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Offline Reader Questions

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Women Leading Prayer
« on: December 01, 2011, 03:25:32 AM »
Related Article:

SHOULD WOMEN LEAD MIXED PRAYER CONGREGATIONS AS RELIGIOUS LEADERS?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/women%20and%20congregations%20FM3.htm

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Question:

Dear Brother Joseph,

Prophets of God have all been men: true.This fact, for me, does not in and of itself preclude women leading congregations. Rather, I view it through a sociological lens: only in recent history in some societies have women attained equality (including educational access) with men. Even during Prophet Mohammed's life, when women were being accorded more rights and freedoms due to Quranic revelation, it would have been a radical departure from societal norms for women to have stood in such authoritative positions. The fact that men have traditionally held this role is simply that: tradition. Prevailing custom must not be used as an argument for upholding tradition.

Regards.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Women Leading Prayer
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2011, 03:27:18 AM »
Salamun Alaikum,

With respect, I spoke of women leading congregational prayer in the context of religious leadership.

I also confessed that this was not strictly a 'religious' matter but one open to debate.

However, it was important for me to at least highlight from a Quran's perspective some implications of 'religious' leadership undertaken by men and to entice others to possibly consider the wisdom why. You have advanced your own opinion which I respect.

You also respectfully say "Prevailing custom must not be used as an argument for upholding tradition".

However, from a Quran's perspective I feel it can also be argued that causing undue turmoil and upset to a community sentiment is also not in line with the spirit of the Quran's message, unless an established practice or belief clearly conflicts with it. This is especially true when the Quran is generally neutral on the matter.

But if a given society is happy to discuss an issue of 'leading prayer' specifically in the context of women, then it is a matter for the society, if it does not cause undue dissension.

I for one would not want to conclude to the effect that God also played into prevailing traditions by only sending men as religious leaders. It was certainly well within God's capacity to raise, protect and strengthen a woman to undertake such a task. After all, the Queen of Saba (Sheba) is noted in the capacity of general leadership.

However, I did feel it important to highlight this without concluding on the matter.

In the end, only God knows best.

I hope this helps,

Your brother in faith,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell