A girl’s place—on the mosque

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When Zariah Horton stepped to the entrance of a mosque in Los Angeles final 12 months and ready to deal with a congregation of Muslim ladies, she was assuming a place she by no means imagined being in. She had attended jumu’ah, or Friday prayers, at mosques in america for many years, however the thought of main prayers herself had by no means felt like an possibility, as a result of she had solely seen males within the function.

“It by no means occurred to me, I suppose as a result of gender issue,” she stated.

However when the Ladies’s Mosque of America opened in Los Angeles in 2014, Horton’s concepts started to alter. The Ladies’s Mosque is completely for ladies. Ladies lead all points of the Friday prayer service, together with making the decision to prayer, delivering the sermon, and main the congregation in prayer—actions historically carried out by males. (In keeping with most Islamic students, ladies aren’t permitted to guide males in communal prayer, however they’ll lead different ladies.) The Ladies’s Mosque meets on the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, remodeling a room within the church by placing up banners emblazoned with the names Muhammad and Allah in Arabic calligraphy.

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