Irrespective of caste, creed or sex, every individual has a right to pray to their Gods- all of us have been taught this. Yet, many countries, customs and rituals create barriers for various groups and individuals. Two Muslim women living in Los Angeles, who refused to be sidelined in offering their prayers to god, opened up the first all-women Mosque in the US.
M. Hasna Maznavi and Sana Muttalib established this Mosque since they felt that the traditional mosques segregate women, also pointing out that in most mosques, the spaces given to women worshipers are in poor conditions compared to men’s. Stating the example of Prophet Aisha, Maznavi said that the neither the Quran nor Prophet Muhammad ever wished for women to be separated.
Co-founder of the Mosque, M. Hasna Maznavi, told the Jerusalem Post, “We just wanted to have a safe space where women could come and get inspired and hear from a female khatiba or someone who delivers the khutbah or the sermon and that’s an opportunity that we don’t get in other mosques. The speaker is always a male imam and not only that, it’s very hard to access the imam because of the way the mosques are structured architecturally. Sometimes the men and women are completely cut off from one another. This mosque gives us a chance to connect with our leaders and also with one another in a way that we wouldn’t in another environment.”
For the weekly Friday prayers, around 150 women gathered together in the newly found mosque, last week. The all-female prayer space was lead by a female imam. Currently the founders plan to host these prayers once a month, but many attendees wish for these to be held weekly.
[Featured Picture Courtesy: Al Jazeera]