Muslim Woman Battles for Right to Pray Beside Men

January 4, 2004

Source: Muslim Wake Up!

On January 4, 2004 Muslim WakeUp! published an article by Asra Q. Nomani on her battle to allow female Muslims to pray beside men in her West Virginia mosque. Nomani writes that "excluding women ignores the rights the prophet Muhammad gave them in the 7th century and represents 'innovations' that emerged after the prophet died. I had been wrestling with these injustices for some time when I finally decided to take a stand... CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has concluded, based on a 2000 survey, that 'the practice of having women pray behind a curtain or in another room is becoming more widespread' in this country. In 2000, women at 66 percent of the U.S. mosques surveyed prayed behind a curtain or partition or in another room, compared with 52 percent in 1994, according to the survey of leaders of 416 mosques nationwide. And yet, notes Daisy Khan, executive director of ASMA Society, an American Muslim organization, 'The mosque is a place of learning. . . . If men prevent women from learning, how will they answer to God?'"