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Ahmad Shafiq, Los Angeles - wrote on 3/17/2005 7:38:37 PM
Comment:Bismi'llah As Salaam Alaikum, I am on the Shurah
of Masjid Abu Bakr as Saddiq (r.a.) in Los Angeles. I was also worked everyday for a year converting the building we purchased into a Masjid. I insisted that we have comfortable accomadations for woman and I might add there was no opposition from any quatrer on this point the only thing brothers insisted on was that the accomadations for woman be such that sisters had a separate entrance,and a room where one of the sisters could be desiginated each jumah or other get together to watch small children so that they did not disturb the gathering,and finally that there be a dress code when sisters came to the masjid regardless how they choose to dress away from the masjid. Once these kind of concerns are addressed I think you will find that there no oppisition to sisters frequenting the masjid. If anyone outside of LosAngeles is interested I will send them pictures of our facility insha'llah.
Nahid, Cary - wrote on 3/17/2005 3:01:25 PM
Comment:The article gives great suggestion as to how to make our mosques welcoming and friendly for women. Mosques are not only places for prayers but also for religious education. If not more, than it is equally important for women to take part in these meetings. They are the ones who are raising the next generation of Muslims.
The shabby looking back door saying "Sisters Entrance" may also not be very welcoming for most women. I am aware that during the Prophet’s (Pbuh) time, during prayer, the women had separate entrance and filled the mosque from behind while the men had separate entrances and filled the mosque from the front. All I am saying is that women should have separate but equal facilities.
Mohamed Afzal Ebrahim, Gilbert, Arizona - wrote on 3/17/2005 1:13:54 PM
Your article on women's spaces in mosques was refreshing and excellent, and has highlighted an often ignored issue. As an architect who has designed several mosques, I am very much aware of the need of proper women's spaces in a mosque. While I try to integrate the issues of women's space in a mosque in my designs, I often run into opinions with the board members some of who relegate the womens' areas as not a very important space. At times when I have more control of circulation spaces in my design, women's spaces are treated with as much importance as in men's. In one of the mosque I designed (under construction now), the entrances (through a landscaped courtyard) and circulation spaces are given equal treatment and aesthetics; the spatial women's prayer area is located at an upper balcony served with an elevator, toilets, with the imam in full view by the whole congregation (men & women). While we do often hear various opinions of women spaces as well as other circulation aspects in a mosque, a solution that addresses and integrates most of the reasonable opinions, while quite a challenge, is not impossible. Education through a proper forum, such as your article is much needed. When minds will evolve positively, so will design of women's space and roles.
Batul, Orange Park - wrote on 3/17/2005 10:12:07 AM
Comment:As Salam alikum,This was a very important issue spoken about.Both the men and women are accountable for the organisation of womens' space in the Masajids.Both have to work towards it.The women during the days of our beloved Prophet sallalahu alahi wasallam & the during the days of Caliphs were very modestly dresssed when in a public place weather a masjid or elsewhere.
Ofcourse there should be a place for women in the Masajids but there should also be a dress code for both men & women for the Masjid.THere dhould be either two entrances/exits or follow rules like left side for men right side for women.This will also help the movement easily & there wont be any rushing & pushing.Also even if a small place is alloted for women it should have enough light ,air & sound(mike) facilities.Otherwise there is no point in having a womens' area alloted.FOr this women have to work hard & maintain their part of the Masjid by keeping it not only clean but pleasant too.As for the kids running about little children & girls can be with women & boys with men.This will allow the women to learn & work more & the children (boys)will learn from what the see.Jazakallah khair
judy kamalodeen, trinidad west indies - wrote on 3/16/2005 8:34:24 PM
May Allah subhan wat'ala bless your courage. it is about time we address some of these issues. I agree totally that women need to lead the struggle. The big question should always be: what was the sunnat of rasoolullaah ( sas). Did he prevent women from attending the masjid? No. Did he prevent women from attending jummuah? No. Did his masjid have curtains/barriers/tv etc? my simple knowledge is that he used a system of men at the front, children in the middle, women at the back. Who put up steel/wod/cement walls in our masajid? Why do we continue to allow women and muslims in general to have the shabbiest of conditions/facilities. We should be the best. Our masajid and jammats should be the most admired. Let us make this a collective responsibility. May Allah bless us all and guide us onto Al haqq. Ameen
Malik K Rahman, Charlotte, NC - wrote on 1/16/2005 3:33:11 PM
Comment:Thank you for presenting a balanced perspective on this topic.
Ameena Ali, Jackson, Michigan - wrote on 12/3/2004 5:02:13 PM
Comment:Bismillah Ir Rahman Nir Rahim - Eid Mubarak!
As Salaam Ailkaum...As the Zawjah (wife) of an Imam, I must both thank you and applaud you for your efforts in printing this! Allahu Akbar! I have spent all of my waking time, energy, effort and talent serching for a venue that would spark my mission for Allah (swt) although I knew it was in Service (as I am a Muslim Social Worker) in the service of Muslimahs, I just could not find the right "word" if you will, to encompass what I needed to do...well, Allah (swt) has brought it to me; I want to offically offer my time to you in getting a National Muslim Women's Caucus off the ground. This will be the conjoining of smaller Al- Nissa Groups to effectively, infect change in the Muslim community, for women. The only way we can bring about the REAL truth about Islam, to teach the non-believers is to BE the truth within our own community! Well, I am in! I am allowing every Muslim woman within the view of this email to contact me...ASAP to send me your email for this cause. Send me your thoughts, projects, interest...or just lay out problems, currently in your commuity, that need changing. I will respond to your cry for hep and together we can promote the unity that is the seed of effective change...Inshaallah! TAKBIR! TAKBIR! TAKBIR!
Send all replies to email@example.com. In the mean time I will develop an email and possible website for this! Thank you for your time! Jazakal Al Kahyr!
As Salaam Ailakum - Eid Mubarak!
Ameena Saabirah Ali
Nakia, Boston - wrote on 11/13/2004 8:50:56 PM
Comment:Asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah!
Subhanallah! It's so wqonderful to see a men realizing and standing up for women's rights. I work in a mosque that has a cramped, dirty, urine stained room for women, and has done nothing about it for years. I'm so heartened to see men acting like what they call themselves - our brothers, friends and protectors.
KH, Greensboro NC - wrote on 9/28/2004 12:45:36 AM
This article was so wonderful. Mashallah. It is imperative that we make space for our sisters and children at the masjid. I suggest that we do the following in addtition to comments that have already been made
Teach our children about respect for the prayer & the masjid. Often times kids are buck-wild when they are in the masjid--part of it is the lack of respect for the masjid & prayer and part of it is the cramped space.
Brothers need to take more responsibility with the children at the masjid as well. There is no harm in keeping your children downstairs sitting with you while you listen to the khutbah.
Finally we need to stop paralyzing a portion of our ummah b/c of gender by discouraging sisters and kids from the masjid.We live in North America where there is practically no place that a muslim family can go without being subject to haram circumstances. Even at the parks you can encounter scantily clan men & women or people using foul language etc. If we can't go to the masjid to fulfill our needs then what are we left with. If only one portion of the community feels welcome whats the other half to do--and the sad part is that the half that is paralyzed are the ones who are raising our future generations.
May Allah guide us all
D. Brown, Raleigh, NC - wrote on 9/23/2004 12:29:44 PM
Comment:My husband and I once stopped in an area masjid to pray when we lived in NYC. The guy showed my husband a closet and told him to close the door behind me and turn off the light. My husband grabbed my hand and we got out of there.
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