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Muslim Women in Prayer Congregations

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14 years 3 months ago - 10 years 4 months ago #31 by umm asma
umm asma created the topic: Muslim Women in Prayer Congregations
I remember reading an article in my local newspaper questioning why when Muslims pray in congregation the women are always isolated at the back of the congregation behind the men and the men are always upfront leading them. It was evident that the article meant to imply once again that when it comes to religion of Islam women are second in line and are often placed behind men (both literally and figuratively).

Trying to understand the western standpoint in this matter, I decided to visualize what a western non-Muslim might consider to be a more equal arrangement of the congregation. I first visualized the Muslim women without their modest clothing and instead wearing fitted and revealing clothes with low tops and high skirts as one can easily find western women wearing nowadays. I then visualized the rows of Muslims in the congregation with women standing next to men, and men standing next to women in no particular order and perfectly intermingled. And finally to top it all off, I visualized a Muslim women at the head of the congregation leading the Muslims in prayer. Finally with my visual complete a number of questions came to my mind. How in the world is a Muslim man to focus on his prayer and worshipping Allah while to the left and right of him stand women in a most revealing and provocative state? And how in the world is a Muslim woman to focus on her prayer and worshipping Allah while she is dressed in such a manner that naturally brings out shame and shyness? And how in the world is the Muslim woman, at the head of the congregation, to focus on her prayer and worshipping Allah while she bends over again and again during prayer and to the back of her are hundreds or even thousands of men?
I would imagine that were Muslims to leave their beautiful tradition of worshipping and praying to Allah in this particular way, and instead incorporate western liberal ideologies into the manner in which they pray, that their attention during prayer would be diverted from the sincere worship of Allah towards disturbing and evil thoughts and ideas.

Let me just say that, as a Muslim woman, this idea of men leading the congregation and being at the head of it while I follow them from behind never crossed my mind as oppressive or unequal but rather best suited for the distinct nature of both genders. Rather, when I see a congregation of Muslims worshipping Allah, the Most High, my thoughts are more occupied with the beautiful manner in which they bow and prostrate themselves to Allah as one unified body of Muslims. And let me just say that I have found this manner of prayer to instead maximize focus and bring peace to the heart.

All the praise belongs to Allah, that I am a Muslim woman.

Umm Asma
Last Edit: 10 years 4 months ago by umm asma.

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