// Progressive Muslims Launch Gay-Friendly, Women-Led Mosques In Attempt To Reform
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« on: Mar 29, 2012 08:41 PM »


Hmmmm people what do you think??

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Progressive Muslims Launch Gay-Friendly, Women-Led Mosques In Attempt To Reform


Across the globe, the rise of the women's and gay rights movements has not left Islam untouched. For more than two decades, Muslims scattered around the world have been re-examining gender roles within Islam. In the Middle East and South Asia, Muslim activists have fought against female genital mutilation and honor killings, convincing clerics to issue fatwas declaring the practices un-Islamic.

In the United States, Amina Wadud, who taught Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, has been leading prayer sessions with men and women for years. One of her first, in South Africa in 1994, led conservative Muslims to call for her removal from the university's faculty.

A prayer session of men and women that she led in 2005 in New York, as part of the Muslim Women's Freedom Tour to several U.S. cities, resulted in her condemnation by prominent Middle East sheiks and anonymous death threats.

Asra Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who organized the freedom tour, has held pray-ins at several American mosques, with women congregating in the men's section during Friday prayers and refusing to leave.

Such controversial events, though, have brought little change within most mosques.

The gay rights movement within Islam has been quieter. An organization for gay Muslims, Al-Fatiha, sprang up in the United States the late 1990s. The group organized annual retreats and its members marched in gay pride parades in San Francisco. Widely condemned by sheiks for promoting homosexuality in Islam, the organization disbanded by the mid-2000s.

Muslims for Progressive Values doesn't espouse the kind of public activism of prior movements. Members say their goal from the beginning was for Muslims to build spiritual communities around their own interests. Some attend local mosques, while others like Zonneveld don't care to join long-established mosques. They want their own.

"It's hard to tell how successful these progressive groups will be," Esposito says. "Often, these kinds of reforms, when they start to take place, usually consist of small groups that are a vanguard within the religion. You run the risk of alienating even people who see themselves as reform minded if they see one issue, such as gay imams, that they think goes too far."
***

Two weeks ago in Los Angeles, Zonneveld gathered with progressive Muslims at a Middle Eastern cultural center to inaugurate a new mosque. Sitting cross-legged in a circle with her companions, she sang the call to prayer, exulting the glory of God. She made a bold proclamation about the believers who were joining her that day. Muslims from San Francisco to Seattle tuned in via Skype.

"We are gender equal, queer-friendly and religiously nondiscriminatory," Zonneveld declared. "In other words, all are welcome. Allah tells us in the Quran that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was a 'mercy to the worlds.'"

The group praised Allah in Arabic -- and English, a language rarely used for formal prayers. Women stood beside men. Among the ragtag group of Muslims were gay converts, feminist academics and lapsed believers seeking to rediscover their faith.

After prayers, the imam, a Shiite convert with Korean ancestry, read from a list of requests that others passed toward him. One congregant asked the group to pray for his friend's brother who was in the hospital. Another asked for a blessing for those caught in the violent upheaval in Syria. A few requested prayers for the pregnant women in their community.

In an Arabic nod to tradition, the congregation recited Surat Al-Fatiha, the opening chapter of the Quran. Observant Muslims say it before every prayer. The chapter praises the "master of all reckoning," asking him to "guide us along the road." In English, they chanted another prayer, based upon the dances of Sufi dervishes. "O Allah! Increase my light everywhere," they recited, asking God to open their hearts and minds. It expressed hope for the future.

This wasn't the first time the Los Angeles Muslims had met for prayers. In 2009, they had gathered at a Methodist church but never could draw steady crowd. And not all Muslims received them well. In one instance, a traditional Muslim stopped by to lecture them on their faults. Then the church, where they rented a meeting room, closed in April.

That mosque never had a name, but on their listserv, the progressives debated passionately last week about what to call their place of worship. "Light of Islam Mosque," suggested one person. "The Progressive Mosque," pitched another.

At last, the group came up with a simple solution, one reflecting its aims of openness and inclusion. The plaque outside their rented space, they agreed, would bear an inscription that started with "MPV" (Muslims for Progressive Values) and ended with "mosque."

And in the middle there would be one word: "Unity."

Continued: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/progressive-muslims-launch-gay-friendly-women-led-mosques_n_1368460.html?page=3
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« Reply #1 on: Mar 29, 2012 10:52 PM »

Assalamu Alaiykum,

I have one word for this:
N.O ====> No!

The Quran is for all time, & Allah's law is final. The Quran is a way of life too, it's not to be tampered with like the Bible. Is it me, but don't all obligatory prayers have to be performed in Arabic?

It seems like they are 'cherry-picking' aspects that suit them, & making it up as they go along!


Ma'Salam,
Cinders.

وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ

And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased.
Al Qur'an (93:5)
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« Reply #2 on: Mar 30, 2012 05:29 PM »

This article has caused massive waves through the internets.  There's a lot to be said about it!

But the real issue here is not addressed, and that is that this is a direct result of a lack of vision in our Mosques. I think I've said it a million times, but if Mosques are not welcoming to Muslim women they *will* go elsewhere. I thought they'd just drop out of Islam, but interesting that they're just going off creating their own Mosques!! The 80s and 90s old uncles boys club just has to go. Our concept of a "Mosque" has to be completely redesigned to meet the needs of the people.



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« Reply #3 on: Mar 30, 2012 07:58 PM »

salam


Women can't lead prayer if we're talking salat here.

The womens section here are pretty much equal to the mens I think or at least we can all pray comfortably alhumdulillah and hear the imam clearly. In classes we can also see him, the women's area is curtained off from the men, again with adequate space. and children are encouraged with a back room with speakers as a retreat if small children become restless and disruptive.

I disagree too, I'm with Sr Cinders on this one. This sounds like innovation.





 Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #4 on: Mar 31, 2012 09:39 AM »

Seriously sit ins on jummah preventing jummah salat? Because women want to lead the salat.

This is not progressive at all. It's preventing farad worship from being held.

It's disingenuous to put it in that this is on a par to having female genital mutilation & honour killings declared unislamic. Neither of which have ever been Islamic & with FMG I mean to the practice of removing the entire clitoris/ hood.

I can't see how obligatory salat would be completed if one participated in a congregation described as above.




Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 31, 2012 07:13 PM »

I always am scared of the signs of qiyamah...this one is too...I would never support anything like that....to be in an era where we ourself bring our lives near the end...where there persists just hypocrisy in the name of religion,where ppl fail to understand the basics and logic behind any ruling..and where there is outright opposition of Quranic teachings and sunnah..I would never support it.If  ppl really understand their religion,then they would never try to go against the fundamental laws of religion.

This is my thought
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 08, 2012 09:52 PM »

Pure innovations from those who have not accepted islam fully and neither comprehend it. Sounds like those who are more materialistic and trying to make a religion that fits them. Allah's law is definitely full of wisdom, for example the female imam will not be able to lead prayers at certain times during the year or when she is in labour - you will have to find a regular replacement. If someone is saying what is in the Quran as wrong, and they won't follow it, than how can they call themselves muslims? Yes, there are very few of us that follow everything -but at least we say we are doing wrong. Sounds very hypocritical to me.
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 11, 2012 05:09 PM »

Salam,

I think there's a couple things that can be discussed from this article....

1. Our Imams need to talk about topics that are important and relevant. Jumah khutbahs about the Fiqh of Salah or past greatness does not help anyone. "Angry Khutbahs" also are a huge turn off.

2. The lack of inclusiveness in our mosques for all kinds of people. "If we ignore 'homosexuals' they will go away. If we ignore the problem of zina among the youth it will go away", seems to be our mantra. There are people who sin in our community and we need to encourage them more than anyone else to come to the Mosques.

3. Women's spiritual needs are not being met at the Mosque. Being relegated to basements and closets is taking its toll.

4. Imams and scholars who are always hardline and conservative in their views are just driving away Muslims. The most "conservative" harshest opinion does not make you a better Muslim. Especially when it's harming people.

5. Imams and scholars have failed to answer people's concerns and questions. They've failed to explain rulings and to get across basic principles of how rulings are derived.

6. Women not given any say in their Mosques or Islamic organizations has created a huge backlash.


It's all nice and easy to just have a knee jerk reaction to this article and say "oh those people are haram and wrong", but not so easy to point the finger at ourselves since we've created this situation.
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« Reply #8 on: Apr 11, 2012 05:58 PM »

There no two ways about it as far as I'm aware.

Women cannot lead salat it would not be valid.

And really seriously regarding homosexuality there is no allowances for it. The fate of the people of Lut (AS) is very clear on that.


There's no debate for either of the above. It's clear, it is not permissible.

Yes Masjids need to be built with women & children in mind & as far as I can see they increasingly are now. The thing is that for men it's farad to pray in a masjid in jamat for women we have leniency.

But the first two points it is very clear that these are not allowed as far as I'm concerned there's no discussion.


And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 11, 2012 06:44 PM »

Hi,

Once upon a time in lala-land : http://www.themadina.com/archives/year2005/1114987310.shtml

I've been bad bad baaad...




baaaaaaaaaaad : (


The knight doesn't wait when he's ill or has cancer brother, the knight fights on... He finds a strategy, changes tactics, and hits hard.
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« Reply #10 on: Apr 11, 2012 08:57 PM »

the article isn't about people who want to be followers of Islam and part of the Muslim community, it's about a few on the fringe who want to hijack Islam and change it to suit them.

That's not possible.

Islam is complete it is for all people till Qiyamah without any changes.

So it's unpalatable to those who want to be mainstream or whatever, that's too bad, Islam isn't there to make us hip and popular if we follow the tenets as clearly set out people however begrudgingly respect us, they have no choice.

The women in my community are very very involved with the masjid and we have equal space to pray and classes for us specifically to cater to our needs, children are also very involved and welcomed Alhumdulillah. This is becoming the norm.

If someone is gay and wants to be muslim they should look into islam but they cannot dictate what Allah has decreed.

What people do behind closed doors is non of anyones business why on earth should there be a song and dance about being gay and muslim?

I think sex education on the whole should be taken very seriously by parents and no I do not think saying don't do it or I will kill you is acceptable either. But to say yep sodomy is allowed in Islam well sorry no it is not and there's no chance it ever will be.

Saying it is is WRONG

Women cannot lead prayers either

Declaring that yes they can is WRONG.

And one day each and every one of us will stand in front of Allah and explain our written and spoken word, I hope I am never standing in front of my creator and asked why I attributed what He did not decree as Islam.

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #11 on: Apr 11, 2012 09:28 PM »

Assalamu Alaiykum,

Alhamdulillah (all praises and thanks to Allah) that we have more than adequate provision in the masjids where I live. In fact both (within 5 mins of where I live) allow women to pray. In fact, in some there is actually more space for the women and children. I know at East London Masjid (One of the largest masjids in Europe) they are expanding the whole women's facilities even further  (they already have more than adequate provision) with the Mariyam Centre with women's only gym (where non Muslims are able to go also) and more space for classes/lectures etc.

There's actually a lot of good work being done in my area with other Monotheistic religions and even a planned trip to the Holy Land led by an Imam, a Rabbi and a Reverand.

I agree with Sr Fozia on that we are all accountable for our spoken & written words in the sight of God. Divine Law is sacred and cannot be tampered with.

For those of you who don't know, please look up the last sermon by our Beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) where he asks his companions if he had left anything out within the Religion. His companions gave a resounding reply "No". He tells us to be wary of anything that follows after him, as it is innovation. That's why he Prophet Mohammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) is the last Messenger.

Men are only placed 1 degree (that is minute BTW) above women. Therefore, yes women have rights, course they do, however Allah Subhanahu wa 'tala  in his infinite, Mercy, Knowledge & Wisdom has still placed males only a single degree higher than women.

Ma'Salam,

Cinders

وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ

And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased.
Al Qur'an (93:5)
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« Reply #12 on: Apr 12, 2012 10:13 AM »

Assalamu Alaiykum, 

I don't think it's a knee jerk reaction. The Masjids that I attend and my family and friends attend are being run and managed by brothers (& sisters) who are our age or slightly older. They are very understanding of the social problems and several Imams I know (& have heard of in other masjids) are doctors and very professional people which have dedicated their lives to God and that of which to benefit the community. Regularly they always tell the attendees to look after the Masjid's non Muslim neighbours with issues such as parking and making noise etc. Sermon topics are current also and deal with the very real social problems that Muslims (& non Muslims) face. 

Again, on the subject of homosexuals all the monotheistic religions do not allow it as far as I'm aware, however how one chooses to lead their life is their own business even if they are homosexual. However they cannot change God's law to suit them, if they wish to call themselves Muslims, Jewish or Christian then that is up to them. Who are we to judge, only God can judge. I say this having had  friends at university who were homosexual but of course we also know  also a fellow student who was training to be a Rabbi. We were all tolerant and respected each other and were friends,  but we all knew there's no way we'd agree on certain matters. 

As an aside, there's a huge women's conference happening in London on May 20th  with leading National and International Speakers which has been organised and is being led by Women,  for Women. 

Here's the link: 
http://www.iera.org.uk/seedsofchange/

Ma'Salam, 

Cinders

وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ

And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased.
Al Qur'an (93:5)
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« Reply #13 on: Apr 12, 2012 11:18 AM »

Sis Cinders -- You have said exactly what I wanted to say, but just a 100 times better Smiley
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