“…a woman’s connection to Allah can be as strong as a man’s…”

IMI Isn’t Doing Anything New

I feel something so wonderfully life-affirming when I see a woman lead salah. There is something viscerally unique about hearing a woman give the call to prayer, for me anyway. Every time I see this at IMI’s jummah prayers I remember the first time I got to bask in the beauty of female spiritual leadership. Leadership that isn’t about authority or greatness but about being mirrors of one another. The first time I saw this at IMI, I felt like I had reached a point of no return, like I was over the mountains staring out at an unknown horizon and the world would never look the same again. But this shouldn’t have been a new experience for me at 27 years old. IMI isn’t doing anything new in living by the notion that a woman’s connection to Allah can be as strong as a man’s. This notion is right there in the Qur’an (33.35), it’s in our history, it’s in our spirit. I should have been brought up with this. Brought up to value the spiritual capacity of every human being. But the more I see men (and women but especially men) fully accepting of and supportive of female imams, as I see at the Inclusive Jummah time and again, the more I feel like we’re over the mountains looking out at a fresh horizon.

People of all genders and sexes have the right to lead salah so there might not be a female khateeb or a female imam or a female muazzin at the Jummah this Friday but there absolutely could be.

IMI attendee