We are honoured to have the support of Muslim theologians and scholars
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
Women have always played a big role in shaping Islamic thought and jurisprudence and I am delighted to support the Muslim Women’s Council in continuing this great tradition; vital work, which is much needed.
Co-founder of Zaytuna College
It is so important to get behind the women-administrated masjid. Open to all, but bringing together the expertise, the time and energy of our sisters. Men of our masjids, it’s a sad reality-the brothers are working, they’re out there in the world, the bump and the grind, and then trying to run the masjid on the side. There are many sisters who are university educated, talented, administrators who the corporations are benefitting from their skills, the private sector is benefitting from their skills. Everyone is benefitting from the skills of our sisters except our Muslim community. Now we have an opportunity to benefit from the wonderful array of skills that our sisters bring to play. The masjid will be well run; they’re not talking about female imams, and women-led Jummah khutbahs. They’re talking about bringing their talent, abilities, skills to the masjid to help to run it the way it should be run. To restore the prophetic model of excellence in everything including running our masjids. I’m totally behind it and I’m sure it’s going to be an outstanding success. May Allah bless all of you, everyone involved with the project.
It is initiatives like this one that give me hope that my four daughters will grow up to see an ummah around them that doesn't deprive them of opportunity and inspires them to contribute to their deen, their ummah and humanity with confidence and to their utmost potential.
Mohammed Rafiq Sehgal
President, Council for Mosques (Bradford)
It is worth citing that the first purpose built Shah Jahan Masjid in Woking (UK) was commissioned by Begum Bhopal in 1889, a notable woman of very high standing. We have no objection to Muslim Women’s Council establishing a Masjid as long as it is inclusive of all Muslims and operates in accordance with the Islamic principles and etiquettes governing a Masjid.
Dr Shuruq Naguib
Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Lancaster University
It’s quite ironic that Muslim women who in the past really changed the landscape of many Muslim cities with mosques that they built from their own wealth, which they managed & governed as the endowers today in the 21st Century can’t find a place in the mosque, neither in its management nor in its spiritual space. In terms of what this project is about, the mosque is going to be for everyone inclusive, the Centre of Excellence is a kind of interjection against the dominant discourses which prohibit women from participating in the mosque in its management or spiritual space, or even in its religious leadership in different forms. In order to challenge the misunderstanding of the men in the community and their practice, there needs to be an example-the Prophet PBUH as soon as he established the community of Medinah, he established a mosque where the community could come together, become unified, but also to show by practice what a Muslim community is like. This mosque is hopefully going to be a flagship, to show that a mosque is an egalitarian place, a place where men & women are welcome, but women are also encouraged to lead. Female governance of mosques was never a problem in the past & I don’t see it as a problem today, in terms of the jurisprudence & Islamic theology in general.
Dean of Cambridge Islamic College
The need for women to go to the mosques for the daily prayers, to take part in study circles, to encourage and be encouraged by other Muslims to live their religion seriously – is neither more nor less than the same need in men. This need must be met; it is a religious duty. The lack of provision, and the lack of welcome, for women in the mosques that we have, is the main reason for this project – to have a space for women, where they can worship together, where they can encourage one another to study the religion and improve their understanding and practice of it. It is an initiative that deserves to be supported financially and morally by both men and women. I admire and appreciate the intention and the will and determination of those leading this project. In sha’a Allah (God willing) it will be a success.
Dr Musharraf Hussain OBE, DL
Chief Imam, Karimia Institute
I am very pleased that you're working with women and providing them a platform from which they can gain equal access to the masjid and thereby receive the spiritual merits and reward for their worship. I commend the whole initiative of encouraging and motivating Muslim women to be truly epitomes of "paradise lies at the feet of the mother" and "the best among you is the one who is good to his wife".
Postgraduate Researcher and Tutor, University of Leeds
The advancement of Muslim women's scholarship and religious leadership is among the greatest needs of the age for British Muslims, needed just as much by men as it is by women. The proposed Centre for Religious Excellence in Bradford promises to be a pioneering beacon in this regard, and it deserves our encouragement, prayers and aid.