Reclaiming the Mosque The Role of Women in Islam’s House of Worship By Jasser Auda (UK/USA: Claritas Books with Maqasid Institute, 2017. 135 pages.)

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Gowhar Quadir Wani

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Abstract

The most famous Ḥadīth collection, Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, records ‘Umar, the
Second Caliph, to have said, “We did not value women as anything during
the ‘period of ignorance’ until Islam came and started mentioning them,
because of which we took into consideration their rights upon us” (Ḥadīth
No. 5505). This narration, along with a multitude of other Qur’anic injunctions
and Prophetic sayings, plus the practice of the Prophetic era, makes it clear that Islam elevates the status of women, encourages (indeed ensures)
their participation in the society, and makes them the vibrant contributors
alongside men. But, ironically, in the subsequent periods of Muslim history,
the jurisdiction of women in Muslim societies was reduced to the confines
of the household, depriving them of active social participation. While there
is no denying that some external political factors and cultural influences led
to this situation, the ‘religious’/ ‘Islamic’ overtone given to this non-Islamic
discrimination against women is most unfortunate ...

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