Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What did the Prophet Do? An Evaluation of the "Islamic Basis" on Female-Led Prayer

A response to Nevin Reda's article: What Would the Prophet Do? about Muslim women leading prayers - Researched and Prepared by Ali Yahya

Imam Maalik elucidated this principle in his famous dictum: "Anyone who introduces an innovation into Islam, and believes that it is good, has claimed that Muhammad betrayed the Message. For Allaah says, “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Sooratul-Maa’idah, 5:3] So whatever was not from the religion on that day can never be from the religion today." Anyone, therefore, who attempts to introduce foreign ideas or practices into the religion – under the guise of "progressiveness," "American Islam," or otherwise – is implying either that Allaah's revelation was insufficient or that the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not convey His message….
On March 18, 2005, for perhaps the first time in the history of Islam, a woman delivered a khutbah and led a mixed congregation in Jumu'ah prayers. Although this action was clearly at variance with Islamic teachings and the consensus of the Muslim Ummah, attempts have been made to legitimize it. The most notable of these is a piece by Nevin Reda, available on the Internet.

Sadly, Nevin Reda's arguments have convinced a number of Muslims of the admissibility, or even desirability, of such prayers. This essay is a response to those arguments.




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