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Women Leading The Prayers

22 March, 2005

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A US based female Muslim professor, Amina Wadud has led Friday Prayers in a New York Church with men in the congregation despite sharp criticism from Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East who termed it a gross violation of Islamic norms and values.

Whereas, Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia commonwealth University, contends there is no restriction on women in Islam to lead the prayers.

Wadud said before the service, "With this prayer service we are moving forward, this single act is symbolic of the possibilities within Islam." Asra Q Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and mother of an illicit child, was the lead organizer of the prayer.

On the other hand, all Islamic organizations representing US Muslims have strongly opposed the idea saying that Wadud is not the representative of Muslims and she is tarnishing the whole Islamic faith.

Pronounced Muslim scholars in Pakistan have stated that women have been given more rights in Islam comparing to any other religion or cult, but there are certain limitations imposed by God and the job of leading the prayers is handed over to men.

Abdul-Aziz al Khayyat, a former minister of religious affairs in Jordan and a religious scholar says that its forbidden under Islamic doctrine and that the Prayers of the men who participated would not count.

Prophet Mohammad and all the scholars did allow the women to lead ... mixed congregations, not even to allow her to pray at the side of the man, Al-Hayyat says "she can only pray behind him."

Q1, Is this a calculated conspiracy aimed at creating another sect against Islam like Qadianis where created at a time when British Empire in India were facing tough resistance from the Muslim opposition.

Q2, Is the west afraid of the spreading of Islam in USA and Europe and wants to create suspicion in the minds of fresh converts about the freedom of women in Islam.

Q3, What is your opinion about those who attended the prayers and what actions should the Muslim leaders and Ulema Take?

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