Gender apartheid in the Muslim world

Published: April 27, 2011

Despite clear warnings from the prophet (pbuh), it is a common sight that women are excluded from the masajid.

Before we had started praying, a man came running towards us from the front rows and forced us to stop. I was out of sorts and felt really embarrassed in front of about fifty men, when they turned around with eyes gazing at us fixedly, as if we had committed an act of blasphemy.

“But you are not allowed here.”

He took us to a dark, dingy warehouse on the far right. “Pray here,” he said. I looked around. It was a deserted room with unwashed utensils and dirty clothes scattered everywhere.

Not allowed? I kept thinking to myself. Why on earth am I not allowed to come to the house of my Lord? I was enraged but my friend put a hand on my shoulder as if to tell me:

“It’s okay. Live with it. You can’t change the system.”

However, for me, this was the worst form of sexual apartheid I had ever experienced and that too in a country which the maulanas and muftis are never tired of calling an ‘Islamic’ state. I am a Muslim woman and I am treated in a way that the holy prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would have never approved of.

Why?

Because, no matter what the maulanas say and what the feminists scream, one thing is as clear as daylight – ours is a venomously male-dominated society.  If you disagree, go to any masjid in the country.

Corruption is not just a defining factor of our politics and economics; it has more dangerously devoured our masjids. The Islam that we see around us today is not the religion that was preached by the blessed messenger of Allah (pbuh). It has been changed and abrogated to suit male needs and to satisfy their egoistic wants.

The worst place, to change religion is a masjid.

While women are allowed to attend weddings, study in co-ed institutes, go to parties and visit the busiest marketplaces, isn’t it  strange that they are not allowed  masajid.

Why these double-standards? Why this disparity?

Most (almost all) of the Islamic jamaats here in Paksitan deprive Muslim women of one of their fundamental rights – the access to true religious education. Women are shooed away from the masajid as if they are untouchables and the men, Brahmins.

In the recent past, I wanted to learn more about Islam. In my quest, I went to hear various Islamic jamaats (especially those which are considered ‘liberal’ and not ‘extremist’) to hear what they had to say and to learn the truth about Islam. I was disappointed that I had to leave them because they were extreme in their own ways.

They segregate and suffocate women, put them in claustrophobic religious domains and treat them as if they belong to an entirely different world.

The prohet (pbuh) allowed women to pray in mosques

Many men are going to find it very hard to digest but Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) warned his followers:

“Do not prevent women from coming to the Masjid (for prayer)”.

(Sahih Muslim Vol.1 Chapter 177 Hadith No.886)

He even went to the extent of saying:

“When the women ask you to go to the mosque at night, allow them.” (Sahih Bukhari Vol.1: Hadith # 824: Ch # 80)

Now we know as Muslims that if an order comes from Allah and his prophet (pbuh), we have no right to abrogate, cancel or disobey it. We can suspend it for a time being due to some abnormal circumstances (such as a suspension of the divine law of cutting of the hand of the thief as a consequence of an abnormal situation created by drought and famine) but it cannot be a permanent ban.

Yet, despite the clear warning from the holy prophet (pbuh), it is a very common sight today the world over and especially in Pakistan, that women are excluded from the masajid.

Such a flagrant violation of female rights has provoked bitter responses from women. For example, in New York, a female stood up to lead the congregational prayer. What are our men going to do when women have masajid for ‘women only’ and when they reach the pulpit to deliver the Friday sermon? We will have to pay a bitter price for denying women their rights.

No barriers, no separate rooms

The violation of women rights is not limited to their prohibition from entering into the masajid. Even if they are allowed in, an entirely separate place is allocated to them. This can be a basement, an annex, an upstairs corridor etcetera. If they are allowed to pray in the same hall, a huge barrier is placed between them and the men. This may be made of cloth, wood or even brick, thus making a completely separate place of prayer for men and women. The women can neither see the imam leading the prayer nor the jamaat praying. Thus, the women pray with their ears alone and not with both eyes and ears as it used to be (and most of us don’t know it) at the time of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had the women and men pray in the same space, with the men at the front and the women at the back. Consider this Hadith:

“The best row for men is the first row and worst is the last, and the best row for women is the last row and worst is the first.” (Indicating that men and women pray together in the mosque)

(Sahih Muslim Vol.1: Hadith # 881: Ch # 175)

This hadith is very clear and shows us that in the Prophet’s (pbuh) time, men used to start filling the rows from the front and the women did so from the back. Logic tells us that the last row of the males and the first row of the females might have the greatest proximity and it is in such circumstances that the sparks might fly. But this further strengthens the point that there was no barrier between the men and the women at that time. If there was, there could be no possibility of physical proximity and thus there was no need to mention the phenomenon of the first and last rows.

If a woman wishes to pray at her home, it is a matter of preference but that would not solve the problem for those women who wish to perform their prayers in the masjid and are denied the above-mentioned rights.

The remedy for this situation is that Muslims (men and women) insist that women be allowed to pray in the mosque, in the same space and without a barrier so that they can pray with both their eyes and their ears and that their vision of the congregation is not obstructed. Nothing less than that is going to save the Muslims from the charge of having changed their religion and nothing less than that can save them from the evil storm of feminism that is sure to exploit the Muslim ummah in the not-so-distant future and reap evil capital by doing so.

Disclaimer: This feature may generate provocative responses not only from the male members of our society but also from the females. However, I want to make it clear that this piece of writing is not written for creating dissension or to generate fitnah. The purpose of it is to generate an intelligent discussion from enlightened readers in order to break the complacency prevailing in matters of Islamic traditions.

Aaishah.abubakr

Aaishah AbuBakr

A literature graduate from the Kinnaird College for women. She is also a freelancer, poet and social activist.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Abdul Hye

    Well, go back to Khilafat and study what happened during the times of Umer RA , how the women reacted at that time and what was the answer of Fatima RA. By just picking two ahadith from two authentic books does not prove your point.

    There is a clear distinctive veil between na-mehram male n female.
    I would agree to your one point that there should be a room for ladies to pray, but it has to be separate and no- eye contact with the male section.

    Don’t you remember that hadith ? the place for woman to pray is her home and even better is her own room.

    Go back to Arabic dictionary and take out the meaning of word “Aurat” (something valuable, something to hide).

    Learn Imaan, and then Learn quran and hadith Recommend

  • Umar Tosheeb

    I absolutely agree with you. Time has come for a change. Religion is for both genders, the problem is that historically only men got to interpret it hence women have fared badly in it. Let’s change that. Recommend

  • Rami

    A good cause, and maybe good intentions too, but a mindless heap of words.
    You clearly dont have a clue about the rulings of the very religion you want to practice. You are also ignorant of hundreds of madrassahs for women in your country, even the more urban Al-huda. Find yourself a good teacher and a masjid to pray in if you are that enthusiastic. There are lots around. Dont whinge here in front of millions.Recommend

  • Waqqas Iftikhar

    see…i m not a guy who is ‘big’ on religion but, as far as i observed and can see…..in the kaaba in makkah, there was no real segregation of males and females vis a vis prayers, so if its good enough for the home of Islam and the ‘baitullah’, then it should be good enough for the remaining places of worship…..although i am anticipating a tsunami of derogatory comments comin your way – keep the hard hat on..Recommend

  • Qaisar

    whatever you say Aisha is absolutely right, but one thing that i like to come in your knowledge that Islam allows women to go in mosque but did not allow them to offer prayer with men.we have some mosques having a separate space for women to offer prayer. Recommend

  • Abu Bakr Agha

    Aaishah,

    You have every right to feel the way you do. I feel culturally the status of women fell so low in the medieval ages that even though time has progressed, the roots of this in the minds of some people have been planted so firmly that they can’t look past it. Because places like ancient India and Saudi Arabia have such a huge history of treating women as property or as a symbol of shame, even some modern people share an evolution of this thought. Women can’t vote or drive in Saudi Arabia, but we care more about the veil in France.

    I went to visit a friend at the University of Soneybrook in New York last spring and we offered prayers in a hall in the school with the women of the Muslim Student Association in a row behind us. Thats how, you correctly mentioned, it should be done.

    People tend to not be able to tell cultures and traditions of their ancestors and religion apart. I enjoyed this blog and i felt these things need to be voiced. The problem is that the people who need to be taught all this will probably never read this, and if approached will never believe it. Somehow, someway this has to be fixed though, correct you are. And what a fantastic last name you have.Recommend

  • Dania

    Well although i agree on the fact tht womem should b givn equal rights as men but as far as it cms to offerin salah our Holy Prophet (pbuh) said tht the most preferable place for a woman to offer salah is her own house and if a lady wants to visit the mosque to offer salah then there should b sm seperate place for women where none of the men can see her as it is said no matter u(a female) r @ home or ne where,u should not offer salah infront of ‘ger mehram’….Recommend

  • Salim Akbar

    I completely agree with the author, the status of women today is sadly very week in such societies. Reading the Quran, you will find every woman has the right to go to the mosque and pray openly in the same space with males (maybe somewhat like how they do at the Kaaba in Makkah). If you stress behind the meaning of the above quoted hadith in the comments, you will find that in developed societies where women are protected (and women should have the strength to protect themselves in today’s society), they have every single right to pray openly in mosque’s in the same space as men. Also, a lot of people don’t consider the hadith authentic as they were released several hundred years later after the prophet’s death. If you only rely on the Quran, that is better. If you remember, the prophet said “Today I have completed your religion for you”. I don’t know what part of that people don’t understand. Law always has to be man made, because the Shariah Law was also a man made law by the Abbassid Caliphate. They based it to keep their power intact and a deviating sharia law helped them. If you take the spirit of Quran, you need to have a pluralistic secular democracy in today’s modern world. Respect to the writer !!!Recommend

  • parvez

    I am no authority on this subject but the simple logic of your argument appeals to me.
    One gets the feeling that in this type of case the male is in some way intimidated by the female and the easiest way out, is to protect himself by raising a barrier instead of looking inwards and correcting his weakness. This is a male chauvinistic position being taken. Recommend

  • Muslimah

    Great article Aaishah! May Allah put barakah in your writing and may He guide us all to the right path! “O Allah! Show us the truth as truth and give us the ability to follow it and show us falsehood as falsehood and give us the ability to avoid it.” Ameen. Recommend

  • Dodo

    My comment didn’t clear the usual high standard of moderation here. D’OH!Recommend

  • Samantha N

    I believed (before converting to Islam) as Jewish girl in Brooklyn, that to take what you feel right when it comes to religion. It was justified by the various texts from what I read back then.
    The process was that, what you like is religion/faith but what you don’t like was “labeled” as Tradition and Occult.
    Now been converted to Islam for about 2 years i thoroughly understand reasons of ease given in Islamic practices when it come to performing “Salah'”, Fasting, Hajj’, Zakah’ and Jihad Thank to Allah SWT and his guidance given to me by various sources.

    Logic is “Ijtehaad” done by te early followers Sahaabah’ according to the guidance of Holy Prophet Mohammad ASWS not against it. Caliph UMAR was the most refined Mujtahidth so much so Prophet once said I am the Last Prophet but if it was not so UMAR RA would have been. It was because of the level of thinking of UMAR RA. Ayyath of Veiling of women and possible sentence to the prisoners of war, were coniciding with UMAR’s thinking that is why it was said By Prophet Muhammad.

    Women were allowed to come to mosques yes but were suggested to pray at home which was accepeted by the majority of women in Umar;s era it was rightly suggested as Men were more and the mosuqes were not enough to accomodate all. Also it was because of the reason that in case women might have to leave during prayers due to any medical conditions may not create distraction for Non Mehram Men.

    We pray in mosque in Brooklyn with men but in separate room a little behind 4 saff’. Now
    Islam is about obedience to ALLAH SWT not according to anyone’s wills and wishes. I know what wrong with other faiths and take it from me that they are according to the wills and wishes of humans.

    If someone even a man is correcting what I may be doing incorrectly, its ok and I would accept it Women are instructed to pray behind men not alongside them. Recommend

  • Dodo

    Ok let me try to “rephrase” my earlier comment so not to “offend” the moderators.
    @Author,
    If you read the quran and hadees it is pretty clear that the status of women is not equal to men. Women are considered somewhat inferior to men. Therefore, they have to go by men’s rules (i.e. the stifling burqa/niqab, namaz in the back of the room, or in your case, in a totally separate room etc. etc.). I quoted a hadees (earlier) to somewhat back this point up but I guess thats a no no here. Recommend

  • ANONYMOUS

    @Dodo

    It’s interpretations from misogynists like you which have brought the affairs of religion to this state. Islam clearly states that no on is better from another but in the case of Taqqwa. Who are you to declare that women’s status in Islam is inferior to men. If women have been ordered to observe modesty it is because Allah knew the baser instincts in the hearts of men. They follow God’s rules not as you so charmingly put it “go by men’s rules”. As for not being allowed to pray in mosques or being relegated to the backrooms. The author should not think of it as apartheid. We women pay the price for men’s feeble IMAAN Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel

    @Abdul Hye:
    you asked the author to “go back to khilafat”. I wanted to tell you that while the Americans did make it to the moon no one as yet has developed a time machine, which the respected author could have utilized to “go back to khilafat”. Therefore, until a time machine is made, I fully support the author using the power of ‘reason’ to reach a certain conclusion. I agree with the author’s conclusion. Recommend

  • SJ

    Dodo, I met a so called mufti the other day and he was telling me that Allah has made Aurat (Woman) Naqis (inferior) in three ways, by way of Intelligence, Strength and Status. I wanted to argue with him but my friend pinched me so hard that I still have the mark on my arm.

    Samantha, I think you have a long way to go before you start forming opinions about individual Sahabas and should not believe in each and every hadith put in front of you. You should read the Islamic history from different schools of thoughts, and not only from one author but different authors. By the way I’m not Shia, just in case if you were wondering.Recommend

  • http://www.wpf.org.pk Chup Shaw

    When we won’t study Islam by ourselves, and let these Maulvies n Mufties interpret Islam, We must face these kind of problems. Our most of Ibadaat have become rituals, performed by not muslims but people who are divided into firqa’s, under the supervision of their respective firqa’s Maulvie. In this kind of situation, can we come up with solution to solve any of our problem including the above stated by the author of this article?Recommend

  • Murtaza B Aslam

    You write a good article but i have some points to clarify. We have to diffrenciate the traditions of Khilafat and so on with Islam. Islam is a code of life and not against to nature. Sometime nature apprantly against but after its final result is as islam. Like Turkey we should constitute a Modern Islamic Institute with the consensus of scholar of all school thughts, Educationist, Islamic Scholar to probe in this matter and creat a way which is all Islam ofr women and men. Islam is the most Modern religion of the world i have many argument but it has approving itself.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    @Samantha N:
    You being a former member of the Jewish community, if you do not mind, I would like to ask you a few things
    A) are the rumours of Islamophobia in the Jewish community True?
    B) How hard is leaving your old community? I am sure you must have faced some hardship
    and Id like to say ‘Welcome to our community’, I hope at the same time you can enlighten us a bit about Judaism as well, as they are still the first people of the divine Books and hence are people off significance.

    And to the writer I would like to say, very well written, but what you are suggesting is wishful thinking for a place like Pakistan, which is a blind male dominated society where chauvinism is widespread. Men in Pakistan, even the educated one’s many of them fear losing their status-quo over the opposite sex. Hence many do not send their daughters and sisters to University so they may learn and be enlightened, many do not send them out to work or be pro active members of community. Deep down they are all worried about loss of the current status-quo. You get what I am saying? Men are terrified of their loss of emotional, social and economic control over women in Pakistani society, and this practice is not just something you want in villages in small towns, amongst the poor and illiterate, but are also found in the big cities amongst the elite of Karachi and Lahore.Recommend

  • Concerned Pakistani

    Agree with you. Nicely written. Once my teacher said that we think that Male is a primary creation and Female is secondary to assist and for male pleasure but it is not true. Allah creation is in pair (male and female) and both are equal and primary creation. When we will consider them primary creation we will give them primary rights not make them secondary. Once again well written.Recommend

  • Faisal

    @Samantha N: Most of us here have inherited Islam but you have accepted it. It shows from your writings. Allah is guiding you to the right path. I may emphasize upon one of your arguments for the author as well as all the other readers: Islam is a divine religion, It cant be adjusted to the will of the people. Don’t try to bring out a face of Islam which is acceptable to the west or meets their modern standards (which change after every ten years). By accepting Islam, we pledge to be answerable to Allah and not to anybody else in this world. Recommend

  • http://nil Najib Khan

    @Samantha N:

    Salaam to u sister & hats off to u & your knowledge about Islam , You who chose Islam as your religion I have all my respects & gratitudes.

    please try to encircle more & more unfortunate around you in the precincts of Islam, so that u are blessed more & more with ALLAHS REHMA & get treated like a Wali on the final day .

    a brother from Pakistan . Recommend

  • http://- Sahar Khan

    And how I see that there are not many women to comment but yes only men and throwing thier so-called more mature interpretations. The woman is also a Muslim and her outlook suggests that a real practising one. So she can have views too over islamic matters and she might be wrong as well, but you need to discuss things. Dont show your filthy minds over here. In Disclaimer she clearly mentioned that she welcomes a debate. But a debate thats worth having… and those who think of themselves the true religion preacher…then May Allah help you with this attitude.

    Now, woman you have all the right to defend and table your point of view, but the issue is you have to take into consideration, many factors, such as why, when, what, who? and same goes here. the hadiths you quote must be very true.. but the logical bindings after Prophet Muhammad (SAW) are also convincing as mentioned by newly converted Muslim. there are reasons and they were for the good of women. Recommend

  • Munazza Sami

    Women can pray in Masjid but it should be a separated area for women so that the attention of men couldn’t divert from ALLAH to satanism. Recommend

  • Samantha N

    @Deen Sheikh
    Asalamo Aley Kum its ok if you wanna know ‘some’ thing which did.. affect me as I converted so. First of all Its all Thanks to Allah SWT who helped through my hubby a pious Muslim can’t let you more let me keep something private for him hope its understood.

    Ans A: Yes Islamophobia in Jewish community is true although but its spread in America is done mostly by “Radical” NeoCons/Evangelical sect in Christian like Mal’un Terry Jones etc. Why Evangelicos are doin it? They think when the third war between Muslims n Christian will be faught Chiristian will be victorious n Jesus Christ Issa’h A.s will comeback n bless them.
    Now why Jews are fearfull of Islam n’ Islamophobia? Well answer’s very simple you know… in torah n talmud called “Torey’t”, Zboorh’ in Islam, Holy prophet is mentioned so if you guys search internet is full of it true as well.
    I also came across in an event reported in book of elaborate translations of Quranic verses Tafsir, that before seige of khyber the high priest went to Last Prophet Muhammad ASWS n the daughter who came in nikah after ward told these event as conversation between high priest with his brother confirming the prophecy of Muhammad ASWS but still staying defiant to The last Prophet. that was all before Khyber’s siege.
    Islamophobia is spreading because of the fear, that Non-Muslim are researching about it some with open mind n some just to defame it but, they are realizing most of it is true n end up like me being converted, so they (the scared lot) are left with spreading false information to women right abuse connecting it with Islam false fully of course.. n tales of violence in the name of Jihad’ which is incorrect also propagation Islam was spread by swords n all.
    Those who even don’t practice or research in their own faiths fell in rants like these. I can also tell you that most of the masses are only responding negatively to women rights which is an issue here as they wanna free society So Islamophobists play with this ball. They raise money for Ngo’s all around Islamic countries specially for women rights out of which heavily financed by jewish groups.
    And to your
    Answer B: Yeah of course …its not a cake walk converting. My parents you become same terrorist n all, the temple people spat at my doorsteps every now and then but neighbors were ok …like so what..
    I was living alone before converting but got inspired by my hubby as he works with me at a Superstore I saw him to be honest beyond anyone’s expectations n humble to all the taunts, dissings and became quite interesting to me, hardly ever hittng on me or responding to my teasing during work so.. Got curious n converted.
    @Faisal @Najib Khan Waleykum Salam n thnx

    ………..Samantha N……………. Recommend

  • Lady6

    Hazrat Ali is the door of knowledge I love his quotes which helps me to make my life better…. Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    Excellent post, Aaishah. Really, we need more people speaking out like you. Islam certainly isn`t as gender biased as it is made out to be and all this excess chauvinism really needs to be trimmed off.Recommend

  • http://www.thehrdesigns.com Hassan Raza

    I loved your writing Aeeshah!

    First of All, please do not consider mosques today esp in our country, a house of our Lord. and I truly believe the Islam that we see around is not the true Islam. Everyone is using religion for his/her own personal benefit. I personally feel you don’t have to go to mosques, i have stopped going and i have my justifiable reasonsRecommend

  • Hira

    thanks for educating me.Recommend

  • Dodo

    @Anonymous:
    Yea you’re right, women are equal to men in Islam. I totally ignored the fact that one woman’s testimony in the court of law is equal to half of a man’s; or that a daughter is entitled to half the inheritance that of a son’s; or that the best place for women to pray is at home; or that women can’t travel without a mahram male; or that men can be polygamist but women can’t; or that men can “marry” (using this word for the sake of self censorship) their concubines/slaves or POWs; or that women should not be allowed to become head of the state (remember all the maulana’s hue and cry over Benazir’s election…) to name a few. Thanks for enlightening me Anonymous, I certainly stand corrected.Recommend

  • Rashid

    Mosque is house of Allah and there is no difference based on gender before Allah.
    Women ca go to mosque and prayRecommend

  • SJ

    @Dodo
    I second your comments mate.Recommend

  • saad shah

    Women were allowed to come to mosques yes but were suggested to pray at home which was accepeted by the majority of women in Umar;s era it was rightly suggested as Men were more and the mosuqes were not enough to accomodate all. Also it was because of the reason that in case women might have to leave during prayers due to any medical conditions may not create distraction for Non Mehram Men. I totally agree Samantha….. the thing that is important is the intention or spirit behind an act. Its true that wpmen are not giving their rights but they are also not doing the same as they are instructed..Recommend

  • Mehrunisa

    A Womens testimony in the court of law is equal to half of a mans because women can be easily blackmailed! There is wisdom in every Command Allah has given us..and daughters get half of what the son gets because the son has to support his family the daughter can do whatever she wants with it.. Read the Quran and its tafseer yourself ! Don’t rely on any maulvi/mufti. The burqa/niqab are not “men’s rules” but Allah’s orders! Muslim women are not held back and they are not confined to the home they can do whatever they want as long as its withinIslam’s limits.Recommend

  • hassan

    There is a reason for not allowing women in the mosque and in the first row. It is to prevent distraction and to avoid pollution of minds of faithfuls.

    As you may be aware, women are objects of desire and distraction, and they will be putting the ideas of satan in the minds of fellow worshippers. (This is not my view, I’m only para-phrasing from Hadiths)

    So, it is better for them to be fully covered, and be in the last row, or if possible,pray invisible in some adjacent room where they can’t distract other worshippers.

    This concept is built-in and this is the foundation of the belief of surrender that the great religion thrives on. Women are supposed to surrender to men, and not to question them. If you question this, then you will start questioning everything else. You can challenge it only at the risk of undermining the very foundations of the religion. And you will be putting your life to risk by questioning these beliefs.

    Like your intelligent friend said, you have to live with it. As you have been doing so for the last 1400 years !Recommend

  • Saima Shams

    @Abdul Hye: I do agree with your point regarding the veil and that there should be no direct eye-contact between males and females. But why do we always confined ourselves to one point or to only one place? Why are you only considering mosque?Is this the only place where both the genders have to keep looking down,where women have to do hijab,where we have to control our language! And after coming out from there we forget everything!There are women and men in the market together.Don’t they make eye contacts. Especially men! I am not saying this because i am a female. Ok,i do agree that the first eye involved is by mistake but what about continuously staring at any women!

    My point is that why there are restrictions only for going to a mosque!Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    Women may be equal to Men in Islam, but sadly that is not the case in the subcontinent. Women here (In SA countries) are considered inferior and subhuman. Some may think I am quoting out of context, but still I am baffled at the recommendations a comment got in an opinion piece calling for rape of women relatives of rapists in Mukhtar Mai case. If this is how we like to treat our women folk, then why are we surprised at the aparthied at the place of worship?Recommend

  • //a PERVAIZ

    I was in mecca at time of haj there is on real separation b/w man and woman even at time of tawaf kabba man and woman are too close to each other but there is no negative feeling . woman doing their work and man their . yes a problem at time of namaz . For man it is not allowed that at time of namaz that woman will present in front in next row or not allow woman is just right and left of man and all men and women try to follow it . Trust me i never see any man is looking toward women or any woman looking toward men . every one doing their pray Recommend

  • //a PERVAIZ

    @hassan:
    hassan at the of hajj and ummra naqb ( to cover the face ) for woman is not allowed and hassan believe me at time tawaf of kabba man and woman are inches away from each other and some time due to crowd they may be touch each other but i give u guaranty that not a signal man or woman ‘ s focus is other than God and they do not bother about adjacent man or woman . Recommend

  • yaarku

    @Waqqas Iftikhar : lovely , spot on…Recommend

  • Osman Osman

    The Quran has been revealed for 14 centuries and above. We should differentiate what our common senses entertain us, and what has been written in Quran for centuries. No one could change Quran and Hadith. They told us , women should line themselves up, behind the men in the time of performing prayers……..

    Let us think deeply. When one performing Salat (Namaz) , Locality and humility on Allah is very indispensable, and the role of devil for disturbing the Salat exists….

    and Let us distinguish our Ideas and the the guidance of God….Recommend

  • faraz

    @Mehrunisa

    Everyone can be blackmailed whether male or female; your argument is pretty weak. Whats the difference between blackmailing one female or two females? And if one female is blackmailed, the legal value of other female will automatically be nullified. Suppose, if a person stabs another, a female would either witness this event or not. The probability of witnessing an event is either 0 or 1. This half witness concept is not based on Quran; Quran has demanded 2 female witness only in financial matters.

    And what if the daughter is the main bread winner of the family, or isnt marreid, or is divorced, or her husband is ill or both have to work to make ends meet?

    Where has God asked women to wear burqa? Recommend

  • Aaishah Abu Bakr

    @Abdul Haye and others who share his views

    Most of the people (very wrongly) argue that it was Umer r.a who prevented women from coming into the masajid and that they(the folks who are stopping women from masajid) are following his tradition.

    However, their claim is not based on correct historical evidence.

    They are not aware that Atika bint Zayd the- wife of Umar- would ask Umar permission to go to Salat in the Masjid and he would remain silent. She would continue, “I swear I will go out unless you forbid me.” She used to go out for Salatal-Isha and Salat al-Fajr. She was asked once: “Why do you go out like that, knowing how jealous he is?” She replied: “And what prevents him from forbidding us?” Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (1:106).

    Umar once said to her: “I swear that you know very well I dislike it.”She said: “By Allah! I shall not stop until you forbid me.” Umar replied:”I truly do not forbid you.” And the day `Umar was stabbed to death in the mosque, she was present. Al-Muhalla of Ibn Hazm (3:139).

    This is clear evidence that Umer R.A didn’t forbid Muslim women to pray in the mosques. How could he forbid something that the Prophet himself had allowed and encouraged??Recommend

  • AA

    @SJ: brother…the mufti told your correct..but gave wrong reasons…Women are naqis..these are not words of that mufti..these were the words of Prophet Moahmmad (peace be upon him)..The reason was..as per hadtih..

    From worldly point..their witness is half to men..
    From religious side..they are bound not to pray for some duration in a month..

    That is meant by the word Naqis…

    Other wise there is not discrimination of status, intelligences and any other sort… infront of Allah all are equal…except for Taqwa..

    as you have seen…ummahatul momaineen….one had corrected even Hazrat Umer (R.A) about an issue of fixing mehr..
    They were also teachers of many sahaba in Ahadith..

    I am just telling you because I have personally read that hadith and I want to save you from any negative comments as it can go against that hadith…..Before you set negative view about any such statements…ask for reference from those muftis..and then check what came from Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and then accept it as it is…either you are able to understand it or not..later on you can try to understand its logic and hikmah….

    and if it is not from Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him)..and from sahaba..then feel free to pass on your personal views..either it goes totally against the system..no problem..

    May Allah bless all..
    Allah knows best..
    Ya Hayyo Ya QayyumRecommend

  • 007

    totally agreeRecommend

  • Mehrunisa

    If one forgets or is blackmailed-the other can set her straight..please lets not bring ‘what ifs’ and buts here.. Its not about wearing a burqa or niqab its about dressing modestly if its not in the quran,look it up in the hadith,Rasulullah(saw) only did/said what Allah commanded him to do..i am just a student speaking my mind here and what i learnt after reading surah baqarah! Recommend

  • siddiqui

    @abdul hye
    umar bin khattab RA was not a prophet… he was leader and an administrator…
    even if he made a certain decision, that doesn’t mean we have to follow it now…
    e.g., there is a very famous incident when Umar RA fixed the amount of ‘Haq Mahar’… a woman questioned him that who gave you right to fix it when Allah has given this right to women… Umar RA replied, ‘indeed this woman is right and Umar is wrong’… there are numerous other incidents as well where Umar RA made error of judgement…

    rather than bringing Umar RA precedent, it would be better if you bring evidence from quran/sunnah or from rational reasoning…
    and by the way Umar RA without the slightest doubt was one of our brightest mind…Recommend

  • Nobody

    @Munazza Sami:
    I agree with some sort of separation in a mosque, but I also think men need to be help responsible for keeping their attention on prayer, not women. You’re going to the mosque to pray to Allah, not ogle women. Recommend

  • Dodo

    With all this debate between the alleged “believers”, one can safely assume that religion is an obsolete form of communal practice and should be done away with. Human race is much more intelligent than centuries old hearsay/rituals/superstitions or whatever you want to call it.Recommend

  • Wazir Chandio

    Tribune walo bus kardo, dimaagh kharab kardiya hai, tomorrow we’ll have an article about why is it necessary to perform ablution, is it because Islam thinks we are extremely filthy people or even why do we have to pray. Tomorrow they’ll be a blog on why we respect our mothers is it because we think that they need pity or need special attention because they are women and hence extremely weak. There is a limit to random and useless rants which these newly intellectualised western breeds seem to be indulging in. Argument and discussion is good for one’s mental growth, but just for the mere sake of spreading hatred and disgust over all the things that there are is a little too much. Tribune should stop encouraging and indoctrinating the already ‘complexed’ minds with more garbage.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    @Dodo
    coming from an obsolete extinct bird.Recommend

  • sahar Khan

    @ Siddique
    Highly convincing and logical.. and Indeed Umar RA was the brightest mind but not the prophet..!Recommend

  • http://na deep

    So let me get this right – as long as you get your rightful place to worship you have no problem with your husband marrying 4 times and divorcing you through sms?Recommend

  • Dodo

    @Fahad
    HUH?
    @deep
    You could not have stated your question any better my friend…Recommend

  • http://www.sarwatkhan.com Sarwat

    Totally agree with Wazir Chandio, its unwise to enter a debate you have little or no knowledge of.

    I dont get why author is making a fuss about one single incident she happened to encounter but ignorant of all Madrassah’s or Islamic centres which are exclusively for women? Besides no one is going to stop you to enter a mosque and pray in the area for ladies, however we don’t know exactly what area of the mosque you entered and where did you start praying. You are giving us just your side of picture. I am sure the man in mosque would have a better reason to ask you that.

    Much pity on the irresponsibility of ET itself!Recommend

  • http://bleedinghumanity.wordpress.com Ahmed Aziz

    @Dodo:
    You forgot one point. Men are actually allowed to beat the women (ref Quran 4:34). and sadly people interpret it literally and beat the women. I actually tried to clarify this with someone about this so-called last resort of beating the women but I was given the same old reason that you can do it if there is a character flaw. I found that really preposterous because men are not allowed to beat women period, religion or no religion, its just morally wrong. But Alas then the conversation ended when I was labeled the devil.

    @Aaishah AbuBakr
    Completely agree. I like your piece. Male dominated society all the way. Women have every right to do what they want, cover their face or not, wear a burqa or not. Its not a man’s place to say anything, its the woman’s right. We men should start recognizing women as equal human beings. Recommend

  • http://bleedinghumanity.wordpress.com Ahmed Aziz

    @Wazir Chandio:
    Please, everybody has the right to discuss what ever they want. The author raises a valid point. It is a male dominated society and women are being suppressed in many ways. This is not a useless rant and it is something to think about. Secondly, your points about why performing ablution or a blog saying why respect mothers, are totally baseless there would not be a blog talking about those issues because those are normal human instincts, nothing to do with religion. One respects one’s mother because she is the mother and obviously nobody would have anything against being clean. Everybody has a right to raise issue of matter like oppression of women, suppression of minorities and so on and so-forth. So this is not a useless rant it is a real issue. Recommend

  • http://islamabadobserver.blogspot.com tipu

    This is truly the opinion of a girl facing inferiority complex.
    There was a senior university teacher of us who used to say”At birth a Boy’s brain weighs 43 ounce while a girl’s 39 ounce” After saying this he would say “Farq to Khuda ne hi paida kar diya bhai”.

    GOD created men and women for different purposes and we should understand this.Recommend

  • Sahar Khan

    @ Tipu
    and you are suffering from so much of superiority complex…
    so women have more a tender heart, she is more sensitive and plays an expressive role…all the traits mentioned are termed for someone generous and kind…so men playing more an instrumental part in this society..does this make men any less human or insensitive and rigid…if these are the grounds for someone’s level of superiority and inferiority then probably men don’t even deserve to be called human…a mere difference of four ounces gives you the right to justify blatantly the behaviour meted out to the woman in a mosque…a place of worship..where you dont have difference for poor and rich, black and white, asian or african, ugly or beautiful..but yesss…WOMAN and MAN…!! this is a reason enough for biasnes..How lame and shallow

    You are a clear case of male chauvinism…use your grey area…its not important what a teacher tell you is right…if you have 43 ounces use it…..and show it to the world..!Recommend

  • Dodo

    @tipu:
    Hahahahah! is all i can do at your comment!
    Although men’s brain are bigger than women’s, women’s have more nerve cells and cellular connections. So technically their brain is much more efficient than men’s…Goes on to show your professor’s less efficient brain at work when he uttered those bigoted words.
    As a side note, if brain size was directly proportional to intelligence then Einstein would’ve been a retard because he had a smaller than usual brain size. Recommend

  • http://islamabadobserver.blogspot.com tipu

    Women are best in talking they can talk and write millions of words no matter one reads them or not. But facts remain facts.Recommend

  • http://www.thevoiceofyouth.com Ali Suleman

    Good, bold article, Aaishah. Hope you keep it up.Recommend

  • SAM

    Good thing, i am catholic. Islam these days treats women as second rate citizens. Please visit any church(Catholic/Protestant) you can see that men and women can sit in the same pews. Second, the women can speak their minds about pertinent issues. Third, the church is equal opportunity when it gives scholarships and aid to men and women.That is why the bible has clearly stated that, Neither man nor woman, neither Greek nor Jew. All are one under Jesus Christ(New Testament). The Islamic world is in dire need of an enlightenment period, which christian Europe when through in middle ages and today, the christian world leads by deeds,virtue and acts of God and Lord Jesus!!!!! Recommend