The status of women in Islam, they heard several times during their prayer led by the imam, or
passing a shop selling audio CDs of the Qur’an:
“Men are in charge of women, because Allah hathmen the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women )…”(Qur’an: 4.34)
That is not a coincidence that we heard this verse repeatedly during our ‘Umrah of Tawheed, as this is a verse that is often used to demean wrongly women to an inferior status and sometimes to lead some dogmatic Muslims to justify physical violence against women,while other interpretations
are possible. We also speak of this term often used in the Qur’an, Amina has crossed several times at random from these readings from the Qur’an during our ‘Umrah.Namely the term fahish a -E
– which appears six times in the Qur’an; this term can be translated as”abomination” or “serious transgression of social rules” but is invariably translated by the dogmatic Muslims by “homosexuality” or “sodomy”, when it comes to describing the extent of all rapes,robberies, and crimes of piracy committed by the people of Lut. Again, we all agree on the fact that the prejudices of scholars too heavily influence the representation, which should be soothed and universally inclusive, we develop freely of our, cultural and spiritual Islamic heritage. Anyway here in Mecca, during our free times, we took our habits in the huge shopping center, topped by a luxury condominium over a hundred floors high, newly built just in front of Mecca; an enormous building among the highest in th
e world, dominated by a clock of a garish taste only a few of us really appreciated. But this is pr
obably a sign of a mandatory modernization, against which we can do nothing. Some of us escape as much as possible these crowded spaces to meditate facing the Ka’aba. We try hard to always pray together, usually at the rear of the Grand Mosque and on the second floor; since the mutawwa
– religious police -strictly forbid, and sometimes violently, to the men and women to pray together. This is a bid’ah – an innovation in Islam – against which our group tries several times to resist: we try to pray the sunset prayer over the central courtyard facing the Ka’aba, men and women in our group all mixed. Unfortunately, we were driven out and some have even been pushed aggressively by the conservatives who have no respect for human dignity. Indeed, the religious police deploy incredible energies to impose its sectarian and dogmatic patriarchy at the heart of the Islamic holy of holi
es. It seems thought that some form of violence is now authorized to maintain strict gender segregation, that still a few years -those who already came on pilgrimage to Mecca told us – had never been applied in Mecca.Conservatives’ violence does not forbid us to stay there sometimes for hours, rocked by this tremendously positive magnetism from the Ka’aba, thanks to millennia of worship and prayer invoked by generations of men and women of goodwill; we will spend six extraordinary days here in Mecca. Not far from the center of the city, we will also visit the Hira cave on djabal Noor-“Mount of Light” – where the Prophet Muhammad used to isolate himself from the bustling city to meditate. This is where our beloved Prophet received the 17 of Ramadan 611 AD the first Qur’anic revelation that leads him to direct, from that time and for over twenty years, these human brothers and sisters to knowledge.
In Mecca either, Amina Wadud was invited even before we left by family and friends of the famous Saudi feminist: Dr. Ajwad Hatoon al-Fassi. The father of Dr. Hatoon, Sheik al-Fassi, is one of the foremost masters of Saudi Arabian Sufism; his family was persecuted for years by the totalitarian
regime of the Wahhabis. Amina, on his return, will share with us very warm story of these two days
she spent in company of Saudi intellectuals who who still believe that a better, enlightened future,
far from the macho and patriarchal myths and superstitions, will ever be possible for Saudi Arabia
and all Muslims.