Women in Masjid - A Quest for Justice
Author: Ziya Us Salam
Why do we not see Muslim women heading to a mosque for prayers on Fridays?
Why don't they participate in funeral prayers in the Indian subcontinent?
Men and women pray at al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. They pray in Al Masjid al Nabavi in Medina. Why cannot they pray in their neighbourhood mosques in India?
Islam does not discriminate between men and women. The Quran promises as much reward for a roza (fast), a Hajj or an act of charity for a woman as a man. At nearly 60 places, it asks both men and women to establish prayer, as opposed to merely offering prayer. Establishing prayer, scholars agree, is done through congregation. Men do it by praying in mosques. But what about women? They are denied the right to enter mosques across the Indian subcontinent.
Women in Masjid: A Quest for Justice aims to give voice to those women who have been denied their due by our patriarchal society. It tells the reader that Prophet Muhammad clearly permitted women to enter a mosque. It is a permission well respected in mosques across West Asia, Europe and America. Yet, in an overwhelming majority of mosques across India, women are virtually barred from entry. No explicit ban, just a tacit one.
Drawing its arguments from the Quran and Hadiths, the book exposes the hypocrisy of men who deny women their right to pray in mosques in the name of religion, thus revealing entrenched patriarchal beliefs masquerading as faith. It also tells the stories of those brave women who are fighting for their space in mosques across the world. From Nizamuddin and Haji Ali Dargah to mosques in lanes and bylanes of India, the fight is on. Women in Masjid is all about righting a historical wrong.