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Female Led-Prayers? - Yasmin Mogahed
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    noraina's Avatar
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    Female Led-Prayers? - Yasmin Mogahed

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    Assalamu alaykum,

    I loved this article by Yasmin Mogahed ma'sha'Allah - she expresses her points so wonderfully!





    On March 18, 2005, Amina Wadud led the first female-led jum`ah (Friday) prayer. On that day, women took a huge step towards being more like men. But did we come closer to actualizing our God-given liberation?

    I don’t think so.

    What we so often forget is that God has honored the woman by giving her value in relation to God—not in relation to men. But as some interpretations of Western feminism erase God from the scene, there is no standard left—except men. As a result, some Western feminists are forced to find their value in relation to a man. And in so doing, she has accepted a faulty assumption. She has accepted that man is the standard, and thus a woman can never be a full human being until she becomes just like a man.

    What she didn’t recognize was that God dignifies both men and women in their distinctiveness – not their sameness. And on March 18, Muslim women made the very same mistake.

    For 1400 years there has been a consensus of the scholars that men are to lead prayer. As a Muslim woman, why does this matter? The one who leads prayer is not spiritually superior in any way. Something is not better just because a man does it. And leading prayer is not better, just because it’s leading. Had it been the role of women or had it been more divine, why wouldn’t the Prophet ﷺ have asked Ayesha or Khadija, or Fatima—the greatest women of all time—to lead? These women were promised heaven—and yet they never led prayer.

    But now, for the first time in 1400 years, we look at a man leading prayer and we think, “That’s not fair.” We think so although God has given no special privilege to the one who leads. The imam is no higher in the eyes of God than the one who prays behind.

    On the other hand, only a woman can be a mother. And God has given special privilege to a mother. The Prophet ﷺ taught us that heaven lies at the feet of mothers. But no matter what a man does he can never be a mother. So why is that not unfair?

    When asked, “Who is most deserving of our kind treatment?” the Prophet ﷺ replied, “Your mother” three times before saying “your father” only once. Is that sexist? No matter what a man does he will never be able to have the status of a mother.

    And yet, even when God honors us with something uniquely feminine, we are too busy trying to find our worth in reference to men to value it—or even notice. We, too, have accepted men as the standard; so anything uniquely feminine is, by definition, inferior. Being sensitive is an insult, becoming a mother—a degradation. In the battle between stoic rationality (considered masculine) and selfless compassion (considered feminine), rationality reigns supreme.

    As soon as we accept that everything a man has and does is better, all that follows is a knee-jerk reaction: if men have it, we want it too. If men pray in the front rows, we assume this is better, so we want to pray in the front rows too. If men lead prayer, we assume the imam is closer to God, so we want to lead prayer too. Somewhere along the line we’ve accepted the notion that having a position of worldly leadership is some indication of one’s position with God.

    A Muslim woman does not need to degrade herself in this way. She has God as a standard. She has God to give her value; she doesn’t need a man.

    In fact, in our crusade to follow men, we as women never even stopped to examine the possibility that what we have is better for us. In some cases we even gave up what was higher only to be like men.

    Then we were expected to be superhuman—the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker—and have the perfect career. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong, by definition, with a woman having a career, we soon came to realize the cost of trying to be superhuman.

    Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I’m not – and in all honesty – don’t want to be: a man. As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men, and value the beauty in our own God-given distinctiveness.

    If given a choice between stoic justice and compassion, I choose compassion. And if given a choice between worldly leadership and heaven at my feet—I choose heaven. ---

    Yasmin Mogahed, Reclaim Your Heart
    Female Led-Prayers? - Yasmin Mogahed

    Ya Muqallib al-Quloob, Thabbit Qalbi Ala Deenik
    Oh turner of the Hearts make my heart firm on Your Deen







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    Serinity's Avatar
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    Re: Female Led-Prayers? - Yasmin Mogahed



    I don't get this whole underlying assumption that men are better simply cuz they are men.

    It is a rather baseless assumption. In Islam we are judged by our deeds - yes. But we are not equal. Does that mean women are inferior? No. If I say "men are not equal to women" people assume one to be sexist. If one says "women are not equal to men" the same. We are not equal in our genders - i.e. segregation is needed and one can't freemix.

    Allah looks at our deeds. When I read about women trying to be like men, or be equal to men, all I see is baseless underlying assumptions, and rather one is just degrading themselves by comparing them to men.



    Allahu alam.
    Last edited by Serinity; 04-28-2017 at 08:32 PM.
    4 | Likes AHMED PATEL, Zafran, noraina, cinnamonrolls1 liked this post
    Female Led-Prayers? - Yasmin Mogahed

    Meaning of Shirk according to The Qur'an
    " Worshipping anyone or anything besides Allah " or " distributing anything exclusive to Allah, to anyone or anything else "

    Meaning of Tawheed according to The Qur'an
    Worshipping none but Allah. Affirming whatever is exclusive to Him, Him alone.

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    Re: Female Led-Prayers? - Yasmin Mogahed

    my wife is far superior to me in many things

    without her i would be a wreck
    in fact its her who has held my family together in 23 years of marriage

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    Re: Female Led-Prayers? - Yasmin Mogahed

    Good article.

    Thanks for sharing.
    1 | Likes noraina liked this post
    Female Led-Prayers? - Yasmin Mogahed

    Allah (swt) knows best

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    Re: Female Led-Prayers? - Yasmin Mogahed

    'Any woman who says she's happy to be childless is a liar or a fool': Take it from a woman who's given up her dreams of motherhood at 44, says KATE SPICER


    Read the quote..very eye opening, especially for the sisters.

    Not so long ago women without children, like me, were pitied. But now the world has caught on to the fact that, on the surface at least, we don't have such a hard life.

    Take this week: I spent a few days on a friend's sailing boat in Italy, sun-bathing, drinking rose, talking, laughing and dancing until dawn.
    Back at home after my break, I slept for hours, ate breakfast in bed, and stayed there reading until well after lunchtime. I couldn't be bothered to cook, so I went out for a Thai meal, bumped into a friend, went to the cinema and then out for drinks.
    At the weekend, I stayed with friends with children in the countryside where I found money worries, toddler tantrums, conflicted step-parental relationships, and an all-consuming fractious energy caused by Mum and Dad having not slept more than five hours a night for months.
    Unlike the child-free trip to Italy, where we drank for pleasure, this time wine was part of the coping process.
    The children were lovely and polite - to me. But anyone could see that underneath the outward manners and helpfulness, Tolstoy's maxim applied: 'Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way'.
    Earlier this week, a broadsheet newspaper ran a triumphalist piece by a 42-year-old who claimed she was wilfully and joyfully childfree. The writer was one of a growing number of women, she claimed, who believe having it all means not having a baby. I call them the Motherhood Deniers.
    To an extent, that writer is right. Unburdened by motherhood and the personal sacrifice it requires, a woman can dedicate herself to her career and create a home with all the delicate ornaments, sumptuous fabrics and hard edges that have no place in a family environment.
    Where a decade ago, just one in nine women remained childless at 45 and were considered rather peculiar at that, now that figure is closer to one in four. For women with a university education, like me, that figure rises to 43 per cent - an extraordinary figure which signifies a seismic social change.
    Among my friends, relatively ordinary women as opposed to media types, I am not alone in being childless. And there are many more examples in the realms of the super-successful, from Oprah Winfrey and Cameron Diaz to Helen Mirren and Theresa May.
    Of 192 female directors among 1,110 FTSE 100 board members, it is estimated that just under half of them are childless.


    I had an intern recently, a 21-year-old Oxford graduate, who told me confidently she never wanted kids because it would get in the way of her career. I told her she was mad. While a child-free life looks fun on Facebook, no number of career highs, nights at the theatre, weekends away or adult pleasures can disguise the fact that it feels - there is no other word - empty.

    Between today and the end of my life, I hope there are a few more decades. But, as time goes by, the idea of dying without children feels unnatural and sad.
    Statistics do not reveal whether the 43 per cent of educated women who are child-free are so by choice or by circumstance, but I believe the Motherhood Deniers, waving the flag for the childless life, remain in the minority. Admittedly a far more confident, glamorous, and witty minority than they once were, but a minority nonetheless.
    For the rest of us, childlessness is a source of sadness and regret. Most of those 43 per cent will have gone through fertility hell, or never met the right guy, or left it too late, or have any number of unhappy stories.
    Few would say: 'I don't want, and never wanted, children.'


    Both Theresa May and Helen Mirren - frequently held up as role models for the childless - say they weren't against having them. Mirren has said: 'I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but it never did.'
    May put it thus, 'It just didn't happen... you look at families all the time and you see there is something there that you don't have.' Which is pretty much how I feel; sad but philosophical. I was in charge of my life. I should have put having a child first. As a young girl, having a family was something I dreamed of and assumed would happen. But then the education system swallowed me up, and nothing in it tells you that having a baby any time soon is a good idea.
    My parents' divorce put me off too. I had ants in my pants during every relationship until I finally met someone I could trust at the age of 40. He wasn't going to start making babies straight away. So I waited. I was 43.


    What then but to rush into the arms of the fertility industry brandishing my credit card? I did, but it didn't work. Now, at 44, adoption is always at the back of my mind, but there is some distance to go before I feel my relationship will be ready to take on that challenge.
    Motherhood Denier, I am not. If I could teach a class to 16-year-olds about the importance of having a baby while you've still got energy and fresh eggs in your ovaries, I would.
    I might get them to talk to my friend, Penny, 45, who has had to admit that she has missed the motherhood boat. 'My mother kept saying to me, 'Quick, have a baby'.
    'When she died, mixed up with all the other grief was that realisation that I was the end of the line. Ten years on, I can barely think about that, it makes me too sad. I spent a lot of money on fertility treatment, but in the end, I realised I didn't have the energy to be a mother. My lifestyle is good, it's a sort of compensation.'


    As for me, I feel an excruciating awkwardness around new mothers, whose total intimacy with their child leaves me feeling like an outcast, not least because it exposes the ties of friendship as thin and practical.
    There is, as one specialist said to me last year, a near to zero chance that I will get pregnant naturally and, he admitted, a fairly slim chance that IVF would work either, given my fertility history and, yes, my age.
    Meanwhile, have you read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World with its population graded from the top, Alpha, down to Epsilon? If educated, successful women like me don't breed, are we gearing up for a generation of Epsilon-minus semi-morons?
    Social mobility is stickier than ever, so let's not leave breeding to the idiots.


    Then again, while women who don't have kids often flag up how wonderful it is to have so much time on their hands, I can't help noticing it's women with kids who get the most done.
    My sister-in-law has written two books, has three kids, and a much bigger home than me. JK Rowling was a single parent, and she's done all right.
    I sometimes lie awake full of dread about the time approaching when my parents are no longer around. To give or to receive unconditional love is a deeply rare thing.
    As a rule, flawed as all parties may be, the parent-child bond is the commonest and most reliable form of that love. Sitting writing this at my mother's desk, surrounded by my grandmother and great-grandmother's things, I feel acute awareness that as my life enters its final half, it is with a diminishing circle of love.
    On my mum's desk at her home in Devon are two cards, one from me, one from my brother, signed with messages of 'all my love'. When Mum and Dad are gone where will that love go?
    The Motherhood Deniers are terribly excited about their friends. None of whom will be able to wipe their own bottoms in 40 years time, let alone those of their chums. And we all know nephews and nieces are not in the business of dedicating their lives to maiden aunts.
    I have never met a woman who regretted having children. She surely exists, but not in my experience. I have met, however, older people who lament never having kids, for whatever reason, and I suspect some of the noisy Motherhood Deniers will eventually join their number.
    For them, there are dogs and cats, and when they no longer have strength to pull the foil off a tin of Caesar, it's pretty likely there'll be branches of Dignitas in every shopping mall where the old and unloved can go when there's nothing left to live for.
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    Re: Female Led-Prayers? - Yasmin Mogahed

    Quote Originally Posted by AHMED PATEL View Post
    my wife is far superior to me in many things

    without her i would be a wreck
    in fact its her who has held my family together in 23 years of marriage
    Awwww May Allah continue to bless you both

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