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Message Icon Topic: Oh no, it’s spreading! Post Reply Post New Topic
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kim!
 
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Quote kim! Replybullet Posted: 25 April 2005 at 6:19pm

I really admire you girls - HOW on EARTH do you put up with expressions like "general offensiveness of women’s own congregation"?

I keep thinking I find all these good things in Islam, and then I discover that God hates us. Or, at least, he allows men to hate us.

Kim... 

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herjihad
 
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Quote herjihad Replybullet Posted: 25 April 2005 at 7:37pm

Bismillah,

And it's even worse when the women agree with the men.  Anyway, I didn't become a muslimah based on those types of things.  I love Islaam, the prophets, pbuthem, and the lifestyle of discipline and joy in life that I have (sometimes).  Because when Allah, SWT, created the earth, he promised his Mercy was greater than his wrath. 

There are people who are making all of these quotations who believe only in pre-established laws and allow for no new interpretations.  I am not one of them.  Thousands of years of mysogynists made up laws that I do not recognize.  (like you're going to hell for shaping your eyebrows.  Some people just don't want to think about things.  It's easier to mimic. 

 Allah, SWT, gave us brains, and we are obligated to use them. (I'm just talking to Angel.  Please don't be disrespectful because I disagree with you.  ISA the Muslims who advocate women leadership will get more respect from others.  I admire women and men leaders who stand up for what they believe and listen to their followers.

 

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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ummziba
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Quote ummziba Replybullet Posted: 26 April 2005 at 12:20pm

The original post for this thread got separated from the replies when it was moved.  It can be found under the same title "oh no it's spreading" with ummziba as topic starter.

Here is a follow up report published today in the Toronto Star:

From the ritual to the spiritual

RAHEEL RAZA

At the rate poison darts are soaring towards me, one would think I led a chorus line and not an Islamic prayer!

Yes indeed, the fatwas are flying (I already have one from a Saudi network based in the United States, thank you!). The GTA Muslim community, even those who profess to be liberal, are doing what has become the norm — condemning without considering, labelling without listening and judging without justice. Since the Talibanization of Pakistan, I'm well aware of stoning first and debating later.

Let me confess where all this began. About three weeks ago when Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC), asked me if I would lead a mixed-gender group in prayer, I said No! I wasn't ready to be part of a media frenzy.

Tarek and I have agreed to disagree on many points, but we have what I call "a dignity of difference" — a respectful exchange of ideas, which is a characteristic abysmally lacking in some parts of the Muslim community. My husband convinced me that it would be a natural progression from giving sermons in churches, praying in synagogues and temples to lead prayer for my own community.

I checked with a professor of religious studies who was an imam in Toronto. He said categorically that nowhere in the Qur'an does it specify women can't lead prayer. Also, when the Prophet Muhammad preached his message in a male-dominated society, he did not speak out for or against women leading prayer. As a matter of fact, women at that time were entrepreneurs, theologians, mystics and also participated in war. I'm extremely impressed by these female role models.

The three men in my life (two sons and spouse) encouraged me to take this leap of faith — what more could I ask for? I've always believed God created us equal and that spirituality is not dependent on gender.

However, there are many people who are barred from places of worship. Some women have stopped going to the mosque because they are stuck near the bathrooms or kitchen due to their gender.

More important, all worship in Islam begins with a declaration of intent. My intention was not reactionary, not defiant and definitely not a show of militant feminism. It wasn't about a battle between progressive and conservative — it was about sharing some profound thoughts with my fellow Muslims and also to help other women find a safe space to worship.

April 22 was Earth Day, and after moving the venue twice (because so-called liberal and culturally progressive centres refused to have a woman lead prayer), a backyard in Cabbagetown became the sanctuary. A motley crowd of about 40 people from as far as Oakville and Pickering came to join in this historic Friday prayer, among them an imam, women in hijab and diverse Muslims from various backgrounds.

There was no security guard posted at the door to check ID credentials or people's intentions since I don't believe that is our mission in life. I am responsible only for my conscience and answerable only to God. This event also was an attempt to break the domination of a few misguided bigots who try to reduce God to a policeman.

Although physically I led the prayer by standing in front and reading the sermon before the prayer, we all were bound by our united submission to God. I felt we were truly blessed.

Why? Because the brave men and women who chose to stand behind me and pray empowered me with a responsibility that made my own prayer more poignant and meaningful. It allowed me to move away from the ritual to the spiritual and actually hear and understand myself better than I ever have.

At the end of the prayer, some of the non-Muslim observers had tears in their eyes and were touched to the core. Some participants told me they had not prayed in years and were thrilled to come back into the fold.

As for the critics, let me try and understand where their problem lies. Our message was one of tolerance, peace, spiritual equality, compassion and love of Allah and His Prophet. Obviously that is not the message coming from mosques that base their sermons on negating others.

While this service was not the ultimate move for reclaiming our place in Islam, it's a fact that our faith is frozen in time. Dialogue and debate, also known as ijtehad — an important cornerstone of Islam — have been deemed an unnecessary evil and stopped since the 16th century. So the hope is that events like this one will open the doors to that much needed discourse and put us on the path to enlightenment together as men and women in faith.


Raheel Raza is a media consultant and freelance writer.

 

Peace, ummziba.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they break my soul ~
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Angel
 
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Quote Angel Replybullet Posted: 27 April 2005 at 5:53am
Originally posted by herjihad

 Allah, SWT, gave us brains, and we are obligated to use them. (I'm just talking to Angel.  Please don't be disrespectful because I disagree with you.  ISA the Muslims who advocate women leadership will get more respect from others.  I admire women and men leaders who stand up for what they believe and listen to their followers.

Huh?

And why would I be disrespectful if I don't agree with you ?



Edited by Angel
~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~
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herjihad
 
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Quote herjihad Replybullet Posted: 27 April 2005 at 6:45am

Bismillah,

Sorry.  I put paragraphs in the wrong place.  I meant the other people reading it, not you.

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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Angel
 
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Quote Angel Replybullet Posted: 27 April 2005 at 7:05am
Originally posted by herjihad

Bismillah,

Sorry.  I put paragraphs in the wrong place.  I meant the other people reading it, not you.

ok

~ Our feet are earthbound, but our hearts and our minds have wings ~
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umsami
 
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Quote umsami Replybullet Posted: 13 May 2005 at 6:22am

Originally posted by herjihad

I don't want to pray beside a strange man.  Make separate aisles and more people will support you.

Nobody prayed next to a strange man.  There were women on one side... married couples in the middle (so that wives only stood next to husbands or women next to brothers)... and the men on the other side.

Personally, I like what they do in Indonesia... by having a partition down the middle of the prayer hall, rather than putting women in a balcony or separate room.  That way, we really are separate but equal.  Women can still hear the khutbah, see the Imam, enjoy the nice large space... without feeling like 3rd class citizens.

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herjihad
 
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Quote herjihad Replybullet Posted: 13 May 2005 at 11:06am

Bismillah,

Thank you for the enlightening information!  That sounds great! 

We prayed at a center in Maryland years ago where they had the structure like you say they do in Indonesia.  That was much better than the balconies.  Seeing who the speakers are vitalizes our community.

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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