Another Woman Leads Islamic Prayers Amidst Controversy

March 28, 2005

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On March 28, 2005 The Christian Science Monitor reported, "During her pilgrimage to Mecca, Asra Nomani was surprised when men and women prayed all together; in her mosque in the US, women weren't allowed in the same room.

That experience fueled her personal jihad (or struggle), which, she says, is to reclaim the rightful role of women in Islam given by the prophet Muhammad, but denied by centuries of cultural tradition.

After years of trying to bring change in the mosque, Ms. Nomani and a woman scholar have taken the revolutionary and controversial step in recent weeks of leading the ritual prayer in front of both men and women. That bold action has sent e-mails flying globally, stirred vigorous debate in the United States, and brought condemnation by scholars across the Muslim world as a violation of Islam."