DID YOU KNOW / no separation
The first drawing came into being because of something I struggle with myself. I have not been to many mosques yet because I feel not very welcome there as a woman.
Before I became a Muslim I was a Christian and later on a Buddhist. Walking into a Church or walking into a Temple in the West is the easiest thing. But I don’t feel I can just walk into any Mosque. The first time I tried to walk into a Mosque (in the UK) I apparently stood in front of the men’s entrance (the women’s door was right next to it but not very obvious) the first reaction were some nervous laughs, hushing me away: “oh sister, the women’s entrance is over there”. That entrance was a side entrance, it felt more like a backdoor. It was my first experience of a Mosque.. I did not feel welcome at all and that’s really sad.
The reason I did become a Muslim is partly thanks to the Senegalese and witnessing how they practice the religion. Islam holds women very high and oppressing women is very much against what we learn from the Qur’an and by looking at our greatest example Prophet Muhammad ﷺ .
I was very happy to hear that our prophet’s ﷺ mosque had no separate entrance and men and women prayed in the same space too. I would love to see more of this again.
Below I added a website of the first women’s mosque of America (a response to the poor access to mosques for women) and great talk by sister Aisha Al Adawiyya called: Freeing our Mosques (she speaks about not shutting out women from mosque management and giving women an equally beautiful, clean prayer space.)
Below you can see the original drawing and the photograph (by Ezzat) I used as an example: