Johari Abdul-Malik & Suhaib Webb | Mega-Mosque Communities and Loneliness

Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, an imam at Dar al-Hijrah moved within walking distance of ADAMS Center so that his family could be closer to a progressive (in the conservative sense), dynamic, and welcoming community led by Imam Mohamed Magid.

Most individuals attend religious services for two reasons, to have communion with the divine and for fellowship with a community of like-minded believers. Jews and Christians primarily attend their houses of worship for the latter reason while Muslims that frequent mosques primarily attend for the former, which can lead to a lack of real community and feelings of loneliness.

To see the official video from the MPAC Convention, click here: The State of our Umma (Community)” Facing our Challenges


Suhaib Webb | Women in Mosques, Sexuality, & Negotiating Faith and Community

Three segments of a panel discussion at MPAC’s 2010 Annual Convention with Imam Suhaib Webb supporting the right of women to have equal and dignified space in mosques as “women are not living a dignified religious existence in our communities,”  as well as the Muslim community’s hang-ups in dealing with issues of sexuality, and the need to allow individuals to negotiate their faith.

Selected Quotes

“Women in our community are taking Prozac because they’re looking at a wall their whole lives and are told they are part of a community…”

“I’m encountering converts who are not dissatisfied from a point of theology and worship but they’re dissatisfied from a point of community…”

“I’m lonely in the mosques…”

To see the official video from the MPAC Convention, click here: The State of our Umma (Community)” Facing our Challenges

Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick | Don’t Exclude Women from the Mosque

Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick supporting the right of women in mosques:

“Too many times in our communities, the leaders are oppressors. Women are marginalized, taken out of Islamic activities, and the brothers are fighting a war not to have women involved in Islamic activity. I don’t know what religion you are talking about…”

Asma Uddin & Aman Ali | Why Women Don’t Go to Mosques

Portions of a panel discussion by Asma Uddin and Aman Ali at the 2010 MPAC Annual Convention revolving around the issue of women’s prayer spaces in mosques.

To see the official video from the MPAC Convention, click here: The State of our Umma (Community)” Facing our Challenges

Suhaib Webb on Muslim Women’s Prayer Spaces & Leadership

Two portions of a talk delivered by Suhaib Webb at University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore titled “Confronting Islam: Shari’ah, the Constitution and American Muslims.”

Dar us Salaam’s Off-Site Jumu’ah Location

The venue is the Cherry Hill Manor/Knights of Columbus property in College Park, MD. Most weeks, we pray with the men in the front and women in the back separated by a single row of chairs. However, when larger numbers and crowding is expected as happened around the holiday season with many Muslims off from work and school, the sisters were relegated to the basement with only an audio connection.

It seems to me, a fairer and more considerate solution would be to maintain the setup as is, so women who come early or who would like to see the khatib are not penalized on account of their gender to the less desirable accommodation. Men and women that come later could be re-directed to the basement, where they could recreate the setup of men in the front and women behind them.

One week, surprisingly the men’s overflow area was in the basement, but unsurprisingly, the majority of the brothers did not wish to be relegated to the basement. The reasons are obvious, despite the piped-in audio, it is only natural that one’s focus is decreased by the lack of visual connection and also feels cut-off from the main body of the jama’ah when relegated to a separate room. It was so informative to see the resistance from the brothers to being relegated to spaces so often readily given to women.

The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “None of you truly believes, until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” If you do not love to be cut-off from the jama’ah, know that many of us women don’t enjoy it, either. And the solutions are many if we can simply think critically and with some compassion.

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Dr. Martin Luther King on the Need for Direct Action

Martin Luther King Jr., Letter From Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963):

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.