On Jam-Making and Ramadan

Local strawberries.

How is it that the first week of Ramadan has already gone by? It’s been a bit of a struggle for me to let go of some of my commitments to spend more time on reflecting this month. With the fasts being as long as they are (~17ish hours, if I’ve done my math correctly), alongside full-time work, I haven’t been to my local masjid yet for the evening tarawih prayers. I’m usually asleep shortly after my evening meal, waking up the next morning to pray isha, eat suhoor, pray fajr, nap (if I can fall ba … [Read more...]

Pray-in Weigh-in: The D.C. Mosque Protest

At the end of February, a Muslimah “pray-in” led by Fatima Thompson at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. created a stir in the media.  A small group of women chose to pray in the back of the men’s section of the prayer area, rather than use the separate women’s section.  Mosque leaders proceeded to inform the police after unsuccessfully asking the women to move to the small women’s “area off to the side and gated off by a solid seven foot partition.”  The women were eventually asked to leave … [Read more...]

Authority, the Media, and Muslim Women

I have begun to read Khaled Abou El-Fadl’s Speaking in God’s Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women again. My first attempt was about two years ago while I was still finishing my Bachelor’s. The book is not easy to get through and the first time out proved to be a massive failure. This time is proving to be better, since I have more time to read it (although it is still proving to be difficult yet enjoyable to read). As we can tell from the title, a huge part of the book is dedicated to autho … [Read more...]

News We Can Use: the BBC’s Look at Gender and Class in Egyptian Mosques

A recent BBC News article has provided an astonishing suggestion that, far from being the monolithic oppressed group that many readers of mainstream Western media have come to expect, Muslim women can come from a wide range of possible experiences and backgrounds.  Who knew?Journalist Christopher Landau begins his article by telling us, The role that women play in mosques varies substantially around the Muslim world. Visits to two mosques in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, show just how different … [Read more...]