info@womensmosque.ca

Women's Mosque of Canada

585 Dundas St E, 3rd floor

Toronto, ON M5A 2B7

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Community Resource:

© 2019 Women's Mosque of Canada. All Rights Reserved

FAQs

What do you hope to achieve with a Women's Mosque? 

Our goal is to provide safe space for women to connect with Allah SWT, each other and heal. 

Why a Women's Mosque?

The simple answer to this question is because women are not getting the space and the support required.

  • We don’t see ourselves in the faith institutions as playing an active role within the mosques.

  • We are not able to address gatherings and speak on topics relevant to women.

  • We are told that being leaders in our faith is not the role of women.

  • And in fact, we are discouraged from coming to the mosque and engaging in faith-based leadership.

These statements are completely contradictory to the role that Muslim women played in Islam in its formative years and for many years subsequent to that.

Islam came to Arabia to liberate women. To give women rights, to be told that they were no longer property and that they actually had a choice. That they could choose whom they married. That they had the right to property, that they could choose to work, engage in business, be a scholar, learn and educate others. That the practice of female infanticide was unacceptable and that women had value.

Are you questioning the words of God?

No. What we are questioning and challenging is the patriarchy and the misogyny that has become inherent in some interpretations of the holy scriptures.

In the Quran Allah SWT often speaks about the need for Muslims to ponder, to question, to learn, to reflect on what has been provided.

But today, we are told that questioning is a problem. And that critiquing the translation and interpretation of the Quran somehow is putting Allah SWT and Allah’s Divine words into question.

Why can't women just attend the existing mosques? 

Women who would like to continue to attend the existing mosques can happily do so. We are interested in inviting those women in that are not attending the existing mosques or feel uncomfortable with the status quo. Our space is a safe space where there is no judgment. We invite women to come as they are.

How is Jummah ceremony performed?

On Fridays the mosque hosts Friday Prayer/ Jummah. At Jummah women listen to a khutbah by a woman khateebah. Following the khutbah, the women are lead in prayer by a woman imama who stands in the centre of the front row alongside other women.

What is so different between the Jummah prayers in the mosques and at your congregations?

For one the congregation is made up of women only. We are an inclusive and non-judgemental space which means women can come as they are and will not be judged for how much they know or "how practicing they are". Second, the content of the khutbahs discuss topics that are relevant to women making them more accessible.​

Who attends your congregations?

Many of the women who attend are not mosque-going and have not gone for many years. There are many reasons for this, for some it as a result of having experienced sexual and gender-based violence and then not receiving the support nor acceptance thereafter. Others come from countries where they have lived under "islamic regimes" where they were oppressed in the name of Religion.

Are your gatherings women only or mixed gendered?

All Friday prayer gatherings and study circles are for women only. Once or twice a year we will host co-ed lecture events where families can attend together.

Is there a religious basis for women to lead the prayer or is this Bidaah (Innovation)?

This is not bidaah. There are examples of women leading other women in prayer at the time of the Prophet PBUH. Aisha RAO (May Allah be pleased with her) was known to lead other women in prayer. 

Ibn Abi Shaybah (2/89) reported from the chain of narrators of Ibn Abi Layla from `Ata’ that `A’ishah used to say the Adhan, the Iqamah, and lead women in Prayer while standing among them in the same row. 

Are there women's mosque in the world? 

Yes, there have been women mosques China since the 1600s. In the last 10 years, Women's mosques have been established in Denmark, America, Berlin, UK and now in Canada.

Aren't you dividing the Muslim community further by promoting gender-specific mosques?

No, we are not dividing the community further, rather, we are trying to bring other women from outside the community in. In this way, we are providing a service to the community and working to unite our community further. The healthier women become, the healthier our families and communities will be.

Can I attend your gatherings if I am not Muslim?

Yes absolutely, our space is open to women of all faiths and values. 

What other services do you provide?

We provide support services and healing in collaboration with partner organizations. To learn more or to seek support, please email us at info@womensmosque.ca