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Segregation In The Mosque Essay

1569 words - 6 pages

Segregation is the act of separating two different groups of people, usually based on sex, race or religion. Throughout history, segregation has played a major role in significant issues such as racism. However, it can be seen that segregation has still carried on through the many years that it has existed. A prime example is the segregation of men and women in Islam. Since the beginning of the Islamic religion, women have always been told to pray behind men in the mosque but combined with time, segregation has taken a different turn. Islamic women now face barriers in the mosque and are told to pray in separate rooms away from the men. This segregation in the mosque is not an unfamiliar problem, but has remain unsettled for many centuries. Segregation in the mosque makes praying difficult for some women, but the millions who practice the religion never speak about their views in the matter. Most remain silent and with this, the segregation continues.The Prophet Muhammed wanted the mosque to be a place of prayer and worship for the Islamic community but his idea has radically changed since then. The original mosque of the Prophet's was communal, equal and fair. All the women and men would pray together in the same room without any disassociation or estrangement. However, this later changed when the opinion of superiority and inferiority arose. Men considered themselves the superior gender while women were just inferiors to them. Many of the men believed that women were a distraction both physically and spiritually. This caused the commencement of segregation in the mosque. Women would have to pray at the back of the mosque while the men would sit in front of the women. This made praying and learning especially hard for the women as the imam was barely heard from the location they were placed at. Centuries have passed since then and it is true that not all mosques incorporate segregation but many of them do, and boundaries are still in use today. In many modern mosques, the separation between men and women is no longer a sitting distance but curtains, partitions and barriers are put in place in order to ensure that men and women are not seen together. However some mosques take extreme measures and build separate rooms where there is less space therefore more crowded for the women. Not only are rooms built, but women are sometimes forced to pray in the basement of the mosque or in the last resort, women are banned from the site entirely. Those who are in charge of the mosque have sided with the men and have made praying and worshiping substandard for women. Sometimes the area in which women are obliged to pray in is filthy and unclean but they are not given so much of a choice. Women pray in the mosque in order to fulfill the teachings of Muhammed and summit themselves to Allah. Of course it is not necessary to pray in the mosque but if the opportunity is there, women should be able to take advantage of the occasion and pray where they feel most...

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