DEBATE: ARE WE READY FOR FEMALE IMAM (PART 1)
following are our responses to the points brought up against Women Leading
SAY: Anyone who says that women cannot lead prayers is mistaken, but the condition is that they cannot lead men in prayer. Women can only lead women in prayer. There is no evidence from the Prophet (S) or Ahlul-Bayt (S) that women are permitted to lead men in prayer. There are restrictions on both men and women who wish to lead the prayers, in accordance with the shariah of Islam, and these restrictions include proper knowledge of how to pray, proper recitation of the surahs from the Quran, staying away from the major sins, etc.
We say after 1,400 years, we are ready to have Female Imams. Female Imam can be
as qualified as Male Imam. Islamic Shariat is based on Revelation (Quran and
Sonnat) and Reason (Aghl and Ijma).
These rules are not a matter of reinterpretation except for the experts in
Islamic law. Delivering "fatwas",
or religious verdicts, is not the right of every lay Muslim.
We are encouraged to use our reasoning and intellect, but within the
correct boundaries. We must use
them to understand the laws of Islam, not to change the laws of Islam.
Some situations and circumstances call for a certain change in a law, but
it is not up to the individual to make that decision.
That decision is solely for the mujtahid to make.
A mujtahid is an expert in the Islamic sciences, a level of knowledge
that may take decades to achieve. Our
obligation is to refer our questions to them for clarification.
We raised the Question: are we ready for Female Imam? Based on Quran, Sunnat,
Aghl and Ijma, we say it is time to have Female Imam. We need more debate.
If women were allowed to lead men in prayer we would have heard such an
injunction from the Prophet (S) himself, from one of the Imams (AS) or one of
the mujtahids would have made such a ruling.
If women were allowed to lead men in prayer then who better than Fatima
Zahra (SA) to have this right? But there is no evidence such as this within the
In the last 1,400 years, Female could not ask to become Imam because of corrupt
Khalifehs and Dictators, lack of Religious Freedom. Even in America, women were
not allowed to vote 100 years ago. Now, for the first time in the History of
Islam, in America, women want to become Imam. There is Religious Freedom in
America and they want their rights to be upheld.
We must be careful not to fall prey to the non-Islamic, and in some cases
anti-Islamic, propaganda relating to relations between men and women. Islam is
based on justice, not equality because sometimes equality is injustice.
Therefore it is justice which demands that men and women should have some rights
that are similar and some rights which are different, because their natures have
both similarities and differences. A
woman does not find her fulfillment when she does everything that a man does.
She finds her fulfillment in obeying her Creator and achieving the
potential of her womanhood.
Please allow the women to decide if they want to become Imam or not. Start this
debate at your home, talk to your sister or daughter who is a doctor or lawyer
and wants to become Imam too.
I am very sorry to know that you support a Woman leading a prayer. And your
presumed assumptions and weak understand of Islam do not grant you the rights to
We refer you to Shariat. Nothing in Quran and Sunnat prohibits Female Imam. Aghl
(Reason) and Ijma (Consensus) and Religious Freedom dictates that Females must
vote for it.
As for your weak or wrong interpretations of the words of Allah, The Almighty
says that Men and Women are not equal, at least from the social and legal
status. The simplest reference for your understanding would be to explain the
rights of inheritance.
Dear Brother, Right of Inheritance never reduces the share of the Female, it
increases their share. Islam does not Discriminate Against Females - you do.
And if the Sunnah of the Messenger is your source of information let it be known
that the Prophet never prayed behind a woman nor has there ever been a woman
leading a Jamaa prayer of men. You should let, in this respect the qualified
clerics who have devoted their life studying the Quran and the Sunnah, provide
you with the different interpretations or Hadeeths of the Prophet (SWT).
We say: women can Drive a car. You say: since during the Prophet's (PBUH) time,
women did not Drive, they should not Drive now. Aghl and Ijma say: they can
Drive. There is no prohibition against it. Using the same logic, because Aghl
and Ijma say: women can lead Friday Prayer, there is no prohibition against it
as well. We say it is time to have Female Imam.
I would refer you to the Interpretation of the Quran by Sayed Mohammed Hussein
Tabatabaee, "Tafsir Al Mizan". Your very simple and unintelligent
conclusion "Therefore, our Fatwa is for the future:" should have
followed some analysis of the topics you intended to discuss. But looking at
those, all you referred to were, how the prophet loved his wife and his daughter
and how Fatima and her daughter, Zeinab spoke about the oppressive rules of the
Khalifat and how the succession of the prophet was handled.
Read the Islamic debate when the Telephone was created. People like you came out
saying talking on Telephone is Haram. When a Ghari started reading Quran in one
side, then a Mofti on the other side said it is Halal to use it. Now, is this a
logic you want to follow, or do you want to have university type debate?
Your article is ambiguous. It does not clearly give an opinion on whether in
your opinion it is right for a woman to lead prayers while men are in the
congregation. There is no problem in giving a speech (KHUTBA) as you have given
ample examples. It is the point of SALAT and the IMAMAT.
However, in case of Friday prayers, the person who gives the KHUTBA also
has to lead the prayer.
Dear Brother, what is the Difference if the Imam is Male or Female? He or she is
not there as sex object, like a doctor. What is the Difference if it is Male or
Female if he or she has to read your X-Ray.
In the following statement that you wrote:
our Fatwa is for the future:
Every mosque must have two prayer rooms next to each other (both facing Ghiblah):
fatwa can be issued only by a Mufti (in Sunni fiqh) or by a MUJTAHID (in the
Shi'a FIQH). No other person can issue a Fatwa. Please state clearly as to in
what capacity this fatwa has been issued and by whom.
Dear Friend, we are Debating a Religious Issue based on Quran, Sunnat, Aghl and
Ijma. You have no evidence to support your position. Instead, you are attacking
our Imam's knowledge and integrity.
A point on the side, you wrote: Every mosque must have two prayer rooms next to
each other (both facing Ghiblah):
the English transliteration the QAAF is depicted by the letter 'Q' and not by 'GH'
which is equivalent in sound to the Arabic letter GHAYN.
Lakom Dinekom Va Lie Din. You say Quibla and we say Ghiblah. You say Quran and
we say Ghoran. But, we love you as a brother anyway.
ALSO IN THE HOLY QURAN IT STATES THAT GOD MADE WOMAN FOR MAN SO I FEEL THAT IT
IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MAN TO LEAD PRAYER FOR ALL WOMEN. A WOMAN CAN LEAD
PRAYER FOR WOMAN WHEN THERE IS NO MAN TO DO IT BUT IT SHOULD BE THE MAN WHO DOES
IT. I SPENT 1 YEAR IN PAKISTAN AND IN THE MOSQUES THERE THEY DID HAVE SEPARATE
ROOMS FOR MEN AND WOMEN DIVIDED BY A CURTAIN. ON ANY OTHER DAY, BUT JUMMA, A
WOMAN CAN COME FOR STUDIES THAT ARE CONDUCTED BY WOMAN. BUT, ON JUMMA, A MAN,
NOT A WOMAN, IS ALLOWED TO LEAD THE FRIDAY PRAYER.
Ghoran says God made Man and Woman from the same good essence. In the Old
Testament, it says that Woman was made from Man's Rib. The Dearest Person to God
is a Pious Person (Male or Female). Let's read the Ghoran one more time.
The whole text of your mail shows that you are endorsing the idea of a woman
leading prayer in a men congregation. You posed your self to be a moderate
Muslim looking for a compromise in the controversy. But in fact it is not so.
You are a person with biased approach, who tries to explains the Quranic verses
based on his own liking. Can you give us any reference or example during the
life of the Holy Prophet where he might have encouraged men to accept women to
be their leader in prayer. Can you find it even in the Sunnah of Bibi Ayesha or
Bibi Hifsa. You must not misinterpret the concept of equality between man and
woman. Please stop misleading the innocent Muslim community and avoid creating
Fitna or a Bida in Islam.
For 50 years, Blacks in America sat in the Back of the Bus even when the Bus was
empty. One Lady, Rosa Parks, said No More and the Rest is History. Our sisters
are ready to become Imam and run the mosques in America. Are you ready to accept
I could not help but frown when I read your recent article on woman-led prayers.
It seems you American Muslims are badly misguided and seem so desperate to show
to the world that you are 'moderate'. Muslims do not need to become like the
kaffir in order to be 'civilised'. Islam is a perfect religion and has provided
us with answers to all of our problems. ALL of the rules in Islam have been
provided for a reason and those reasons remain valid even today.
You must judge a tree by its fruit. We need morality of Islam and Religious
Freedom of America to win the Donya and Akherat. Starvation and poverty in
Middle East is the fruit of disobeying and separating from Islam.
What we so often forget is that God has honored women by giving them value in
relation to God - not in relation to men. But as Western feminism erases God
from the scene, there is no standard left but men. As a result, the Western
feminist is forced to find her 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
We must learn, Men set the rule for Men and Women set the rule for Women. For a
mixed event, the must negotiate the rules according to Quran, Sunnat, Aghl and
Ijma. When there is no prohibition, Reason wins. We cannot force the Women
anymore than we must convince them. Good luck trying to force your views upon
Women without logic.
When a man cut his hair short, woman wanted to cut her hair short. When a man
joined the army, she wanted to join the army, and so on. She wanted these things
for no other reason than because the "standard" had it.
ICBH: We must learn with Religious Freedom. We must win any Discussion by Reason, not by Force, and you do not have Reason. Please remember you are in America with Religious Freedom the best mind wins. Survival of the Fittest.