Women and Mosques
Mosques should be a hub of activity, the centre of community life. More than just a prayer space. Looking back to the time of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, we can see vibrant places where everyone was welcome and respected.
According to the latest data held on the ‘Muslims in Britain’ website there are 2131 Mosques and of those, 72% have a listed place for women to pray.
Working alongside online campaigns such as Open My Mosque and My Mosque Story, we have heard stories from women all over the UK who have shared their experiences that paint a negative picture of the reality on the ground.
We also know that where Mosques are open and have good involvement from women, those places are better in so many ways.
In essence, our belief very much is that only when we do things together, we can thrive. By closing the door on half our community, we will never really progress. Muslim communities will never be the positive force for good that is possible if women are not involved or feel shut out.
This fits into other discussions around inclusion in general. How many young people are on your local Mosque board? Is your Mosque only catering for one ethnic group? When was the last time you saw a group of people in wheelchairs coming to pray at your local Mosque? How do parents with children who have special needs feel about coming with them to the Mosque? Have you seen sign language being used in regular prayers at your local Mosque? All relevant issues for us to ponder that should be high on the agenda.
This work is not new, of course not. Many have gone before us and we are indeed building on whatever we can of that.
A few areas we want to focus on where we have identified gaps in the current conversations among UK Muslims:
A nuanced mapping of UK Mosques particularly sharing women’s perspectives.
What can women learn from other faith communities and places of worship and how can ideas and best practice be shared?
Showcasing good examples of inclusive UK mosques where women are valued and involved in positive ways.
Organise discussions around Islamic teachings on issues connected with women, worship, scholarship and communal involvement. What did it look like at the time of Muhammad, pbuh? How have Muslim women been seen and appreciated throughout history to the present day?
Support Women and Mosques
Please encourage friends and family to donate:
"How to Mosque for Me!" Survey
Help us to better advocate for what you need from mosques.
At the time of Prophet Muhammad, mosques were vibrant places where everyone, male or female young or old was welcome, a hub of activity and a centre of community life, – a prayer space and so much more. But do our mosques today in the UK do the same for us? We would like to learn more about your experiences and what you need or what you already value from your mosques locally. We have a particular focus on womens’ experience of mosques but we value the male perspective on this, e.g. needs when attending mosque with family members.
The information you provide us with will help us to better advocate for what you need from mosques up and down the country. Your responses will be anonymised. They will help us to demonstrate positive examples of what kind of masjid works for Muslims in Britain today. It will also help us work with other organisations to support women who have experienced discrimination know how to effectively raise the issues, ask for change and get redress. We may print anonymised quotes from your responses in our advocacy work.
The survey is being conducted on behalf of Muslim campaign group “Open my Mosque” led by “TogetherWeThrive”. It takes about 5 minutes to fill it out, and we thank you in advance for helping us hear your voice. If you want to know more about the project and the survey, please be in contact with: Julie@togetherwethrive.co.uk.
PERSONAL INFORMATION :You can fill out the survey anonymously. Personal data (i.e. your email address) will not be shared in our advocacy work. Your answers may be quoted but not attributed to you.
Do you want to be involved in some way?
This project is led by women but of course, we know the importance of working with male allies too.
All are welcome, message us and let’s talk!