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semar
 
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Quote semar Replybullet Topic: In Turkey, Mosque Gets A Woman's Touch
    Posted: 21 October 2008 at 3:44pm

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95940942

 

In Turkey, Mosque Gets A Woman's Touch

by Ivan Watson

Sakirin%20Mosque The wealthy Sakir family commissioned the Sakirin Mosque, the first in Turkey to be designed by women. ZF Design

Sakirin%20Mosque     The Sakirin Mosque's dome is 130 feet in diameter, coated in aluminum composite. The facades are decorated with a combination of glass and wrought-iron grills. ZF Design

The role of women in Islam is an issue that's been furiously debated, especially in Turkey — an overwhelmingly Muslim country with a strict secular constitution.

The governing pro-Islamic political party was almost banned this year after it tried to allow women who wear Islamic head scarves to study at universities.

In the midst of this controversy, several Muslim women who do not wear head scarves have quietly reached a new milestone — these artists are helping build a mosque.

For centuries, Istanbul was the seat of the caliphate, the capital of the Islamic world and home to hundreds of magnificent old mosques. Now this city of countless domes and minarets is about to get a unique new addition.

Zeynep Fadillioglu is one member of a team of interior designers and architects overseeing the construction of the Sakirin Mosque. It is Fadillioglu's first mosque.

"I think I don't know of any other person — a woman — who has designed a mosque before," she says.

Tall and fashionably dressed, with long blond hair, Fadillioglu is better known in Turkey as a figure from the country's cocktail-sipping jet set. She made a career decorating restaurants, boutique hotels and homes for the very wealthy.

A Contemporary Spin On Ancient Art

In the mosque, Fadillioglu is putting a contemporary spin on religious art from the Ottoman era.

The iron on the mosque's enormous iron and glass facade was hand-crafted by specialists in Istanbul, Fadillioglu says. "The glass etching has got different layers of gilding on it, which is from verses of the Koran," she says. "We wanted people to feel more left alone with God in this place, rather then being distracted by too much ornamentation. I think that makes it more contemporary at the same time"

Fadillioglu also brought in other female artists to help her on the project.

On one particular day, beneath the mosque's 130-foot diameter dome, Nahide Buyukkaymakci instructs a worker on how to hang dozens of blown-glass rain drops from an asymmetrical bronze and Plexiglas chandelier.

The glass drops are inspired by a prayer that says Allah's light should fall on you like rain, Buyukkaymakci explains.

"Even though I'm not really a practicing Muslim, this is a very special project for me, because it's the first mosque to be designed by women," she says.

Professor Ali Kose studies the psychology of religion at Marmara University's School of Theology.

"Traditionally, the mosque is thought to be a place for men only," Kose says. But he says women played a much greater public role in mosques in the days of the Prophet Muhammad. That role, he says, deteriorated over time.

"Islamic societies, by time, have become male dominant societies," Kose says, "and this affected every part of life, and also affected the religion as well."

'More Room For Us To Pray'

Istanbul's Mihrimah Sultan Mosque was built in 1547 in honor of a daughter of the sultan. Muslim women are allowed to attend prayers here in specially designated women's sections.

They are ushered with their children to a small, curtained-off area in the back of the mosque, while the men kneel in front on a vast carpet enjoying an unobstructed view of the mosque's beautiful stained glass windows.

After prayers, a woman named Deniz Urash and her mother complain that the women's section is too small and crowded.

"It would be nice if they made more room for us to pray," Urash says.

Fadillioglu says in many Turkish mosques, the women's sections have suffered from neglect.

"I have been to some mosques of that sort, and that disturbed me," Fadillioglu says. "So, I prefer the women to use the mosque as much as the man if they want to, of course, and the same way."

As workmen paint and sand this new place of worship, Fadillioglu vows to make the second-floor balcony — where the women will one day pray — every bit as beautiful as the men's part of the mosque.



Edited by semar - 21 October 2008 at 3:53pm
Salam/Peace,
Semar
The Prophet said: "Do not eat before you are hungry, and stop eating before you are full"
"1/3 of your stomach for food 1/3 for water, 1/3 for air"
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Gulliver
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Quote Gulliver Replybullet Posted: 22 October 2008 at 1:08am

"Traditionally, the mosque is thought to be a place for men only," Kose says. But he says women played a much greater public role in mosques in the days of the Prophet Muhammad. That role, he says, deteriorated over time."

Interesting. Not the only place that happened. I think quite often women are stronger in faith than men, and better at passing it on. They should have more prominent roles. Been arguing this with Catholic priests for ages.

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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 23 October 2008 at 10:47pm
After a long spell we seem to have two exceptional ones here. Women have played, perhaps, some of the most important roles in Islam BUT cultural or, shall we say, Vultural considerations side tracked them through our lesser times

How many of us are allowed to know that Muslim women were the first ever to nurse wounded men in the battle field?

Or the historical fact that the Prophet used to publicly race against Bibi Maria who was an excellent horse woman?

I feel Aristotle should be hanged for his palabras about women. And, then we should purge all those Muslims who keep their women as sheep. That was not the place for them ever in Islam.
Sasha Khanzadeh
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Quote Shasta'sAunt Replybullet Posted: 26 October 2008 at 1:52am
At the time of The Prophet and for years after women were very active. Not only did Muslim women nurse soldiers, the first to believe in the revelation of Islam was Khadeja. The first Muslim to die as a martyr was a woman, Sumayah bint Khayyat. Aisha is responsible for memorising more Hadith than any other person, and she led the Muslims in battle.
 
The mosques were never meant to be segregated or off limits to women. Unfortunately culture and patriarchal leadership reared their ugly heads and the Islam of equality as practised by The Prophet and the sahaba has been forgotten by most.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 26 October 2008 at 3:47am
Muslim Women even fought Jihaad! Not only did they provide medical assistance. I have read more than 2 instances in Bukhari. One was a lady who went into battle  . . and at first the muslims in the field at the time, thought she was a man (the way she fought). She was therefore given a share in the booty, since she participated in the Jihad.
 
Another lady, was amongst the women, in a fort - where women, elderly and children would stay , and when some Nonmuslim fighters tried to take over the fort, and enter - she killed some in defense. (or one, dnt remember)
 
Women not only attended Mosque, they were active participants. They would ask Questions, and if they could not hear what the Prophet was saying due to audibility, they would ask men in front of them to repeat it.
 
Infact, there were women with little kids, who would go to the Mosque - taking the kids with them. Accordting to hadith, the Prophet would sometimes shorten the Salaat  by reciting shorter Surahs - if he heard a baby crying in the Jamaat - because he did not want the mother and child to be distressed! Subhanallah!
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Quote Gulliver Replybullet Posted: 26 October 2008 at 4:35am
Why don't good Muslims and good Christians band together and discover the realities and truths of both religions in the earlier days. They've all been watered down and corrupted to a large degree by patriachs - men and their egos wanting to rule the roost. As we say here, "Tell 'em to KISS MY COOKIE !"  ;-) LOL  True though.
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Quote Gulliver Replybullet Posted: 26 October 2008 at 4:43am
This is off topic. I was watching the News last night about the children in an African country. That pig Mugabe (?) How in God's holy name that animal has such power. Was in the hospitals, and the little children dying from malnutrition and starvation. One little four year old girl - looked about two she was so emaciated. And she was having bouts of diarrhoea while sitting on her mother's knees, and the mother trying to wipe her child with her turban. Really disturbing stuff. That Mugabe is not allowing in aid and denying it. They had police and medical staff talking about threats etc.
 
Dunno why. It's those stories that never leave your mind. You pray away for them, but wish you could do more. I wondered - what Muhammad would do with all of that, as a real social activist who cared for the poor and suffering.
 
Was another story of a 16 month old child abused by her 'father'. He beat her, fractured nearly every bone in the little angel's body, and then finally lays her little body overf his knee on her back and snaps her spine in two and kills her. Nearly made you throw up even thinking about it. Makes you feel so many very powerful emotions. If you met someone doing that - you would be very, very hard pressed not to want to send them straight to hell. Does make you wonder about good and evil for sure. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep that night thinking of these poor children. Maybe sitting half the night and praying might do some good. Dunno.The world can be a terrible place - especially how the children and innocent are made to suffer.


Edited by Gulliver - 26 October 2008 at 4:47am
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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 26 October 2008 at 5:57am
Why don't good Muslims and good Christians band together and discover the realities and truths of both religions in the earlier days.

Till the 12th Century Islam was considered an off shoot of the Christian faith and, this might shock some Muslims, but Haroon er Rasheed and St John were drinking companions who sat up and discussed mutual matters for hors and quite regularly!

Plus, the Muslims, the Christians and the Judeos (jewish people) not just happily lived together, but ran, managed and governed el-Andalus for over700 years and the Osmania Turkiye for over 600 years - IN ABSOLUTE HARMONY.

The crusades were in fact raiding parties carried out by the starving Hang Low Sexnon scoundrels for the purpose of stocking up their own coffers - where else could these hooligans go? All rich life existed just in that belt.

Even the recent rifts between the Abrahimic faiths are manufactured, initially, for the British agenda in that part of the world - like that warmonger Churchill used to dream of having, say, hundreds of thousands of Jews doing our bidding in that quarter!

And then, of course, the Amrekanos took over from their cousins from this side of the Atlantic. Their empire was based on their financial hold of the globe. It has fallen badly and is still falling of the camel's back. And, next year when the US defaults, the global balance will shift away from these faithless scoundrels.    
Sasha Khanzadeh
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