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Archive for the ‘Sacred Space’ Category

Eid al-Fitr 2013: Celebrating our Fitrah

In Muslim Views, Muslim Women, Palestine, Sacred Space, Scholar, Society on August 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Published in the Muslim Views Eid al-Fitr edition in August 2013.

As the Ummah approaches the beautiful celebrations of Eid al-Fitr, all Muslims – women and men alike will rejoice in the return to our fitrah, that innate disposition of purity which we are all created with. As we celebrate, let us spare an extra prayer for Muslim women, who in many cases, not only observed their own fasts but also prepared the Suhoor and Futoor meals for their families and communities.

As we approach the days of Eid, we also find ourselves in August – women’s month. In reflecting on the divergence of these two significant events, it is essential to reflect on some of the current challenges facing women, both of the Ummah and of humanity. Muslim women in South Africa are a whirlpool of talent and have certainly made great strides both educationally and professionally. Whilst on the national level, the visibility and contribution of Muslim women in the spheres of government, media and the corporate world are promising, on the community level, both socially and spiritually, there still remain some gaps. I refer here to the lack of inclusive sacred spaces in the masaajid and Eid musallah, as well the absence of a considerable active presence of women in key leadership positions in Muslim organizations – particularly scholarly bodies. I do not mean to generalize to the point of claiming no presence of women in these areas at all, because progress has certainly been made – however, there remains a strong need for more visible and significant contribution by women, which follows in the trajectory of the Quran and Sunnah of Muhammad (pbuh).

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They Don’t Have Prayer: the Media and Eid for Muslim Women in South Africa

In Muslim Women, Muslimah Media Watch, Sacred Space, South Africa on October 19, 2010 at 11:34 am

Published at Muslimah Media Watch, Muslim Matters and Racialicious

Several weeks after Eid al Fitr and before Eid al Adha, it’s a good time to analyze the recent media embroglio about women and Eid prayers in South Africa. The ways in which South African Muslims interact with the media has changed drastically in the last few years with the rise of social media, and this has reflected itself especially in what has been called “the desktop gender jihad” (women using the internet to fight, lobby and advocate for their rights).

In the weeks following Eid al-Fitr, a group of South African women from different cities and affiliated with different groups put their heads together to make a statement: Women have the right to attend Eid prayers. Traditionally, South African Muslim women in the north have been barred from attending the prayers, as part of the dominant mindset of women as a source “temptation” and “distraction.” Muslims in the South, especially in the Cape, have always had women as part of their congregations. These differences are sometimes attributed to ethnicity and sometimes to madhab (school of law).

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Hypocrites and the Jumuah Before Kick-off

In Muslim Women, Sacred Space, Society, South Africa on October 19, 2010 at 11:00 am

Published at the Voice of the Cape website

Everyone who knows me – knows that I have a crusade against sexist/misogynist/chauvinist men (and women for that matter), especially that kind that tries to bar women from Islam’s places of worship – mosques. If you know this about me, you will know that I was initially extremely irate, then quite hopeful at the well organized salaah facility at the World Cup Opening match.

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