Friday, September 29, 2006

Radio Ramadan 1

well yesterday I did my first show on the radio for this Ramadan and boy did it get heated.

nm, md and the revert came with me and so I knew that it was going to be an exciting and different show and seriously it was.

on Tuesday I had invited md to come on to the show and she agreed bless her and I asked her advice for a topic, instantly she said ' white African talk about the mosque issue'

of course, duh I should have realised, its a hot topic at the moment amongst my circle of friends because the mosque in our area where the majority of my friends live and where funnily enough is right behind my back garden, all I have to do is come out of the back gate and hey presto I'm at the mosque premises, any way this mosque does not allow sisters to pray, it would have been so convenient for us to pray tarawih prayers in our local mosque instead of having to treck all the way to town and risk our SAFETY (a word that kept cropping up on the radio).

just before Ramadan, md and the revert decided to pay our local mosque a visit and ask them politely if they would allow sisters to pray in the mosque, they where speaking to somebody concerning this when an older man pushed in and told them that THEY believe that woman have to pray at home and that's final, how rude!!!

well we will not stay quite about this and our voices will be heard, letters will be sent to the mosque, if that is ignored then we will petition the area as well as all Muslims in Manchester and if that does not work then protest out side the mosque will be the next step until we are given our rights as Muslim woman, what really saddens me is that the prophet pbuh did not prevent Muslim woman from praying in the mosque, so where did this mentality of preventing woman form the mosque come from? its not an Islamic mentality.

and this is why it was decided to talk about this issue on the radio, to raise awareness, well we had all met at Sanam restaraunt where MMU isoc where having there freshers iftar, we had just opened our fast and then had to dash away cause and bless the mmu committee they wouldn't let us leave without a take away of the dinner, which was delicious mashallah.

we got to the radio about 5 minutes late and started straight off, at the start it was a discussion between ourselves until the first caller called in, it was man and he was anti-woman praying in mosques, he kept asking us what was the need in us wanting to pray in a mosque, he understood our want but he wanted to know the need, want, need what difference does it make, the point us I want to pray tarawh or any of my fard prayers in a mosque.

what kept being mentioned was the hadith of the prophet pbuh which was that it is more rewarding for a woman to pray at home, fine I understand that but what the callers failed to mention was the hadith of the prophet where he (saw) said 'do not prevent woman from going to the mosque', but even though we mentioned this hadith over and over again some of the callers still turned a blind eye to it, frustrating or what.

one of the callers said that we don't have to go to the mosque any more because many mosques have a walki talky system so we can follow the imam from the comfort of our very homes and we do not need to risk our safety by leaving the house to walk to the mosque, because we all know that thousands of men are waiting round the corner ready to attack us, my god what planet are some people from????

it didn't help that 2 woman called in to the show in support of this mans statements, one of them would only speak in Arabic even though majority of listeners are English speakers, so I ha to play that role of translator, she called in to say that we should not step one foot into the mosque, that if I was looking for reward then I would follow the hadith of the prophet that says there is more reward in praying at home, she then moved on to say that it was dangerous for a woman to walk in the streets to go to the mosque, to which I repeatedly asked her whether she went shopping to which she would not answer my questions, so basically its ok to go shopping and what not because that's not dangerous, but to go to the mosque is????

she continued to say that we must accept that we are the weaker sex, that we are going against what god said - excuse me, granted we are created differenly physically but we are equal in the eyes of god in term of worship ibadah, but she still wouldn't accept this point. She then ended her conversation by saying that it is the duty of the maherm in our family to drop us of and pick up us from anywhere including going to uni, and that they should accompany us every where, yeh like they have nothing better to do, subhannallah.

we had another classic caller with a very strong scouser accent, bless her this lady did not listen to a single word we said, she rang accusing us of many thing we supposedly said when in fact such words did not even leave our mouths, pathetic really, she rang saying that she is sick and tired of these modern Muslims who come on the radio blah blah blah, the funny thing is that we are only asking for our god given rights so by asking for this we have been labeled 'modern Muslims' whatever, if following the prophet in the correct manner means being labeled modern so be it, bring it on I say.

she accused us of being feminists, sheeeeeech just because we want to pray in the mosque we have now been labeled as bra burning, armpit hair growing feminsists, see my point when I said she did not listen to us.

she said that we kept using the word liberated, walahi that word was not uttered from any of our mouths, I told her that the only liberation I want is to liberate my self as a Muslim from the fire of hell, to which she shouted 'my god, are you saying that if us Muslim woman don't pray in the mosque then we will be going to hell'

now does that sound like what I said, duh, NO, I was talking generally but it was pointless she refused to listen to any of us and continued to call us feminists, ok then...

we did have 2 supportive callers, one from a brother and another from a sister, so that was nice but to be honest I was expecting more calls of support but I guess like nm said, all our supporters are busy praying tarawih in mosques.

we ended the show with one more caller who I suspect was a previous caller but putting on a very strong Asian accent, he started by shouting 'HAAAARAAAAAAAAAAM' down the phone, 'it is HARAM for a woman to pray in the mosque' he then started to go on about how sisters these days wear rainbow coloured scarfs and wear d&g perfume, ??????????? and that such sisters should not be allowed into the mosques until they learn to dress appropriately and that includes niqab, and md bless her mentioned to him that there are difference of opinion concerning niqab but again it fell to deaf ears, he did big up Somali sisters by saying that they are good examples of how a Muslim woman should dress, which brought smiles to md and nm.

its funny but at the same time sad, you know when you reach a point of either laughing or crying, we chose to laugh yesterday but it's a serious issue and it really makes me sad to think that sisters are prevented from going to the mosque, its like the revert said, if it wasn't for the mosque that she attened she would never have reverted,

any brothers out there who are advocates of this ban woman from the mosque policy, please give us your reason because in all honesty no one has yet given us a reason, and don't bother mentioning the hadith that we get more reward praying at home, we know this alhamdullilah, the hadith does not say 'so don't you dare pray in the mosque' do not use the hadith in the wrong context.

I have rambled on enough, watch this space because it is not over yet...


AngloLibyan said...

that is the most rediculous thing i have ever heard! how can they ban women from praying in the mosque and then pretend that this is Islam?
I am so sick of some of our muslim people who interpret Islam in the way that suits them. Islam gave equality to all and that is one of the reasons we are so proud of our religeon plus we live in a society that gave us freedom and equality.
I am sure many people will stand by you and I hope you will InshAllah succeed and take your place with the other sisters in the Mosque.

eco said...

Assalaamu alaikum, sorry to hear about your experiences. I hope your petition of your local mosque goes well inshAllah.

I know for me im much more lazy with tarawih which is why i like the mosque, it raises my iman. I wonder what shaikhs say in regard to this issue.

May Allah grant you sabr with difficult callers and hikmah to deal with them and 'ilm so that your message is pure.

white african said...

thank you anglo and eco for you support, it really is distressing and every time i think about it i get even more perplexed as to why they would prevent us.

eco we had a caller who said the same thing, she knows that she will pray her tarawih if she goes to the mosque where as if she stays at home probability is she wont pray it.

no one can say that it is haram for muslim woman to pray in the mosque, if the prophet allowe dit then no one should stop it. anglo unfortunatly people mix culture with the din, this is th ementality of many of the mulsims

lostkitty said...

It was so frustrating to read this - another example of Muslims not knowing their own religon and heritage. Sad too.
Do these "men" think they know better than the Prophet (SAW)? Do they think they are better than the Prophet (SAW)? Do they think they are more knowledgable?Or more understanding of what Allah wants than the Prophet (SAW)???
THEN how can they say something is haram which the Allah and His Prophet have not made haram? Praying or even just sitting in the mosque is our God-given right! Who are they to take it away?
If I was them, not only would I be ashamed of trying to exclude Muslim women from entering the mosque, I would get down and ask for Allah's forgiveness for having the audacity of inventing a law, a bidd'a in effect. Then I would make a sisters section to my mosque that is BIGGER than the brothers section as there are Muslim women than men, and because Muslim women are always with kids (or do the men have no responsibility for the tarbiyyah of their kids? Tarbiyyah such as can be gained from going to a mosque?).
How dare they even think they can do this???
That hadith saying it is more rewarding for a woman to pray at home, is an opportunity for women to gain as many rewards as men (who have more rewards by prayer in the mosque) - it is a blessing given to us women to make us on more of an equal standing with the men when it came to rewards; thats all. Because Allah and His Rasool (SAW) know that it is not always possible for women to go trekking to the mosque!
These men are not only warped, but narrowminded and uneducated.
They remind me of why the Muslim Ummah is in the state that it is - ignorance. Sheer ignorance.

white african said...

exactly kitty, whats really frustrating was the fact that 2 muslim woman where of the same opinion as the men.

one of the men said that if we where so desperate to pray in a mosque then we should getting planning permision and build or own mosques for sisters only, ugh we are dealing with children...

lostkitty said...

sisters only mosques???!!! Is he off his rocker?! What r these people on? And wat Isam are they following? What is wrong with them!

I cannot believe there are people out there that are so incredibly ignorant and small-minded.

UGH! There is so much more I wanna spew at this "guy" but whats the point? U, I know, agree with me already and he cant hear!

white african said...

lol kitty you sound just like how we felt after the radio show

NM said...

walahi i can't remember the last time i was so angry!! i couldn't get to sleep afterwards because i was so upset and angry and then when i finally went to sleep i woke up still preplexed! For the love of God i just don't understand

white african said...

yep nm, i was the same, its really sad, apparently we where the talk of the community, well eye brows where raised that day lol


^lool talk of the community eh?

A lot of people make the mistake of mixing culture with religion which is where this huge misunderstanding comes from. Islam is perfect and if we were to follow its teachings there wouldn't be a need for this argument. These people would realise that women have a God given right to pray in the mosque...and the hadith they are quoting is just so that things are made easier for us because the Prophet (SAW) and Allah (SWT) both understand that a woman may not always be able to go to the mosque.

Anyway...I'll just make dua and hope for the best.

white african said...

exactly native, thank you for that and thanks for you dua.

we are going to be tackling woman and education on sat so that should be interesting.

girl r u free at all on thursdays, fridays, sat or sundays to come on the show, we are feeling faiza deprived this year..

Ghazi Gheblawi said...

a very important issue white african, I praise your efforts, you have my full support.. Ghazi

white african said...

thank you so much ghazi, its nice to know that there are plenty of people who oppose this ban on woman.

Flower.of.Chaos said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Flower.of.Chaos said...

White African, I think you're brave to go on a radio and talk about something important to you as a muslim woman. I usually just stick to writing on the internet as I've never enjoyed people casting aspersions on my faith because they failed to understand it from my perspective.

That said, the issue of woman in the masjids is not new. It will be a topic flogged to infinity with those hell-bent on keeping women well under wraps in their homes. A masjid is not just a place of worship, its the Muslim community's center for learning, interacting with other Muslims and discussing issues concerning the community. I never understand why some people insist on limiting its benefits or keeping people from going there.

white african said...

thank you flower of chaos, your definition of what a masjid is, is exactly what we tried to say on the radio.

its unfortuant that we still have this mentality but inshallah with disucssions like the one on the radio we will bring awarness and hopefully bring about change, you mentioned writing, thats a powerful tool, continue your good work flower, with perseverance inshallah we will be victorious.

Anonymous said...

Salaam, sunshine.

Go get em...this was a good issue to talk about but I'm surprised at the response!

If you need any help with lobbying the mosque and whatnot, pleased to help inshAllah. This is something the whole community should be involved in. Especially since the wudhu facilities are reported to be good!

white african said...

yipee fudge, will most def whant your help inshllah, we are going to type up a letter to the mosque as a first step inshallah in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Salaam light skinned African

is clear the issue is close to your heart and rest be assured most Muslims are with you on this one.

But i think u guys are making a meal of what is a local issue and hence creating an uncessarry arguments between muslims.

Majority of mosques i know cater for sisters and to date i have not come a a mosque that refuses to have a sisters' section outright unless it is practically impossible due lack of space etc.

I don't know the facts of this mosque .. but if you sisters' beelive they can reasonably have sisters' area then i suggest u approach the matter formally and locally .. that is speak to the masjid management and if u still not satisfied then peharps the local elders or islamic orginisation to reason with them.

but whatever u do refrain from militant actions as it will only damage the local Muslim unity.


white african said...

sallam br deeh nooh and welcome.

to be honest i dont know whwre you got the idea that we wgere going to take militant action, if anything we want peacful means, we started of by trying to speak to the mosque commitee but they dont speak to females, so our next step is sending a letter to the commitee through a 'respected elder of the community.

we are not here to cause uneccassary arguments, we are just requesting our god given right, the mosque we mentioned is purpose built and has plenty of praying space for sisters during teh tarawih (this we made sure of). you are right majority of mosques cater for sisters but not all and we cant generalise, the reason we want to pray in this particular mosque is because its smack in the middle of our area it means we can have access to pray within seconds rather than trecking it on the bus.

its an important issue and we can not say 'for the sake of not arguments' let by gones be by gones'

jazak allah khairn

NM said...

i back militant action all the way :) i wonder what it would consist of anyway...

white african said...

lol nm, true, do you think it means wearing camfoulaged hijabs, so that we blend in to the bricks of the mosque?

cofman said...

Today is 19 March 07, more than 6 months after this debate started

Thanks to Anglo for directing me to white A’s page, and to W af for starting it, and for providing the link

I read a number of comments, not all, because frankly the time for reading is over

Let me explain, please
Let’s call spade a spade, not carrots

It has nothing to do with religion
It has all to do with oppressing women, and making them feel dirty, unloved and inferior
Why? because men, all over the world, love to conquer and dominate come what may ( as you know women here, in the west, gained their right to vote, from men, only recently, about 100 years ago )

Why can my sister go to university in Libya, and study with males in the same class, BUT can’t pray with me in a mosque in Europe?

If moslem women are serious that they want to do something about these issues, I assure you there are many guys who are more than willing to give time, support and effort to put an end to this and many other injustices.

Women? It is up to you
A lot of guys think “ if they are not speaking out, why should we? Why bother??”

To cut the story short, contact me any time you like if we really mean to do something positive, constructive and helpful to our community.

Again, the time now is for action. We need to make our voice heard. Loud and clear.

It has nothing to do with religion – absolutely NOTHING.

And it is UP to YOU ladies to start it said...

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