July 02, 2006
Women and the Mosque: Past, Present and Future
B i s m i l l a a h i r R a h m a a n i r R a h e e m Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu, Insha'Allah this message finds you in the best of health and imaan. In light of recent dialogue* on the topic of women in the mosque, I wanted to share with you that Islam Online will have a Live Dialogue session on this important topic to which I wanted to invite you! Please pass this information along. Insha'Allah we can all benefit! You might also find something helpful from another Live Dialogue held July 2, 2006 entitled, "Help for New Muslims". (TRANSCRIPT) If you haven't stopped by for a visit recently, the Muslimah Writers Alliance website has received recent updating. Hope to see you soon, insha'Allah! Ma'Salaama, ~Aishah Schwartz Founder & Director Muslimah Writers Alliance Alexandria, Egypt and Washington, DC RECENT DIALOGUE: Local Masjid Hears Sisters Concerns Masajid Still Have a Long Way to Go On the web: http://www.muslimahwritersalliance.com http://mwapeopleschoice.blogspot.com http://mwawomenmakinghistory.blogspot.com http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Muslimah_Writers_Alliance http://www.sisteraishah.com http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sisters4Dawah The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said, "One who helps a fellow Muslim in removing his (or her) difficulty in this world, Allah will remove the formers distress on the Day of Judgment. He who helps to remove the hardship of another, will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. One who covers the shortcomings of another Muslim, will have his faults covered up in this world and the next by Allah. Allah continues to help a servant so long as he goes on helping his own brother (or sister)." (Muslim) MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW! WHAT: Women and the Mosque: Past, Present and Future WHEN: July 10, 2006 Makkah Time: 16:00 to 18:00 GMT Time: 13:00 to 15:00 WHERE: Islam Online Live Dialogue The Relationship Between Women and the Mosque Caught between culture and Islam, there is nothing in the Qur`an or the Sunnah of Islam that prevents women from praying in the mosque. In India, Muslim women mostly pray in buildings adjoining mosques; in some larger mosques there are separate prayer enclosures. In 2004, the idea of a women's mosque was motivated by the rising number of complaints from local Muslim women against what they see as partisan rulings by the jama`at. Of those mosques that provide space for women to pray, it is often small making women feel not welcomed. With increasing call for religious rights around the globe, Muslim women are challenging practices that have many bad influences. Early this year in Canada, saw the release of the film Me and the Mosque, by director Zarqa Nawaz which did the community circuit to stimulate debate in the community and raise awareness. Between Islam and cultural practices, what is correct and what is considered acceptable - and by whom? See - Breaking Down Barriers If you have a question you would like to ask and feel that you might not be able to participate in this session, feel free to send us your question at society_iol (at) hotmail.com with "Live Dialog" in the subject line. About Dr. Layla Al-Marayati Dr. Layla Al-Marayati is the spokesperson and past president of the Muslim Women’s League (MWL), a Los Angeles–based organization dedicated to disseminating accurate information about Islam and women and to strengthening the role of Muslim women in society. She has written articles and participated in numerous conferences addressing issues of concern to Muslim women; topics include basic women’s rights in Islam, reproductive health and sexuality, stereotyping, and violence against women. In addition, Dr. Al-Marayati spearheaded the MWL's efforts on behalf of rape survivors from the war in Bosnia in 1993, and she was a member of the official US Delegation to the UN Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Dr. Al-Marayati has also participated in numerous activities related to international religious freedom. She served as a presidential appointee to the Commission on International Religious Freedom from 1999 to May 2001. Prior to that, she was a member of the State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad. She has testified before Congress and as part of the US delegation to the OSCE Human Dimensions meeting in Poland regarding religious intolerance against Muslims in Europe. As an American of Palestinian descent, Dr. Al-Marayati frequently speaks about the rights of Palestinians. She is a member of the board of directors of KinderUSA, a newly formed charity whose primary focus at this time is on addressing the health and educational needs of Palestinian children living in the West Bank and Gaza. Her articles have been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, on Beliefnet, Counterpunch, and in the English version of Al-Ahram Weekly published in Egypt. She has appeared on local and national television and radio programs addressing issues of concern to Muslims in America. Dr. Al-Marayati is a Board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist in private practice in Southern California. She is married to Salam Al-Marayati and is the mother of three children, Malek, Zayd and Jinan.