I recently came across a discussion on social media regarding the lack of facilities for women in local mosques. The user titled her discussion "I'm renaming mosques with no facilities for women 'Private Members' Club for Muslim Men". It made an interesting discussion on how women were struggling, yet again, for access to their local mosques. This subject has troubled me over the years. As a practicing Muslim woman, I really struggled with the concept that when I'm outdoors, I'm having to get home quickly to pray my Salah, as the nearest mosque to accommodate women would be a few miles away. And even if I made it to the accessible mosques which are usually quite large, I would have to fight for a parking space and try and get in on time for the prayers. I watched men enter their local mosques to pray whilst I waited in the car to collect a child from school/college, knowing my prayer would be missed because I couldnt go into the same 'men only' building. This is inconvenient in the winter months when Salah times are so close together and you are more likely to miss some of your prayers by not getting back home on time. Whilst there are mosques on every few blocks, I can't enter any of them because they have not provided any space for women to use. Women were always encouraged to pray at home, so we enjoyed not having to drop household chores and go to the local mosque to perform our daily prayers...men have to, because they must perform prayers in the mosque or in congregation if at work. Praying at home for men is extremely disliked in Islam. Women's roles have changed in the last 30 years, we are not home-based anymore. Women are now part of the workforce, they play a greater role in society, with more and more responsibilities out of the household. Yet their needs are ignored and they are prevented from using mosques in their locality. So why are there so many local 'cornershop' mosques without access for women? I understand some men use the Hadith where it was mentioned by the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), that it's better for women to pray in the home, which is really convenient for us when at home. I would prefer to pray at home when I'm home. But in the lifetime of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), men and women could pray in congregation at the mosques. Then theres the Hadith regarding not stopping women if they want to enter a mosque and pray? When I'm outdoors I need to perform my prayer on time, this Hadith would very much be applied in this case. Another popular argument men use is that the Prophet Mohammed's (pbuh) wife Aisha (r.a), once commented on how the Prophet (pbuh) would forbid women of today from entering the mosque. This message suggests that women of today are so deviated from the message of Islam that their behaviour would warrant a total ban from using mosques. Whilst this comment sometimes encourages self-reflection on our own personal journey, our devotion and commitment to Islam, I personally don't agree with a woman being prevented from praying in a mosque, no matter what. If Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) said not to prevent women, that should be the final say. It's a very uplifting moment, for a Muslim to be facing the Almighty in prayer and invocation. To be able to do this in congregation has a powerful effect on a believer. I feel cleansed, at peace, and content after praying in congregation at a mosque. It also gives me an opportunity to meet and build relationships with fellow worshippers, to hear live sermons from various scholars instead of watching them streamed online. Having a person to speak to for Islamic advice and information is essential for local Muslim communities to progress. There are so many benefits to be gained from using a local mosque, men enjoy these and have unlimited choices and access. Why not allow women to gain these essential spiritual benefits and pass them onto family and friends? What do you think? Should we just enjoy the freedom of praying at home and not try to enforce women's presence in 'male only' environments? It is my wish that one day I can also walk into any mosque to perform my prayers and savour that brief moment, where I am at one with, and speaking to my Creator. In Sha Allah!!


  • LH18


    Salaam Sister, I have spent a lot of time researching online where my local women's facilities are in nearby mosques and I have been struggling to find some. I live alone and have been trying to become closer to my Deen and I would love to connect with other practicing sisters but I have no way of finding them (apart from online). This is one of the reasons why I joined MWN. Your post really connected with how I have been feeling. May Allah help us all overcome barriers and obstacles to becoming closer to Him. Ameen.

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  • karimofthecrop


    I remember there was a new mosque that had opened and I needed somewhere to pray. It was raining and I asked if I could pray. The brothers were hesitant and said theyd ask as there wasnt an entrance for women! Luckily the imam told them to use their common sense and just let me enter and pray instead of making me wait in the rain whilst they decided if I could come in or not. If women and men can go to the kaaba together then I dont see why we cant be allowed to pray in a mosque! Even nandos staff have let me pray in their back rooms for goodness sake!

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  • Sabahn


    The first person to embrace Islam was a woman; Khadija (ra), The greatest scholar of Islam was a woman; Aisha (ra), The person who loved the Prophet (saw) the most was a woman; Fatima (ra). The Prophet (saw) preached boldly on the importance of women; celebrating their unique contributions to family and society, condemning the ill-treatment of women and campaigning for their rights. So why do the imams in mosque treat women like they don’t belong? Some women have experienced exclusion from male-run mosques, and spaces that are cramped and lacking appropriate sanitary facilities. This is wrong and it’s important that we raise these concerns. I agree with you 100%. Women’s roles have in fact changed in the last 30 years and MOST women are not home based anymore, so we should have a space to pray just like the men do! I think it is important to raise these concerns to the Board of Trustees at your local mosque or even write them letters. I know some mosques that facilitate towards women and even have women who are trustees, but that’s only because they fought for it and that’s the sad truth. We shouldn’t have to demand a place to pray in mosque or decent facilities, they should know to cater to women too! “Muslim Law Board says women are free to pray in mosques – but most women have been told the opposite. A Muslim woman is free to enter Masjid for prayers. It is her option to exercise her right to avail such facilities as available for prayers in Masjid,” It is important that Imams and their Board of Trustees recognise the above statement and start facilitating towards women.

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