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Female Imams

Everything about female imams in The Quran

Everything about female imams in The Quran

Islam does not have an institution like the Christian priesthood.

The closest equivalent to the priest or pastor is the prayer leader of a mosque, known as the ‘imam’.

For Sunni Muslims, the functions of the imam are to lead the daily prayer congregations held at the mosque, and preach the sermon at the required prayer held at noontime on every Friday.

For Shia Muslims, the imam is a truly sacred person, totally free from sin, and chosen by Allah to function as a perfect example to the faithful, and to lead Muslims in all aspects of Muslim life.

The Quran does not address the issue of female imam’s and so relevant examples are pulled from Hadith.

Women are generally not permitted to lead a prayer congregation, the only exception where a woman may lead men in prayers, is only if a qualified man is not present in the home. A woman may lead women-only prayers in her home. Many believe this ban on woman grew as a result of the ancient patriarchal interpretations of the Quran and the letter of a disputed Hadith. Historically, in the Arab heartland of Islam, and parts of China, some groups found it suitable to have female imams.

Current debates focus on the conditions in which women may act as imams. Some schools of thought make exceptions for women to lead a congregation consisting only of the woman’s close relatives.

Muslim nations are also split on the issue of women-only congregation. In 2000, the Shia leadership of Iran reversed a previous ban on women leading women-only prayer congregations and now the nation allows it.

American and Canadian Muslims have urged female-led prayer movements since 2002.

In 2004, Yasmin Shadeer led the night isha prayer with a mixed congregation, the first modern recorded event where a woman led a congregation in prayer in a mosque.

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Everything about female imams in The Quran

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