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Why the Masjids should welcome women and be the learning hubs

By Abdul Sattar

The suicide of a young woman Ayesha from Ahmedabad has left many perplexed. Many a times, it’s the parents who let us fall into the pit of ignorance and commit acts like suicide that take us near to kufr (Disbelief in the will of God). One of the reasons why a person commits a suicide is because of the continuous chain of people who were never told about this or were made aware of the teaching and the principles of Islam which linked each individual from the beginning. Ignorance doesn’t see which community people come from, it’s a prevailing phenomenon that has been passed down through the generations.

While majority of the people who have this same mindset and lifestyle live in similar communities; so that they don’t get left out or be regarded as different from others or to get belittled for being different from them. If a person offers prayers regularly and if he has a neighbour who doesn’t, then that individual would refrain to have the kind of proximity with his neighbour. Imams do their best to deliver sermons on Fridays, but unless individuals bring about a change and start to implement those teachings of Islam and try to reform themselves, we will hardly see any change in the society taking place. There’s much more that needs to be done on a bigger scale in terms of educating children and as well as parents.

Incidents like these are a shocker in our community, to show how much hollow and the amount of vacuum we have in our societies, We can understand when an actor like Sushant Singh commits suicide, who doesn’t understand the meaning of what Kufr is as he was not a Muslim. But Ayesha was a Muslim, Hijabi girl, who so effortlessly said that: “She’s not sure if she would go to Heaven or Hell”. It’s a matter of grieve and pain to see our brothers and sisters in such a poor emotional maturity and intelligence, and it’s the pressure and the grief which kills them first to take on this grave step.

What we Muslims in India especially have been doing is; we still haven’t opened the Masjids for the women folks to come and have talks and get together. Still, we have made masjids as male-owned buildings to show our reserved mindsets. We are allowing these incidents to take place in front of our own eyes by neglecting one of the most quintessential aspects of our future to educate the womenfolk. We are undermining our opportunities to educate our young brothers and sisters without channelizing our resources into good effect.

We need our Masjids to hold regular programs and sessions to educate and hone our younger generation on topics like Suicide, Dowry, Marriage, Emotional Intelligence, and personality development in light of Islam on a weekly/monthly basis as appropriate. Because these are only places around which communities are formed and they are most convenient place to be visited by communities. Unless we don’t see any reforms taking place at the grass-roots level at our Masjids, we can’t expect to see our society addressing these issues.

The columnist holds an MSc in Engineering from the UK and can be contacted at sas_beck@hotmail.co.uk

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