March 26, 2007

Women Praying & Sultan Qaboos Mosque

The beautiful mosque, one of the largest in the Arab world was recently built in Muscat, Oman by the Sultan Qaboos. Whether it was to make up for the fact that it is commonly percieved that he killed his father, the former Sultan of Oman, I do not know. Either way, it is absolutely beautiful with large gardens and courtyards and for once, the female area was not a room with white walls and a funky smelling carpet, but rather a work of art on its own. Although not comparable to the main prayer room only the men get to enjoy.

It was even hard work getting the men to let me even enter to take a photo. Even then I kept only to the entrance.

I am still waiting for the day when I as a muslim woman can enter a main prayer room and pray there, which is my right. The way it was done at the time of the Prophet Mohammad* when no mosques had upper levels, or walls seperating the men and women.

But we live today as if that time never existed and as if the way mosques were built pre-Wahabi influence, never existed.

Look at the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus, a mosque where Imam Al Ghazali and many other great scholars of traditional Islam studied in the past; no walls. Same is the case with Al Aqsa in Jerusalem. All men and women pray together in one room, on different rows or sides of the room. Think about it next time you pray in a Mosque, what does it look like and why?

*May peace and blessings be upon him


A world of Symphony said...

Shash: I have so many versions of 'But not for Me' but not this one by Chet in spite of the fact he ups the tempo but it's cool. This tune is so reminiscent of the JATP sessions, isn't it? If you have this one in your system, could you wire it to me please? Thanks a bunch :)

I've never been inside a Mosque in this part of the world except the Blue Mosque in Turkey.

Imaan On Ice said...


goooooooood to hear a voice for woman issues like that. Goooood.

Destitute Rebel said...

Its a beautiful mosque, I loved the gardens in the mosque. Of course when I had gone I didn't get to see the women's hall, but the Guys hall was just magnificent with thick carpets and gigantic chandileirs. I even had my camera handy for some great shots. Its amazing how you present issues in your posts. Keep up the great work.

Optimistic Guard said...

What a grand hall, I have never seen a prayer hall where women and men pray together, I guess it will take time for that to happen. But I read something about a woman leading a prayer somehwre and it caused alot of controvercy. maybe it was meant to because there was a lot of media hype and the lady was some known figure. anyhow very nice post.

Knicq said...

Salam Alaikum,

You are back, and active!

Yay! to that.... :)

Samawel said...

It's beautiful... Keep your hopes up, sooner or later someone will slap their forehead and think, "Man the older people had a point!"

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Awos, maybe you shoudl check it out? Take some pics and let us know your thoughts.

Imaan, Girl power! lol haven't said that in ages!

DReb, Thank you :) always the encouraging voice.

OG: Yes it may take time to happen in certain countries. In Damascus it is still done at teh Omayad mosque liek I wrote.
The woman you are talking about is Amina Wadud. Women leading prayer really is a seperate issue to men and women being able to use the same space for worship.

Salams knicq! :) Well I'm half back, half gone. On the road lately, so to speak. But it's good to see you here, been a while :)

Samawel ya samawel! min zamaaan is too short a time! How have you been? lol indeed, someday someday. Mind you I caused a stir at a mosque in Alexandria, I will have to blog about that. There comes a point when you just cant be quiet and wait for people to wake up.

Optimistic Guard said...

Shaykhspeara, you are right it is a totally different issue but some view that as their right and as being progressive no comment on that though. Using the same space was done in the old times, I believe during the Prophet's (PBUH) time men and women used to pray in the same space, inshallah the future will see us doing that again. Having the same rights and privilages for men and women.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Inshallah OG :)

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

When I performed Hajj woth my sister, the men and women were all praying together to God, although in different rows.

Here in the UAE, most large mosques have exclusive facilities for women.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Yes hajj is another place where men and women pray together. I haven't seen that many mosques in the UAE, more in Oman since I spent more time there. Beautiful country, kind people.

Sleepless In Muscat said...

you mean to say you came all the way to Oman - my country - and never looked me up??????

Explain to me how that is not bad?


Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Wallah it's bad, ana asfe ya sleepless! Next time for sure, if you will have me visit! lol

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