All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth glorifieth
the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, the Mighty, the Wise.
I find this to be one of the most viscerally appealing and all-encompassing verses in the Qur’an.
— Ibn Umar reported: the Prophet (s) said: Do not prevent women from going to the mosque when they seek your permission. Bilal b. Abdullah said: By Allah, we shall certainly prevent them. On this Ibn Umar (r) turned towards him and reprimanded him [in another version, thumped the speaker’s chest] so harshly as I have never hear him do before. Abdullah ibn Umar (r) said: I am narrating to you that which comes from the Prophet (s) and you (dare) say: By Allah we shall certainly prevent them. [Sahih Muslim, Vol. I, #885]
There has been quite an outcry (pro and against) in response to the creation of a ‘Women’s Mosque’.
I have read some and invite you to read http://www.albalagh.net/current_affairs/0107.shtml . What particularly caught me was the following paragraph:
But the path to that uplifting was not through the talk of empowerment. Rather it was through an exactly opposite strategy. Islam did not urge women to fight for their rights; it urged the men to discharge their responsibilities toward the women, fearing Allah. It did not urge the poor to fight for their rights; it urged the wealthy to discharge their responsibilities toward the poor, fearing Allah. It also urged the women to discharge their responsibilities toward their husbands. In fact it changed the focus of everyone from their rights to their responsibilities. For in the Hereafter we’ll be held accountable for our responsibilities, not our rights.
The challenge of course, is how far do we as women go to ‘encourage’ the men in our lives to discharge their responsibilities when some men insist that they protect us from fitnah by discouraging us from access to the prayer facilities because the gain to us is no greater than if we prayed at home. Many many shades of grey.