used. This said in our time in our context.
One I suspect was the good looking woman, which is a big problem for me. The other aspect is said or there's a lot of facade around. Yeah, badly behaving Muslims, and they're gonna tease and it'll cause the cause of fitna for the women. Yeah, so they were doing that, making it mcru out of that context out to security and safety for the woman. So if you have further if your situation changes, and we have a situation now in Britain, for example, women going back in the car to the mosque, yeah.
Time's up. Fine. I'll stop that. Zakho her and for that, I'm sure like many appreciated, many clarifications being made. We have a lot of questions. Don't worry, we'll save them for the end of it will be answered. Now. I want to hand it over to Dr. Khadija.
Sorry, can you hear me okay, firstly? Yep. Okay, great. Well,
yeah. Thank you. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Dr. Noon for that really
engaging presentation, I think it's it's always important to sort of look at the sources in the evidence, when understanding some of the dilemmas that we face today. I think just to start off and really
make clear what it is that I'll be looking at.
So I'm not going to touch on any issues. Obviously, that's not my area of expertise at all.
I'm going to be looking at the issue of mosques in society. And what I mean by that is to try to understand or to illustrate a bit about the historical background to the to why we're at where we are, in terms of the landscape of mosques in the UK.
And some of the sociological realities that our communities face in terms of
how well how inclusive or exclusive mosques are. And before I start, I wanted to put out a question to, to the attendees. I'm not sure if people are able to unmute or
put their hands up first, or maybe put it into the chat. I don't know. I mean, maybe you can advise, but because you can put it into the chat or.
Okay, perfect. So I'll put out a question. And if you guys and I'll keep an eye on the chat box, and I'd like to take just quickfire answers from people. So if I asked you, what does a mosque actually mean to us? What does it mean, when I asked you what does the mosque mean to you?
What what comes what comes into your head? If you could just type whatever comes into your head into the into the chat box, or it can be they can put it into the q&a? box? Okay, right. Okay, q&a down, please.
Let's see what we've got our chat safety I've got from you, man, community center,
prayer hub, place of worship, prayer, prayers, community hub, community center,
Anything else? I mean, what would you say space place of worship? So community center community hub is coming up a lot. Safe Space sacred place.
So yeah, safety. This is really a man's club. Okay, that's very interesting place to connect with Allah and other Muslims, a place where we fulfill our responsibility place of refuge, men zone, House of Allah. Okay, fantastic.
That's great. There's, there's some overlap of what people are saying, I can get some few strands that are coming out of that. One of them is that people look to a mosque as a place of sanctuary and a place of safety. People look to it as somewhere where they connect with other people, in terms of keeping your community hub connected their faith and spirituality. And there's obviously
a bit of
a few comments that speak to the fact that people feel excluded in one way or another, you know, and I take that from people saying that it's a men's clubs, which obviously means it's not a women's zone, it's not open to people who aren't men, or they're excluded in one way or another.
Someone said something like, so have to saying it becomes become something else. So there's a sense that the role and or the function of a mosque is shifting or it's it's adapting, or it's changing, or it's not what it used to be maybe.
So if we bear all of that in mind, I think what I want to take us back a little bit, historically, to think about our Muslim communities in the UK,
that established themselves in the post war period. And so I'm talking sort of late 40s 50s 60s, when the first immigrants from Muslim majority countries came.
Countries which which, which nowadays we refer to as the Commonwealth,
came to the UK, in in large numbers. So the initial immigrants that arrived from our countries of heritage,
where by and large men who came to up, right, so they didn't arrive in the UK, with a view to settling with their families, necessarily, I mean, some did, but that by and large that they they arrived to fill a labor shortage, to make a few quick bucks as it were, and to work very long hours
without their families. So in terms of what they were looking for, in terms of mosques,
that there's a huge contrast with what we think of when we think about mosques today. So these young men would have been many of them residing in, you know, multi accommodation that sort of accommodated multiple people. And, you know, to the extent that they were working, you know, long, long, long hour shifts, you know, people will be sharing sort of sleeping quarters, they'll be older people who would look after young people when you come as and they would help one another insourcing, for instance halal meat or other essential items, as well as you know, organising Juma prayers together and praying with one another. And so, mosques were often sort of makeshift
places that people were able to cobble together to fulfill their needs, but they weren't sort of designed from
Rach with the idea that people
would have families and children, men and women, and that they would cater to various social needs. Now, when people began to be these, these, what we call pioneer migrants began to be joined by the families later on late 60s 70s 80s. And then other waves of migration that came after that.
Gradually other the shape of our communities as they were established, as they laid roots began to change. And even then, a lot of people who arrived in the UK
came from cultures where
if you think about a Muslim majority country, where a mosques role, again, might not necessarily align very closely with what we envisage of a mosque today in the sense that it's a hub and it conducts a huge amount of function. So if I want to, for instance, for if I asked
you guys to think of maybe you're the largest mosque in your locality. So if you think of something like I don't know, if you're based in any London, if you think of like the East London Mosque, or if you're in Manchester you think of I think, I don't know, if it's the largest mosque like the British Muslim Heritage Center, for instance, that comes to mind.
If you think of mosques like these,
we know that they're multifunctional in many ways, right?
If you think about maybe you guys can throw at me in the q&a box, again, some of the facilities that these mosques, offer to their congregations.
There, I think you'll agree with me that much, much more than simply a place to pray. Obviously, the prayer space is the primary function of a mosque first and foremost.
But the the function of these spaces is so much more multifaceted. There's so much more to it. So I've got funeral services teaching for our food bank, Mom and toddler, I students like a mom and mother and toddler group.
You know, some mosques, have gyms, mosques, have schools, mosques, have nurseries, they have like elderly befriending services, they do a lot more than simply provide people a place to pray. So often when we talk about the place of women in mosques, if we think historically, we think about how our mosques sort of evolved and developed in communities, where women necessarily firstly didn't necessarily exist in huge numbers. And then when they did arrive, they were coming from cultures where
attendance, you know, prayer tended to be conducted at home, right. And it's not about whether it's acceptable or unacceptable. from a perspective, that was just the norm. That was the orifice as people say, in Arabic, right? The people used to pray at home.
Now, second, third generation, fourth generation Muslims in Britain, the reality of life is completely different. So we if we think about
the modern life that we live today, what makes it different. Now, some things that come to mind when when we try to analyze that are things that don't necessarily they're not exclusive to Muslim communities, they're things that we all experience we live, you know, we live in our nuclear families, we don't live in communities, where people necessarily have access to sort of support from extended families or from their neighborhoods where people have intimate relationships with their neighborhoods where people offer support to one another. That's something that is lacking, in many ways. So many of the support roles that people would have had in their communities. For instance, we
talked about, for instance, childcare being offered at mosques, elderly, befriending food banks, all of these things might might have happened in other circumstances outside of the mosque. But our mosques have become hubs for that, and mosques aren't exclusive in this, if you look at other faiths, if you look at churches, if you look at temples,
all of these places of worship, to some extent, offer these services to their communities, because they have become hubs in that sense.
So if we talk about,
you know, whether or not women can be involved in this,
I mean, even even posing the question, it seems ridiculous, because firstly, the reality, the fact of the matter is that women are involved in these things. And not only that, they often lead them and they often, you know, initiate them and technicon you know, the bulk of the role for these things,
often without without necessarily being given recognition, or support, often, often against, you know, they do this in the face of very serious hurdles.
so, so that's one thing, obviously, I mean, that, you know, the facts are not, you know, there for us to see, if you think of any one of these services. We all know women who run these kinds of things, whether or not they're acknowledged by their communities.
you know, in terms of
if we think about specifically about Muslim communities when we think about the the challenges that Muslims face in daily life, so we think about the fact that, you know, some of phobia is something that we all are aware of whether it's sort of in the everyday or in terms of sort of structural issues that we face in our professions, in our places of education, Republic, you know, to to deny women access or the same kind of access that men would have
to a mosque, which would otherwise provide a haven or would provide a place of as you guys mentioned, in the in the chat box support
or spiritual upliftment would be an absolute travesty. Okay.
So So, I mean, we've established that mosques aren't simply a place for prayer.
And we've established that the reality of even asking this question of should women be allowed? Or to what extent should they be allowed in is almost? Well, it seems like a ridiculous question to be asking, from from a practical sociological sense, because the reality belies that reality is that they are involved, whether people like it or not. But actually, what we come to is a very sensitive sometimes issue of basically what boils down to power relations. So we all know the sort of typical
stereotypical image of a mosque committee when I say mosque committee, what comes into your mind put that into the q&a, guys?
No, I'm not I'm not seeing people's comments. Okay.
Oh, man. Okay, great. Oh, it's all coming. Okay. Lots of tea. Oh, man, men organizing Ramadan, Asian community elders, men. Okay. There is a lot of agreement in terms of the
the response Freemason. Okay, that's interesting.
So people are generally saying
old men, Asian men, cups of tea. So it's like an old gentleman's club, basically, that's what comes into to people's mind. So when we move to talk about governance, in mosques,
given that so much of the work within mosques is carried out by by women.
And that reality, in reality, they're not excluded, because they take on their roles, and they are dedicated to their communities, whether or not their communities want to give them that space. How can we think about governance, acknowledging that reflecting that, and actually appreciating that
the bringing women's voices on can only
enrich and improve the services that our mosque offers, and really sort of be much truer to the mission of a mosque?
So I know that some some some organizations, for instance, talk about, you know, copying women into their committees, for instance, or setting a quota for women's inclusion.
Does that the question that braises? is, what does that do? Does that sort of,
does that create a bit of balance for a while?
Or does it? I mean, does it solve the problem in the long term? Or is it something that's more of a short term solution, these are things that people need to think about sort of within their communities and raise and discuss and a lot of that comes down to who the actual individuals are and what they have to offer, and what change can look like when it's being brought about. But other aspects of inclusion that I think people need to think about when they think about how mosques can be opened up and made more accessible to people, not just women, but but there are so many
demographics of people that
that are excluded or marginalized from from the experiences of being involved in mosque. So young people obviously comes to mind, but also people who are disabled, for instance, or people who are new to the faith, or people from certain ethnicities in certain communities. So when we think about what this inclusion looks like, we want to think about, for instance, the architecture of mosques. So I talked about people who are disabled, for instance, I know one of the mosques, local to me, has this unbelievable, very windy staircase that goes very narrow, very windy, steep staircase that goes all the way up to the women's section. And I think it's about three or four flights that you've got
to walk up. And by default, what that saying is that if you're one of the young children or if you're disabled, or if you have any mobility issue, and you're a woman, you're you're not, we don't really care whether or not you're oppressed face.
And so these are things we need to think about. Again, when we're sort of looking at planning,
organizing our mosques and
Looking into the long term,
another sort of aspect that comes to mind is a culture of discourse that we use in our mosques. You know, often we hear, for instance, preachers use language that might be, well put it bluntly misogynistic,
in an effort to appear sort of cooler or appeal to young people,
oh, make a joke. So these are, these are
things that, you know, filter through. And I'll wind up really by, by by highlighting some of the
the impacts that all of these considerations have on our community. So what I don't want us to do is when we consider these issues,
is to think about how can we accommodate women as if that's some kind of extra, you know,
extension or favor that's being offered. For women who are complaining or who want sort of adjustments to be made, or preferential treatment, I want us to think about these issues as things that affect our communities as a whole, that affect our men as much as they affect our women. So they affect our boys as much as they affect our girls weren't. So when we were absolute, it's a mistake to think about how,
you know, we, you know, adjustments can be made to the way mosques are run, or set up in order to please women or duplicate them or to keep them happy.
You know, I want to highlight, for instance, that, you know, I'm well aware of young women who have grown in our communities and the young men to be frank, carrying. I mean, there's no other word for it. But trauma basically, after having seen the way that their mothers, their aunts, their grandparents, are being treated, you know, if you think about young boys who see like, who, for instance, attend the mosque with their mother, and they're told that they can go to the men's section, but the mother has to go to a D sort of base, then that's full of mold, or, you know, with no window or whatever. What does that say to this young person? What does that say to this young boy
that he's been given access to, you know, perfectly clean, spacious, you know, inviting whole, whereas his mother's sort of relegated to to a dungeon? You know, what does that what kind of attitudes are we ingraining in our communities,
so that there is a trauma with that. But there's also, we also have to think about how what it does in terms of shaping people's perspectives, how they treat one another outside of mosque spaces as well. And there's a dissonance there as well, when you think about young women who, for instance, in their education system, are told constantly, you can achieve everything you can achieve anything you put your mind to, you should be ambitious, you can change the world and they go to the mosque, completely constrained. What whether it's because of the discourse that's used, or because of the architecture, because it's set up because of the fact that they're excluded from from decision
So this internalization, that people have a second class status, but also at the same time, you know, the fact that it pushes people away, and that, you know, the facts are there again, for us to see that there are so many collectives of young people who absolutely understandably,
you even though they want to hold on very much to their faith, which is hugely commendable, but absolutely, understandably seek to organize themselves outside of mosque spaces and find that, you know, actually, I'd rather prayer jump out with my friends, somewhere where I'm comfortable, rather than prayer, where me to constantly feel like I'm second class or whether I don't belong, or whether I have to second guess whether I'll even be allowed in.
So, so the impacts of excluding women from mosques
are just, you know, tremendous, a tremendous burden for our communities to bear. And I think that was also something I wanted to highlight.
So yeah, I'll stop there. I think there are a few question. I haven't had a chance to keep up with the, with the q&a. But I'll stop there for now. I think. If that's fine, that's fine. We'll cover the q&a in like, a minute or so. So that's, that's perfectly okay.
So, yeah, there is I called her and I think it was you made some really important points, especially regarding accessibility in our machines and attitudes, we sort of ingrained in our communities and young people. And Zach ohonta, the both of you actually tackling this important topic with such a detail. So with Dr. Manu, we discussed the development of moss, the fake the fake side of the topic, as well as taking us through how we were new machines were seeing during Apostolos time, and with Dr. Deja, we've been addressing our current social landscape. The role machines play in our community now because of leadership, opportunities, access and support for women, and certain
realities we are experiencing. So without further further ado, I would just open up the q&a and we'll start with questions.
Actually, so the first question actually is, which versus RB is, could you please our stock souvenir, if you would be able to pass on the Quranic references. Also, lots of people are asking if the references for the Hadeeth can be shared and which is authentic or weak? So we'll start with that. Well, that if you want me to answer that I could take half an hour itself, which is authentic, which is weak, I tried to point out some of the weak ones. And I've, in summary, have said that any of the ones which mentioned the prayer of the woman woman being better at home, yeah, all of those hobbies are weak. All the ones mentioning don't prevent your women from attending or don't prevent
the slaves of Allah attending the masajid.
Those are all authentic. Yeah. And during Bihari Muslim, and others, admirable doubt,
the some of the chronic as I mentioned,
one was about the massage of Allah being calling upon.
Non but Allah or don't call anybody aside from Allah is in Surah Elgin,
around the middle of surgeon, I've got the exact reference for it. And the one
that mentions about the men but I believe meaning people
remembering a lot in mosques and and their commerce, and then buying a sign not attracting them is sort of a normal sort of 24.
I'll see if I can quickly find it for you. I want to say
one or two things just in summary, which I'm more important than just giving you references, which you can find yourself.
Yeah, very tasty.
So at 24 versus quit, versus 3637.
Brothers, sisters, this issue of the masajid can you believe I was dealing with this you 30 years ago, with the same frustration, I hear the same story sadly now than I did I heard 30 years ago, and we're dealing with this things have changed a little bit where women Converse or otherwise are out and about either traveling, and the time for prayer comes and they go to the masjid. And the door is opened by the caretaker and say they want to pray. Otherwise, they're going to lose that prayer, actually, and they are turned away and it's raining outside or snowing and freezing. And they're travelers or the husband's allowed in to pray and she's not allowed. She has to wait outside, she's
actually got no place to even wait. So I know stories where our sisters have gone to a church to go and pray or a Sikh or Hindu shop to go pray. And I said at that time, 30 years ago, many times it's a disgrace and a shame. This this is unforgivable. This is not based on any matter, not unbelieva hip including 100 fee and most most amasa hana fees.
Say even the ones that say it is disliked for women to come, who are young, who are a good looking, they still allow some women to come in other words, there must be a clear a prep place in every Masjid for the women, I think is absolutely preposterous. They are going against a lot those who haven't provided in a mosque, a place for women to pray just as good as the place for the men. They are going against Allah messenger and they should be afraid of what they're going to answer to Allah Spano tala because Allah deals very severely for those
fun woman at the moment my man I'm sorry the light and your coffee has mobile. Yeah, who is more wrong doing what is more wrongful than someone preventing people praying? Yeah, remembering Allah. And in the massage it? Yeah, so and they're preventing. They're preventing women. And this I believe this is despite following the vibe which I still have.
issue with to actually not provide the place, I think, as I said very strongly is against Allah and His messenger. And I believe, a place a mosque in this country that doesn't have a plan of prayer place for women to be reported to to the government. That's probably how strongly I believe about it. I've no, I'm not gonna mince my words, because I think they have a right islamically time a place to pray. And they certainly have a right on top of that. So even government, if people are not changing, they're bringing the law and I said that for 2530 years ago. They're sad if it's going to come to that things have changed. I can show you committees and I've been involved with them in
mosque where there's women and men being involved, young and old, being involved. All right, then I've changes but you know, one of the problems is our own systems themselves. Because our own systems themselves. I've got this idea that mosque is not the place for us to pray. It's better to go and play, pray at home. I've seen sisters who are actually having meetings in the mosque, or they're running a madrasah and they're having or having a circle, and the alarm goes on. The Salah is going on. I've been the Imam of mother Venetia. And the sisters carry on talking downstairs, they come here and do not join the salon. This is preposterous from the sisters and I told them off
actually I went down and I said what are you actually following?
Can you imagine that happening at the time the prophets Allah, Allah Sahaba would always present in all the all the sores, even on the heart and what many from home for who screening came specifically for them? They were treated by the client, not like other women, even they
attended. I like I said they attended the masjid for Salah. Yeah. And screening was mostly for them. Yeah, most good for them. They all try to use Yeah, many classical allamah and present day go further try to use the chronic worse in zurb Surah 33, verse 32. And you have to look at the is on either side of it, saying what Gaddafi we used to call now and stay in your homes? Yeah.
They said Oh, because they try and say and that was the opinion of Dylan Masuda. Perhaps that affected many allamah from that time. Yeah, that when we stay at home, then believe when we shall be coming out anywhere unless it's a dire need. So they don't want them to come to the mosque. Now look at the society. We have here in this country women go out to work women go out as teachers, women taking their children out. Yeah, women involved in business in commerce going out shopping or they're not. Right. So now we try and apply the same situation with the classical scholars who actually want the women banned from coming out and say don't come to the mall. So we can go
everywhere else that women they go shopping and I you know, our sisters Juma is going on and they're going shopping to the to the mall. What's that? What's that? I believe Therefore, it is not makrooh for women to attend the mosque, I believe it is. So Namo Akita highly recommended for the men, but some leniency given to the women because how Islam views that the maybe your Menzies may be children at home, etc. Right. But it is most the hub high recommended nevertheless, for women to come and get the 27 the classical Allah, they don't want a woman to come to a Muslim cinema crew, as some of them actually say it's actually not allowed for me to pray in JAMA with women at home. So she can't
actually they actually preventing her get the 27 times on a 10 by 25 times more reward. She can't do it this way by coming to a mosque and she can't do it at home. What a joke.
It's an absolute travesty. Yeah. And in regards to those hobbies being weak, I'm not the only one my teachers share how Billa LGB comm nadwi some of you will know it is their opinion, these are these are weak, as was the opinion of classical scholar in the hasm from the Bowery school, and he was right. So the issue is a big issue. And I find it still
people not addressing
this need to actually look at you know, sometimes brothers sisters, we are talking amongst each other. We're talking the converted, you know, in our mosque, we have a mosque committee, our brother and sister and and my views I mentioned in the last there are many mosques in this area who don't even see as a proper mosque because we have women on the committee, they send it to the chairperson, or you're not a proper muscle. I hear you've got women on the committee.
You'd be shocked.
Yeah, so we've actually
vandala been involved and brought that in the last 20 years, but it's taken time. Yeah, you have to work along with the people. And some of those old people that you are on the committee are very necessary, because they are actually promoting the views that I'm mentioning here gradually, and the people will listen to them. Because it's a gradual, if you suddenly put a lot of young people, brothers and sisters on the committee, the committee, you're gonna lose them. They're gonna say, well, these people were they were not listened to what they say it's a process of education.
We actually have another question for you, actually. And we have quite a few questions. So it's was the banning of women from civic society, including congregational prayers, largely a result of British colonialism and Empire, which was then justified by scholars of India? It's quite interesting. Absolutely not. No, the problem is ours.
Yeah, that's why I say we should use the government here to actually open up the mouth disposal the problem. Yeah. And the problem started very early on, sadly, by the common mean, radi Allahu anhu comment, but almost meaning some people have got the idea under some false stories going around, that she actually prevented women from going to the mosque. It's not true. It's false. She made that statement, but she didn't have the power to overrule Allah and His messenger. Yeah, neither did Allah. This whole story is going around the almost stop worrying from going to the mosque. It's absolute nonsense. I see the authentic hadith says that even Omar could not prevent his life from
attending the masjid. Yeah. But authentically, and his wife is being asked. Yeah, why do you go when? You know Omar doesn't like it? Yeah. And he's a very jealous person, why you go to the mosque to pray. She said, Why do you think it is? Yeah. And then this conversation in the authentic Arif mentioned, because Ahmed knows that the Prophet salaallah salaam said, gave an order do not stop. That's why Omar can't do anything about it. It can't be the profit system cannot be overruled. Yeah. And ultimately, when they send a crew, they were very careful. They can't see her arm. Yeah, they can keep that raw, based on the weaker these are based on their culture with them. I would say
sisters, even if they found, you know, and in our Muslim countries, you know, sometimes people say all, sometimes it's not saved yet for our Muslim women to go to the marketplaces. And I've experienced it with my own wife and my daughters in Syria. And in Egypt, I would be very happy without would think about 567 times before I took my young daughters to the marketplace, because sorry, to
let everybody know that we will be extending the q&a till about 715. Just because it's a really important and great topic, juggle a home for your patients. I've been to those places in Pakistan, in Syria in Egypt, where men will walk past and touch up the my daughters or my wife.
I'm not kidding you. Is that more likely to happen over there in our Muslim country? Or over here? I'll tell you much more likely or they're not supposed to be Muslim country. No wonder then some of the scholars say, Oh, don't let the woman come out. She's good looking. Because they're worried about themselves not controlling themselves. The problems in themselves. Yeah, so if that's not the case, here, woman here, if somebody gives, make some dirty comments, the woman here she can apply them to the police straight away. You're going out in a car to go and pray to the masjid. Yet, unless of this plus for your place of security, not for men to be eyeing up women, because they come
to the masjid isn't it is it? So if a problem is with the men, then you don't. And there's a tendency in our culture to blame the woman actually, they blame the woman for her beauty which Allah gave her rather than controlling their own desires. So instead of wanting to control themselves, they say, I'll tell you what, you're beautiful, just stay at home. So we don't get tested. It's absolute nonsense.
They're actually lots of comments coming from women. And they're terrible experiences for most. So we received them before and during the conversation, so it's clearly something that needs to be addressed. And then I have another question, actually, what for? Dr. Khadija, so someone is asking is electing or selecting women on the mosque committee, just a token gesture?
In your opinion, I think it can be yes, I think I've seen many situations where it has been, but not necessarily. So I think that what I wanted to highlight i don't think i dwelt on it too much in in the talk, but I think
I want to highlight that it can be a solution, and that, you know, it shouldn't be the case that most committees exclude women
or that there but but also just having women on most committees, you know,
I've seen situations where women, you know, there there is like, you know, huge fanfare around the first woman to be in a on a specific mosque committee, for instance. But when I speak to that woman, she'll tell me, you know about how, you know, she's not really given a voice or she's spoken over, or she's, you know, meetings are held at times are inconvenient for her, and that she's excluded in other ways. Right. So. So I think there is a lot more to it. I don't think that is the only solution. And I think, you know, that we have to look at the holistic ways of tackling these issues, that it's, you know, very comprehensive, that consider all the very different layers to exclusion
that have accumulated over decades, and have been internalized in many ways. And so that involves asking some very difficult questions of ourselves, and really interrogating ourselves and asking ourselves about, you know, things that we've become accustomed to that we may have internalized men and women
and really addressing, you know, what is it that's, you know, there's very little that is sort of, that's mandated in terms of the way that we run our mosques. From a religious perspective, there's so much flexibility. And I think that there needs to be this sort of really honest conversation that's had that includes that carries everybody, all stakeholders in our communities.
As I go around for that, another question is quite interesting, actually. So what should most be, like in a decade from now in 2031? And how does real change happen? What can we actually do as women to combat these issues? And what should our action points be moving forward in a bit, you know, open ended, but I didn't what you want to say on that?
Yeah, I mean, you know, as as doctrine has said, you know, it's been 30 odd years, or whatever these conversations been had. And, you know, I remember as a child, hearing these conversations being had in communities and living through them. And, and here, we ask them the same conversation, you know, people have tried different things. So 10 years from now, I mean, I don't know, there's a lot of factors, we have to think about consider, I think there's an ideal, which I have, in my mind, you know, I'm a parent, and I, you know, I'm raising children, I would love for them to think of a mosque is somewhere, you know, that that brings warmth to their heart that that sort of makes them
feel welcome, you know, the word sanctuary that was used in some of the responses to the question I raised, you know, something that really appeals to me that it's somewhere that people see as, as a haven somewhere where they feel safe, where they're able to ask difficult questions. I think that you know, that this comes down to the issue around culture that will that I raised earlier, as well, that, you know, in our mosques, often there is this sense, I think, partly is because of the fact that we have that my addresses are quite closely connected to mosques and mosques, host addresses, will have hosted and addresses. The, the nature of education in these settings often is quite
uncritical. And I think people tend to, in their minds associate mosques with with
censorships a strong word, well, maybe that's the word or but also, you know, not feeling comfortable sort of, to ask difficult questions to express doubts that they have, but I think mosques should be a haven for that. Because we are, you know, a situation where we're, you know, if people can't ask difficult questions within our safe spaces that we facilitate for them, then then where are they going to ask those questions? So so these are things that are sort of I would hope for how we get there. I think it's all of us. And I don't think it's, it's not about women, sort of making their voices heard on the road. I think it's something like I said, it's a whole community
issue. And all of us have to see it as that, you know, and we can't see it as something that, you know, when we're making specific allowances for women, so that they they stop bothering us, basically, I think it's something that, you know, we want to think about the future survival of our communities.
If we want to care about our children, basically,
then then we need to appreciate that every single person here has a responsibility to play their role.
Of course, yeah. call home. So I think we have time for just one more question. So I would love to do so someone's asking Why do men have less rewards than women? for praying at home?
Why do men have less rewards than women for praying? Oh,
women for praying? Yeah.
Who said they have less rewards?
No, listen, the idea. The idea in the end, that if you pray in JAMA men or women, and Gemma can be your husband and wife praying together. It can be a father at home leading the family in prayer, then the reward for the Salah is 25 or 27 times the reward of praying on your own right that 2520
Time is still there, when you go to the MOS, however was added to it is the hotel work is the effort that you make to go to the mosque. So therefore, it takes her Ward to another level, because of what's extra is the tip, because it's prayer in JAMA. But the effort to actually get there and to come back is added to that rule. I want to say, falling on work assistance. This is a process brothers sisters. And it requires involvement. If brothers sisters and their sisters especially are not volunteering and getting involved, because it requires voluntary effort in the community to be involved in the mosque activities, even suggest activities
linked with the mosque. So sisters need to come forward. Yeah, as male and female need to therefore come forward. And that involvement will play a part if not just walking in that I'd like to be on the committee. Yeah, whether male or female walks in and say, Oh, I'd like to be on the committee. I know what we and the committee will say on top it meant we've sent it to many males, not because the gender because they're not doing anything the committee and just want to walk in and say I'd like to take in the title of the committee, nobody's going to agree to that. You have to, you have to show your interest, part of the interest. I urge my sisters constantly in the locality, but I haven't got
anywhere, is to come to the prayers like the Sahaba did. If we're saying that it is not better for women to pray at home, then exemplified by actually coming. If the sisters were coming regularly for MongoDB, Shao, fudger, etc, yet, that will that's what's going to change the mindset of men, as well as the mindset of women. And I said, I said, there's a problem with the mindset of women themselves, our own sisters. So that part that's part and parcel of that, and it requires also patience and summer, when sisters and therefore of what I believe is that it is absolutely haram for provide a mosque for to not provide a place for women to pray in. And if it needs to go to the government, it
will be very good if it's taken to court, one such taken to court will put all the other mosques in line if they are prosecuted one mosque, all the rest of the most out of fear will now suddenly start thinking I bet we better provide actually facility. I think that's the only way it's gonna happen in this country. Yeah, that's really interesting. I'm not going to cause trouble. But I think that it's just that we're running out of time. zappo
don't believe in women going off on their own and having a woman only mosque? Because I think that's not acceptable. Yeah, so thank you.
Sorry to cut you off. I'm really sorry. But thank you, both of you for answering those questions Really? Well, I'm sure if anybody has any questions, they can check out our website, we'll get in contact with you. I just want to wrap this up quite before everybody needs to go. So this event was put on by ISP campus, a space for 17 to 26 year olds to ensure especially young British Muslims to do a lot in our society. There is a whatsapp group if you want to find out more or if you want to keep updated. Our next masterclass is on the 28th of February. That should be really exciting. It's on critical issues in history of the Koran. So please do join us. We have a circles every two weeks
on Wednesday. The next one is on the journey of the soul on the third of February. So please attend that if you can. I think it'll be really informative, and they'll continue as well. And we have why um, circles as well for 11 to 16 year olds on Friday evening. And we actually have the new ISP school initiative.
Sorry, we have our seminar on the 12th of February from 730 to 845. And this is to work with schools to help teachers deliver the RA syllabus, please do get involved if this sounds like something you would be interested in. So if you'd like to be kept in touch with everything I've spoken about and more. Like I said, there's a WhatsApp chat, and there's a link to that in the in the chat. And if you'd like to see what we're about, please do check out our website on wwe.isv.org.uk. So does that go home for joining us today. Thank you Dr. Khadija and Dr. Maria for taking the time out.
bill everybody, Cayman law