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Women Leading The Prayers

22 March, 2005

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A US based female Muslim professor, Amina Wadud has led Friday Prayers in a New York Church with men in the congregation despite sharp criticism from Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East who termed it a gross violation of Islamic norms and values.

Whereas, Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia commonwealth University, contends there is no restriction on women in Islam to lead the prayers.

Wadud said before the service, "With this prayer service we are moving forward, this single act is symbolic of the possibilities within Islam." Asra Q Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and mother of an illicit child, was the lead organizer of the prayer.

On the other hand, all Islamic organizations representing US Muslims have strongly opposed the idea saying that Wadud is not the representative of Muslims and she is tarnishing the whole Islamic faith.

Pronounced Muslim scholars in Pakistan have stated that women have been given more rights in Islam comparing to any other religion or cult, but there are certain limitations imposed by God and the job of leading the prayers is handed over to men.

Abdul-Aziz al Khayyat, a former minister of religious affairs in Jordan and a religious scholar says that its forbidden under Islamic doctrine and that the Prayers of the men who participated would not count.

Prophet Mohammad and all the scholars did allow the women to lead ... mixed congregations, not even to allow her to pray at the side of the man, Al-Hayyat says "she can only pray behind him."

Q1, Is this a calculated conspiracy aimed at creating another sect against Islam like Qadianis where created at a time when British Empire in India were facing tough resistance from the Muslim opposition.

Q2, Is the west afraid of the spreading of Islam in USA and Europe and wants to create suspicion in the minds of fresh converts about the freedom of women in Islam.

Q3, What is your opinion about those who attended the prayers and what actions should the Muslim leaders and Ulema Take?

Reader Comments:

It should not have happened. The rules of religion are quite clear. A woman leading women might be acceptable.

Riaz, United Kingdom - 12 April, 2005

believe it or leave it

I believe I will not present any new issues or items on the topic,"women leading the prayer.Islam made both the male and female equal in terms of humanity.Islam does not categorize women as the NEW source of Imam for muslim leading any prayer's,in Islam.let me ask her, this if male and female were to pray side by side is there any clear evidence that there prayer to be valid or not.

afghan shah, Afghanistan - 13 April, 2005

Women not to lead prayers

As an Orthodox Jew, I can state that we are under the same pressure to sit and pray together with our women, and to have women cantors. We will not bend, our justification is that women are NOT OBLIGATED for timebound commands, and thus cannot exempt the men in the congretation who are obligated by leading our Prayers. Our Rabbis also teach us that praying together or even listening to women singing leads to fornication.

Ya`akov N. Miles, Canada - 15 April, 2005

fornews service.

thanks i see your page to day thanks i like it very much ihope you touch with me for next time by

azmatullah, Pakistan - 17 April, 2005

Its a shame!

It's a big shame to hear about this deliberate transgression against the the laws of Allah (SWA). I want to state here that there is more to this than what we have heard.It is another plot by the WEST to inductrinate the women in Islam by giving the the right which they do not have. It is more rewarding for a woman to observe her prayers at home than in the mosque and there are reasons for this. I better stop here for now, because it's irritating to hear of this.

Lawal hakeem A, Nigeria - 18 April, 2005


Regarding women Leading Prayers.

We should invite Prof Wadud to provide her justification for leading the prayer. We should then invite the opposing view. Finally, we should weigh the merits and demerits of each case and come to our own conclusion. Isn't that much more sensible than talking of conspiracies that get us no where and instead address the issue head on the merits of the evidence presented. Infact, why not do this for all contentious issues ? This seems obvious to me but may be I am missing a trick.

amer husain, Pakistan - 18 April, 2005

women wearing low neck dresses

women wearing low neck dresses provokes mens sexual desires.

jassica, Pakistan - 18 April, 2005

100 in 1000,000,000 do not represent Islam so worry not friends

Most of people in Islamic world are certain that the lady's act do not represent Islam. However I would like to bring to attention the fact that she has done this in guise of gender equality. What the people who have brought this innovation must realize is this that gender equality does not mean that role of sexes should be same in every thing… This is against the design of this universe where God has created every thing with a purpose and nothing is redundant. A redundancy in nature means a waste. And a waste in creation means an imperfect God... Being Muslim our first belief is that Allah is “Subhan” that is free from all defect The Perfect
So we have to decide one thing that are men and women physically and psychologically same or are they different. Indeed they are not the same physically as even a child can tell the differences. The psychological needs of both are also different as proven by various scientific studies. For example both respond to same stimulus differently in many situations such as fear, love, joy. Now if they are different then they must have different purposes as established by the necessity of design without redundancy. But most important thing to realize is this that BEING DIFFERENT DOES NOT MEAN ONE IS BETTER THAN OTHER... It only means one has a different role than other. It is very much possible that in these different roles any may have the same or better position in the sight of Allah (God).
In both animal world and plants world different sexes perform different tasks. These tasks do not make one superior to other. These tasks just define their roles. When a lioness does the hunting and lion does not we don't say lioness is superior to lion or lion is superior to lioness. Similarly, women are allowed to lead congregation or not has nothing to do with equal spiritual rights of both genders. These are the different roles that men and women play in the scheme of things as exemplified by the Prophet (SAW) and his blessed companions. A women or man praying behind an Imam can be much higher in rank in the site of Allah (God) than the Imam. Cause Allah clearly says in Quraan that the fear and love of God, and being steadfast in righteousness is the only criteria for closeness to God.
Fatimah (R.A) the daughter of Muhammad (SAW) is the Sardar (leader) of women in Jannah as said by the prophet (SAW). But she never lead mixed congregation. I think the people who support this innovation must realise that they should not follow their vain desires and should not follow the foot steps of Satan… our arch enemy
In History we have seen amazing and most virtuous women, who all achieved their highest spiritual status without leading mixed prayers. The mothers of believers (wives of prophet (S.A.W) and then later days women like Rabia Basri are beacons of light yet they did not lead mixed congregation.
The thing that has to be realized is this that you cannot compare two things which are not similar. But not being able to compare does not mean superiority of one over other. For example in almost ever sport men and women have their separate events. In any sport requiring physical strength men do not compete with women. This does not necessarily mean one is better than others. But it means that the general difference in physical strengths do not warrant a comparison.
I think the idea to lead mixed congregation has been only devised to get some political objectives or for publicity sake. I think its not the spiritual but political need of woman in question that is being satisfied. Cause Imam represents a position of authority, that's what she wants to get… this has nothing to do with spiritual needs as she has put it.

Now there are many reasons for asking women to stand behind men in prayer in Islam. Some of them are very obvious and some are subtle. I will discuss only one reason. If we consider male psychology we see a very interesting fact that men get sexually aroused in a women's presence very easily and much more readily. Even if they are not aroused they get distracted most often. According to a scientific survey an average male thinks of sex every seven seconds. Females on the contrary think perhaps less than once in ten minutes. Prayer is an act which requires complete devotion and attention to God. Putting women in front of men will inevitably make concentration in prayer many times difficult for average men. Now Islam accepts the special design of human beings and makes laws accordingly because it is from God who created us.
This is what I think and I am just an average muslim. I would like to hear from some able muslims what they say regarding this.
But I think the Lady has very well achieved her purpose of becoming famous in media... Isn't this what most of us want we want to do some thing different so people can recall us... In good words or bad... who cares... We want to be famous and we want to be rich…
May Allah guide us all to the truth

Rizwan S Choudhry, United Arab Emirates - 19 April, 2005

we r all very quick to judge we dnt consider reading and finding out the truth b4 we rush out and cry that there is a conspiracy. we muslim r then made to look like the guilty party because we act b4 we think. we should look at both sides of the argument, though i agree that it dsnt make sense that a woman can lead prayer for if they could then why is it wrong for other men to hear a womans voice, if Allah wanted for women to do that then he wouldnt have told women to lower their voices. i myself am all 4 equality but there are sumtings dat dnt suit women so why do them?

Aisha, United Arab Emirates - 19 April, 2005

Ya Allah Help

It is now that we see the big picture that has been hidden behind religious shelters since time. form the time before the departure of the Holy Prophet of Islam there were a number of people who accepted Islam so defeat would not over come them and they promised themselves and made a pact with satan ,destruction of Islim was destined from within and there it begun the Caliphate Issue? though it was a simple thing but its was made so complicated that belivers began to grudge belivers....if a woman would in islam be allowed to recite The Azan in public and offer prayers as an Imam inbetween men (non blood)then such an example would have been set in the Prophethood of the Holy One but in Islam it has always been forbidden for a woman to step foot in a place where she would be surrounded by Namehrums. Look at the insanity of these MUSLIM WOMEN ,first of all they take a decision that is not supported by the Mosques as a reaction they go and pray in a CHURCH with media coverage, why??? what is wrong with the men who stood to pray behind a woman in a CHURCH, the reason why media gave so much coverage was due to the fact that "we believe in liberty and freedom of action (religious curruption)" huh this part too has been said "men will act like women and women will be dominent" i wish we had a Caliph sent from Allah the ONE form the progeny of Mohammed(PBUH) to irridicate this darkness which is once again spreading and creating an even more dangerous pre-islamic Mecca & Madina, we must all not just let this go like this I plan to give an article in one of the news papers , we must all act against this act of "division" and pray to The Almighty to send the promised One before our generations do the same.

mehdi raza, Pakistan - 21 April, 2005

I totally agree that women shouldn't have lead the prayers, though in America we have a concept of equality but in Islam men is dominant. In my opinion moral values are just same for every Muslim regardless of where he/ she lives and one must never forget her/his traditions & practices. i didn't like the way that girl gave AZAN with her shoes on even when Christians to go church they take their shoes off. this act just shows the family background that girl has come from.

Afshan Ali, Pakistan - 21 April, 2005

Keep a tab on your children and make sure what they are comprehending is correct and according to is

"Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia commonwealth University..." Obviously, education and all her studying didn't teach her much. So what we should all do so this is not encouraged- make sure that if your children are gone off studying like "independent women" that they comprehend what they are learning. I'm not straight out blaming the parents- but this DEFINITELY is something to look upon and not to feel any sort of proudness. This is just one more sign to feel judgement day is near. And all the men who couldn't think best of themselves should feel VERY ashamed because obviously they didn't have the nerve to stop this from happening. Only in islam is are the women given more rights and are equal to men- there are some things men can do women can't- Just like this women can't do this MEN can.

Aasiya Tahreem, Canada - 21 April, 2005

Regarding women Leading Prayers.

I am a converted muslim. She is wrong and this is not the teaching of islam, no women can lead the prayers. Are their any females priest? are their any female rabbi? She is solely doing this to get media attention. She is no reflection of muslims beliefs.

Mohd. Smith, Canada - 21 April, 2005

May Allah guide this misguided lady

There are a few points here:
1) one the Juma prayer has been lead in The church – so it clearly proves that Islam's enemies have conspired it to weaken or defame Islam.
2) According to Sharia which has a history of more than 1400 years this is probably the first example.
3) The self-proclaimed lady and her supports have tried to invent a new thing in Islam i.e. women leading men in Juma prayers. So she has taken herself the role of a “muhaddas:, or a “Mufti” or whatever against the common and agreed opinion of Muslam Uleman and learned people (that women cannot lead mixed prayer of men and women ) and the people who followed her in this prayer are also misled individuals their prayers are not accepted.
4) Since this incident has happened in American Church,while it proves that the lady herself is not a Muslim, though she may claim and she is wrong in her action i.e why she has taken protection of the Church, otherwise Muslim Juma congregation should have been performed in Muslim mosque, and also it will have full protection from American laws, therefore no Muslim can punish her for her new invention in Islam to mislead people. This is one reason to believe that enemies of Islam have concocted this thing to mislead/divide muslims most of whom unfortunately do not have much knowledge of Islamic Fiqh or Islamic rulings. I am sure if this lady were to lead such a prayer in an Islamic country, she and her followers would have been brought to book under the laws of that land and even punished by some individuals, if due to some reason the law did not come into action..
5) It is duty of the Muslim world Ulema to issue strong and correct verdicts refuting and condemning this act of this misguided lady and her followers and give guidance to the muslims about wrongness of this action by the misguided lady and beware of it.
6) There are some actions of individuals which relate to his/her personal life which they perform away from the eyes of others. Althugh such actions are sins in the eyes of Islam, but still they are not punishable under Islamic laws because they are performed in personal life say i.e the house, - the examples are drinking of “khumer”, literally translated as wine, or Zina. If these actions are taken/performed in public in front of others as witnesses then the law will take action against the person who committed it.
7) The burden of the sins of the actions of this misguided lady will be on herself, for not only for her own action, but also the actions of her followers who followed her and supported her in this action.
8) Finally, it is the time for the misguided lady to repent and ask for Allah's forgiveness for her action and renounce her action in public.

In the end let us pray to Allah the Almighty to guide us all to his right path and also guide this misguided lady to repent and denounce her action and ask for Allah's forgiveness.


IBNEADAM, Pakistan - 21 April, 2005


faisal jamal, United Arab Emirates - 24 April, 2005

way to get fame

i am a muslim girl living in a pakistan and also studing world poltics n i also have studied islam . in my view this activity of women Imamat is totalaly a wrong concept, this lady is trying to creat new thing in islam.
our prophet says that any one who tries to create a new thing in islam. he is not from US.
so we ppl discard that lady from our religion.
becuse she did all these activity ony to get fame and nothing more .

munaza, Pakistan - 24 April, 2005

All Is Written There

Please consult the God-written document before commenting. If you find any comment there or in the sayings of the Prophet (saw), being the indirect commands of God, then you have no right to judge the matter yourself. The words of Allah are the rules of nature and violating them definitely cause irreparable harm, as we can see around us in other matters.

Imran Hotiana, Pakistan - 24 April, 2005

A quick look at the sponsors of this "EVENT" will clarify it for everyone what this was all about?

1.Asra Nomani-a lady of subcontinent origin ( you can search for her in any search engine and will find oud out what she stands for)

2. "" A reportedly muslim group promoting that homosexuality, extramarital sex are allowed in Islam and now promoting that Qadianis afterall are Muslims.

Decide for yourselves.

A Pakistani, Pakistan - 26 April, 2005

women leading the prayers

There is nothing to say about this type of ironical case in islam. as its come to know that she is a professor in america she did a joke with islam and its teachings. perheps she never read the Quran and Hadith, and dos't know any thing about islam. She did try to invent something new in islam but out Prophet had already told that *i have totally competed your religion on you Today* these are the words of Holy Prophet Muhammad(P.B.U.U). And the words of Prophet are as the words of God as God itself told in Quran. So, according to Islam she is totally false and did wrong and show the muslims that hte day of jundgment is near

nadeem, Pakistan - 28 April, 2005

big mistake


SAJIDULLA ADAMJI, Hungary - 29 April, 2005

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