Are women not allowed in Al-Husseini Mosque?!
Since my Auntie Heidroun is visiting from Germany, me cousin and I have decided to take her on a quick tour around town, and figured the best way to start was down town, seeing as she wanted to get lots of spices, on the way out of the house she has informed us that she has gotten a scarf to cover up as she wished to visit the Husseini Mosque down town, and we grabbed prayers clothes accordingly and got going.
As we approached the mosque we have covered up in prayers clothes and approached to go in, only to be stopped at the gate by the “mosque keeper” who made it very clear that we we’ rent allowed in! “This is the house of God” my cousin has exclaimed, “You cannot possibly forbid us from coming in” and he still refused saying it was prayer time and that it is about to get over crowded with men! It was 10:00 a.m for Gods sake, what in the name of Heaven was he referring to?!
A fellow Muslim brother understood our point of view; you cannot possibly ask someone to leave a mosque, not even women! It would be understandable to be escorted out if we we’re wearing inappropriate clothing but we we’re wearing prayer clothes, yet he insisted that this is not a place for women to pray, instead, he made it very clear that there is a 3X3 room by the gate that he will open upon the call for prayers for women, but we still wouldn’t be allowed within the mosque prayer area! What a disappointment.
That’s when we have recalled Jerusalem and Al-Masjed Al-AAqsa where men and women pray in perfect unity and harmony under one dome, and there is this person who is not even the sheikh of the mosque, sitting on a plastic chair a meter away from the gate banning us from walking in to the house of God!
As we walked out of the mosque disappointed I couldn’t help but remembering a story that happened in Bukhara back in the Summer of 2009 where women we’re banned from entering mosques or praying in them, especially during Friday prayers! For the first time in my life, I felt that I could relate! Back then, I was badly against the idea of banning women from entering mosques, especially that it was done for political reasons, but all of a sudden I was washed over with a sense of anger, frustration and humiliation that I couldn’t stand, that my down town trip with my aunt turned into a tweeting fiesta as I exploded on twitter about this bitter experience.
A mosque is a sanctuary, a house of God and a humble way where one can recreate pure divine presence on earth, and am still wondering, how in the name of Earth did that happen! The afternoon was concluded with a visit to the King Hussein Mosque where we we’re welcomed as women and even got the chance to pray two roqaa’s before we left! But I still can’t help but wonder, was it right to be asked to leave the house of God earlier this morning!? I know for a fact it wasn’t, I just don’t know where to go from here!
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