Gender In Us Islamic And Orthodox Jewish Sacred Spaces

6514 words, 27 pages

Intro Sample...


Across the globe there are millions of mosques and synagogues that serve as sacred sites for Muslims and Jews respectively. Each sacred site serves different purposes, including refuge for those less fortunate, a community center for the ethnic, a place of religious thought, a place of worship and prayer, and a place to share and rejoice with one another. The list goes on and on, but the underlying theme of all sacred sites is that they are to be a place of pilgrimage on the local, national, and global level. But pilgrimage for whom? There is much controversy that lies in the realm of mosque and synagogue attendance and religious duties and roles. This paper will specifically... View More »

Body Sample...

For women used to pray with the Messenger of Allah.”5. The establishes the fact that since the time of the Prophet women were not only allowed into mosques, but were allowed to pray along side men.
With that being said, there were still other hadiths and sources that showed that women were encouraged to pray in private in their homes. One such hadith reports the Messenger of Allah stating, “Do not prevent your women from (going to) the Mosques, though their houses are best for them”6. Imam ibn Hazam quotes Abu Hanif and Malik saying: “Their prayers in their houses are better for them”7. This is perhaps the beginning of the idea of discouraging women from attending the mosque, and the separations of roles within the mosque.
Two quotations that begin to explain the separation of women in the mosque are by Abu Hurayrah and Zaynab, wife of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud two religious leaders at the time. They stated “Any women who touches perfume should not attend our Isha prayer” and “It is not allowed for them to go out while using perfume or dressed in fancy kinds of dress or bright colors” respectively8. What is being portrayed here is the sense of conservatism that religious leaders were trying to uphold in mosques. This stems from their interpretation of a hadith stating “Do not stop the female servants of Allah from (going to) the mosques of Allah but let them go in modest dress…if any one of you attends the Mosque, let her not touch perfume”9. This sheds some light on why the Prophet and other religious leaders encouraged women to pray at home. It may be to ...

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