Her Highness Sheikha Moza Inaugurates Center and Mosque for Women
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and Founder of Al-Mujadilah, unveiled a center and mosque that will cater to Muslim women of all ages and backgrounds.
‘Al-Mujadilah Centre and Mosque for Women’ was founded by Her Highness and aims to strengthen the Islamic identity of Muslim women, foster a Muslim society where all women are engaged, their participation and contributions acknowledged and recognized, and their concerns and perspectives shape contemporary Muslim thought and open public discourse.
Al-Mujadilah was inaugurated at an event which laid out to guests the vision of the center, showcased the building facilities and introduced its purpose through a panel discussion with scholars, instructors and members of the community. The event was attended by dignitaries, community leaders, representatives of the Ministry of Awqaf and academic researchers.
Speaking to attendees, Her Highness recounted the inspiration for the center and its name, referring to the story of Khawla bint Tha'labah (r.a.) who engaged in a dialogue with Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Her Highness said:
“In philosophy, it is said that the evolution of civilization originated in dialogue. Through these verses, we have seen how Khawla bint Tha’labah, may Allah be pleased with her, argued well in accordance with her values. Through her advocacy, she solved her problem.”
She continued: “We are not here today simply to celebrate the architectural aesthetics of this building, rather, we are here to shed light on the concept of justice in worship, through the establishment of the Al-Mujadilah center and mosque. This space allows women to develop themselves in religious and worldly affairs, and with a comprehensive understanding of worship.
Designed to attract our young Muslim women, so that women’s prayer rooms do not stay marginalized and isolated in a remote corner, this space, will host programs that support and elevate women’s education, and meet their contemporary intellectual needs to raise women’s awareness of religious and worldly matters - personally, socially, and from the perspective of the family.”
Inspired by the traditional role of the mosque as the axis of society, ‘Al-Mujadilah Centre and Mosque for Women is equipped with classrooms, a library, gathering spaces, a café, and gardens. A community space for women, it will host activities and provide programing in Arabic and English ranging from longer courses, workshops, sessions on Islamic history, Islamic law, mental health and well-being and relationships to book clubs, training programs and undertaking research.
Guest speaker Dr. Omar Abdelkafy, Islamic scholar and preacher, remarked “Everyone among us has been formed by the care of a woman and today with the launch of Al-Mujadilah we reinvigorate a society after centuries of marginalizing women.”
The opening also featured a panel discussion on the importance of creating spaces for women in reinforcing Muslim identity. The session was hosted and moderated by Dr. Buthaina Abdelghani, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hadara and included Her Excellency Buthaina bint Ali Jabr Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education and Higher Education, Her Excellency Lolwah bint Rashid Al-Khater, Minister of State for International Cooperation, Dr. Omar Abdelkafy, May Al Sayed, activist and Islamic studies researcher, and Kholood Nooh, Programs and Impact Specialist at Al-Mujadilah: Center and Mosque for Women.
In addition to community programs and activities, Al-Mujadilah will open avenues to Islamic learning, research and the study of historical and contemporary Islam. Al-Mujadilah will be a hub for research networks, capacity-building, and intellectual exchange between scholars, practitioners, and Muslim women of all backgrounds. Research focuses on, and supports, research projects in three main areas: (1) Islamic Texts, Law and Ethics; (2) Muslim Women’s Lives and (3) Muslim Women’s Health and Well-Being.
Dr. Sohaira Siddiqui, Executive Director of Al-Mujadilah and Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology, commented “The very heart of Al-Mujadilah is that we are a center for women. We offer a destination for Muslim women from all backgrounds and walks of life to access a wide range of programs and activities designed to help navigate the many complex aspects of modern life. The idea is to bring a comprehensive number of resources under one roof with the goal of fostering a Muslim society where all women are engaged, their participation and contributions acknowledged and recognized, and their concerns and perspectives shape contemporary Muslim thought and open public discourse.”
Al-Mujadilah opens its doors to the public at a Community event on February 4 and its scheduled programs will begin on 6 February. Women can also visit the center without registering for a program between 10am and 8pm to enjoy the public facilities. More information on the Center and Mosque, including a full list of programs and activities can be found at www.almujadilah.qa.
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