Mosque

Twenty years of stomach shrinking Ramadan

“You really shouldn’t fast,” an Indian hematologist in Bahrain warned me after I had been fasting for eleven years. She cautioned me that my iron levels were alarmingly low. “I’m concerned with your liquid intake more than the food. Your stomach isn’t big enough to accommodate both.”



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“Mommy, why are women in the back?”

<< From the Altmuslimah archives >> “Mommy, why are the women in the back?” my daughter asked me when she was just three years old. I wasn’t prepared for this. The truth is I had been hoping that she wouldn’t ask me because I wasn’t convinced that the women should be behind the men during prayer. I also knew that it wasn’t a requirement for congregational prayer. I felt conflicted because I wanted my beautiful, brilliant little girl to come to love prayer and praying in congregation.

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Capturing “beautiful,” “adequate,” and “pathetic” women’s spaces: An Interview with Hind Makki

<< From the Altmuslimah archives >> The Tumblr blog “Side Entrance” describes itself as a collection of images “from mosques around the world, showcasing women’s sacred spaces, in relation to men’s spaces,” showing ”the beautiful, the adequate and the pathetic.” Sarah Farrukh talks to project founder and community activist Hind Makki about the significance of the collection and its implications for mosque reform.

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Out of sight, out of touch: Women’s struggle to be heard in the mosque

Two Muslim women enter a mosque (no, this isn’t the opener of a lame joke).
Both sisters join the prayer, enjoying the Imam’s melodious recitation over the loud speaker – the only communication they have with the walled off men’s prayer area where the Iman stands, leading the prayer. They kneel down and touch their foreheads to the ground. Some time passes and one sister begins to wonder why the prostration, typically no more than 10 to 30 seconds, is now in its second minute. She had enjoyed the extra time to fit in some much needed supplication, but two minutes?

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Place shame where it belongs

As a Muslim community in the U.S., what is our collective image of an abuser? Who comes to mind when we think of domestic violence (DV)? Do we imagine the likes of Muzzammil ‘Mo’ Hassan, the man who beheaded his wife at the Bridges TV studio in New York? Does abuse have to reach the level of gruesome for it to qualify as domestic violence?

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The omnivorous superhuman: Reflections on Eid ul-Adha

If you grew up spending Eid ul-Adhas in Pakistan, you remember those occasions with…smells. Smells of the livestock outside your house, smells of earthiness and dung. And then, on the day, smells of blood. Butchers especially commissioned for that day would appear in the morning in beige, crisp shalwar kameezes, which would be splattered with blood by the end of the day.

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