Did you hear about the all-women mosque in Los Angeles?
Muslim women are seen to be attending mosques in different parts of the world. It is very common practice in Mosques to have a male imam, an Islamic leadership position and rarely have a woman who leads the traditional prayer and give the sermon. However, not all Muslims feel that women should be present in communal worship, and even mosques who execute this practice seems to treat women differently from men in many ways. There are people who argue that the prophet gave women the right to lead any kind of prayer, in contrary to people who believe in restricting woman to pray at home.
The idea of opening an all-women Mosque in the U.S. came to M. Hasna Maznavi, the Founder and President of The Women’s Mosque of America, after her experience volunteering in the civil rights department at the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles after the 9/11 attack. This was at a time when hate-crimes rose tremendously all over the country and the peace was broken. During her position at the Council, Hasna has closely seen the plea of victims from her own community who had to endure death threats, racist remarks, high levels of abuse and harassment. Shockingly, the Muslim religion gradually became a taboo after the 9/11 attack and eventually started getting misinterpreted in national and international media in many ways.
Hasna’s agree that traditionally in Islam any human being, irrespective of gender, can be an imam, lead a prayer, or deliver a sermon, even a female. According to the founder of American All Woman Mosque, all Muslims believed that each and every person is equal in the eye of God and are born to respect and help each other.
Islam, like many other religions of the world, believes in democratic principles, values, gender equality and respect to woman. After doing some research and reading about Muslim women scholars and leaders who were spreading the right values of Islam, she, along with other supporters, opened the Women’s Mosque of America in Los Angeles in 2015 . In this mission Muslim men have equally participated and supported in the formation of the mosque. The idea of the Women’s Mosque is to express their Islamic identity freely without fear while not forgetting the proud identity of being a women. The other aspect to look at is to put down strong roots in their Islamic values while keeping the contemporary transformation of American Islam. This is one of the important ideologies for the mission behind the Women’s Mosque.
This is not the first women’s mosque as there are all-female or Woman led Mosque in many countries around the world including Denmark, India, China, Syria, Yemen, Turkey and other countries. There is no doubt women have become stronger in every aspect in almost every country to make this world a better place.
We salute those powerful women and their new all-women mosque.